“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Fundamentally, my teaching philosophy is guided by my belief that earth science is important, and that as professional earth scientists and educators we must capitalize on as many opportunities as possible to help teach and train the students and citizens we have a chance to interact with. Educational opportunities can take a variety of forms and throughout my career I’ve been able to work with students from diverse backgrounds in a range of settings, including teaching in traditional classrooms, serving as a research mentor and project supervisor, as a member of graduate committees, as a Co-PI of a training and research grant program for graduate students, and through my involvement with specialized reading groups and research seminars. In all of my various roles as an educator, I stress active learning and the importance of student engagement with real and relevant earth science data, observations, and concepts.
For example, my recently-funded NSF grant that focuses on the geology of the Ruby Mountains-East Humboldt Range-Wood Hills metamorphic core complex, contains significant outreach and educational components. The world-class geology of the study area provides an ideal stage for direct community engagement through strategic and comprehensive outreach to local science educators and geoscience professionals. Our education outreach strategy will focus on three main goals; (1) creating and making widely available interactive field trip guides and tutorials focusing on both the research as well as numerous fundamental geoscience concepts that can be demonstrated in the proposed research area; (2) creating permanent and mobile displays for Great Basin College campuses across the state; and (3) creating learning modules and tutorials for learners at a variety of levels, including dual-credit high school students enrolled in geology courses, traditional college students, and education students preparing to become K-12 educators.
For more information about this project, including links to the educational YouTube channel and virtual field trips, please click here.