Taxonomy term

education and outreach

USArray: Geoscientists' "Earth Telescope"

Big science often requires big tools. Particle physicists use huge particle accelerators. Astronomers need enormous telescopes to peer to the edge of the cosmos. Earth scientists, by contrast, normally probe the planet individually or in small groups using comparatively inexpensive instruments. This “small science” approach has served us well; using it, we have learned a great deal about how Earth works. But now, we have our own big science tool: USArray, a "telescope" for earth scientists to peer deep into the subsurface.

28 Oct 2012

Bigfoot education and outreach

USArray has offered an unprecedented opportunity for earth scientists to explain to the public how we conduct experiments and test hypotheses, and what we aim to learn from the results.

28 Oct 2012

School of rock: Educating educators at sea

Many things come to mind when you hear the words “School of Rock”: a bad Jack Black flick, the middle school band you were in, the guitar school down the street from you, some pun about geology … yes, all are likely candidates. But the one I’m thinking of probably didn’t cross your mind. The School of Rock I had the privilege to attend is a professional development opportunity for educators to spend a week to 10 days at sea, learning about ocean drilling, how science is conducted on a yawing ship, and how to be better science teachers.

20 Jul 2012

How the school of rock came to be

In the late 1950s, a growing interest in better understanding the structure and composition of Earth resulted in the creation of the controversial Project Mohole. Although the name may sound better suited for an Isaac Asimov novel, it was indeed a real, albeit short-lived, attempt to drill through the boundary between the crust and mantle, called the Mohorovičić (Moho) discontinuity — an engineering feat yet to be achieved. The project led to the modern-day Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) — and eventually the School of Rock.

20 Jul 2012

Down to Earth With: Glaciologist Richard Alley

If you don’t know who Richard Alley is, stop reading for a minute and search for him on YouTube. Go on, this can wait. Back? What you likely saw was Alley singing his rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” in which he explains subduction zones, or another similar song. In addition to being something of an Internet sensation for his energetic lectures and songs about geologic processes, Alley is a glaciologist who studies the effects of climate change.

13 Mar 2012

Down to Earth With: Mike Gallagher

Mike Gallagher is not your typical science educator. After spending three years as a researcher and field geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., Gallagher decided to become a teacher after budget cuts at USGS in the late 1980s encouraged him to reconsider his career track. Gallagher went on to earn a Washington state teaching certificate (while renting a place in the belfry of a local church). As a teacher in Washington, Gallagher engaged his students with hands-on science research projects: By 1999, two of his students had even presented their research on the water quality of a local stream to then-Governor Gary Locke, who is now secretary of commerce. A windsurfer in his spare time, Gallagher now works for Michigan’s Oakland Intermediate School District, advising districts and teachers on how to improve their science education programs.

02 Feb 2010

Down to Earth With: Buzz Aldrin

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong made history when they landed and walked on the moon. The voyage left a lasting impression on Aldrin, who, at the age of 79, is one of the most vocal supporters of human space exploration.

03 Dec 2009

Down to Earth With: Lucy McFadden

Not many people can say they have an asteroid named after them. But Lucy McFadden, a self-described small planetary objects junkie, can. For nearly 40 years, McFadden has woven her two loves — astronomy and geology — into a career in planetary geology. She has mapped craters on Mercury, participated on NASA missions to comets, and collected meteorites in Antarctica, all in the interest of discovering more about the formation of our solar system.

21 Nov 2009