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Geoscience Education

Geoscience Education

The GeoEd Research Group studies geoscience experts delivering content to undergraduates, assessing learning outcomes, and improving instruction. We seek to improve educational outcomes, leaving students with a deep understanding of earth sciences. This includes studies on both Quantitative Literacy (QL) and qualitative research through Discipline Based Educational Research (DBER). DBER tries to improve how subject experts can train new experts to further all learning and research in geosciences. We aim to produce the great geoscience professors and instructors of tomorrow, and great educational researchers too.

In addition to QL and DBER, GeoEd graduate student researchers also select a “traditional” field of geoscience study (e.g.: hydrology, volcanology, climatology). After all, to be a geoscience educator, one must first be a geoscientist. Graduate students in GeoEd work with their advisors to custom create the details of their coursework, and to select the areas and proportions of their thesis/dissertation devoted to DBER/QL or to traditional field work or lab study.

The GeoEd group is spread throughout the School of Geosciences, but our most prominent lab is the Quantitative Literacy and Geoscience Education Library in SCA 539. Prospective students should contact Dr. Ryan, Dr. Vacher, or Jackie Hayes, the department's program specialist.


Jeffrey G. Ryan    H. L. Vacher    Todd Chavez

Current Students

Victor Ricchezza      Meghan Cook      Mary Beck

Recent Graduates:

Marianne O'Neal Caldwell 2012 dissertation Assessment of Student Achievement in an Introductory Physical Geology Course: A three-year study on delivery method and term length (with a section on hurricane overwash)   

Heather L. Lehto 2012 dissertation Investigation of Stress Changes at Mount St. Helens, Washington, and Receiver Functions at the Katmai Volcanic Group, Alaska, with an Additional Section on the Assessment of Spreadsheet-based Modules   

Dorien K. McGee 2010 dissertation Microbial Influences on Karst Dissolution: the Geochemical Perspective, with a Chapter on Assessment of the Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum Project