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Geology and Mineral Resource Education at Georgia Southern University: A Seventeen Year Retrospective and a Bright Outlook

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Abstract or Description

The Department of Geology and Geography at Georgia Southern University (GS)maintains a history of teaching pre-service and in-service teachers basic science concepts in classroom, lab and field settings. The authors began teacher education classes in 1988 with federal funding of summer courses through the Eisenhower Higher Education Act, now known as Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ). The Eisenhower/ITQ-funded St. Catherines Island Sea Turtle Conservation Program has provided fundamental science training as a field laboratory for coastal geology studies and served critical conservation needs for fifteen years. The NSF-funded Partnership for Reform in Science and Math currently provides essential funds to prepare teachers delivering earth science to 6th graders. The growth of earth science learning communities promotes continuing earth science education and dissemination of resources to active teachers. Industrial minerals have been a focal point for classes as both teachers and students appreciate the value of minerals in computers, CD players, and cars, making the subject both practical and fascinating. Field trips to mines and quarries allow teachers to build individual collections of samples and images as a base for lesson/project plans. Undergraduate students at GS are introduced to mineral resources in the Environmental Geology Laboratory Course. An NSF grant (DUE 0311730) allowed the purchase of a Rigaku Mini-Flex XRD unit and JADE search-match software, allowing students to investigate mineral components in household products and construction materials. The labs fufill part of the core-curriculum lab-science requirements exposing a large, diverse cross-section of students to mineral science using current technology. Emphasizing mineral science in both the undergraduate curriculum and graduate/enrichment courses for teachers is essential to improve public understanding of our industrial mineral requirements.


Geological Society of American Southeastern Section Annual Meeting (GSA)


Knoxville, TN