Presentation Title

Hybrid POGIL Methodology in a Place-based Geoscience Program

Document Type


Presentation Date


Abstract or Description

The St. Catherines Island Sea Turtle Program (SCISTP) was founded in 1990 and has been funded continuously for 22 years through a consortium of partners lead by Georgia’s Improving Teacher Quality Program (GaITQ). The SCISTP combines “Conservation, Research, and Education” into an integrated, interdisciplinary, holistic STEM program, featuring a total-immersion, procedure-optimized, process-oriented, guided inquiry learning (PO2GIL) educational pedagogy with a robust layering of content, procedure, and critical thinking.

Through this program we have taught place-based sea turtle conservation, including aspects of geology, ecology, oceanography, biology, archaeology, hydrology, history, and pedagogy, to 307 interns. Two hundred seventy three of these have been Ga. K-12 teachers who, because of the compounding effect of multiple cohorts of students in their classrooms, have impacted approximately 373,858 K-12 students. During this process we have conserved 2,776 sea turtle nests that put 159,253 sea turtle hatchlings in the Atlantic Ocean, and shared our science content and experiences through numerous talks, publications, and websites.

The SCISTP provides a robust model of how observational geoscience and conservation can be merged to transform and maximize their impact in the public arena, especially in K-12 education, leading, we believe, to enhanced environmental stewardship and an enhanced appreciation for geoscience. Information is shared through our website (, through formal association with the POGILTM Project (, and through

This project extends place-based POGIL learning into life-long learning processes in science and science education using the nesting ecology of charismatic sea turtles as a science education and wildlife conservation vehicle.


Geological Society of America Annual Meeting


Charlotte, NC