PSU Joins Prominent Earth Science Education Effort

July 20th, 2007 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University has been selected as a partner
institution in the Earth System
Science Education Alliance (ESSEA)
, an innovative
professional development program for pre-service and in-service middle and
high school teachers. PSU will utilize the program to provide courses for New
Hampshire K-12 educators.

Plymouth State University will join other colleges, universities and science research and education organizations spread among 22 states and the District of Columbia. As an ESSEA partner, Plymouth State University will receive funding and training to offer a series of online Earth system science courses geared toward teachers of specific grade levels and aligned to national education standards. Working in collaborative groups, teachers who enroll in ESSEA courses at Plymouth State University can earn credits while learning to teach Earth system science using inquiry-based classroom methods.

“This grant will allow Plymouth State University to offer New Hampshire in-service teachers an excellent opportunity for meeting No Child Left Behind (NCLB) standards,” said Dr. Mark P. Turski, Director of the Preparing the Earth System Scientist of Tomorrow Project at PSU. “The grant funding will fund several graduate research fellowships and be used to develop courses in ESS for preservice teachers and the undergraduate general education program.”

“I believe the cohort of partners we have selected are an excellent mix that will bring varied and innovative approaches to implementing the ESSEA courses,” said Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) associate director of education.

ESSEA is funded through a cooperative agreement awarded to IGES by the National Science Foundation under its Geoscience Teacher Training (GEO-Teach) program, which supports projects designed to improve the quality of geoscience education, primarily at the middle and high school levels. GEO-Teach projects provide pre-service teacher training, in-service professional development and access to high-quality curricular materials.

IGES will assist partner institutions by helping them create a sustainable infrastructure for delivering the courses, and by providing evaluation tools to ensure that, upon course completion, teachers have a strong understanding of Earth system science and how to effectively teach the subject. In addition, IGES will inform ESSA participants about the latest Earth system science research and teaching practices through presentations at conferences, Web seminars, teleconferences and e-mail updates.

Located in Arlington, Va., IGES was established in 1994 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization supported by public and private entities. IGES is a trusted leader in Earth and space science education, communication and outreach, and in fostering national and international cooperation in observing the Earth.

For more information, contact Mark P. Turski at
or visit Online
Earth System Science Courses
web page.