Earth Science Literacy Initiative
I am Chair of the NSF-funded Earth Science Literacy Initiative (ESLI), which aims to gather and codify the underlying understandings of Earth sciences into a succinct document that would have broad-reaching applications in both public and private arenas. It will establish the “Big Ideas” and supporting concepts that all Americans should know about Earth sciences. The resulting Earth Science Literacy framework will also become part of the foundation, along with similar documents from the Oceans, Atmospheres and Climate communities, of a larger geoscience Earth Systems Literacy effort.
The primary outcome of the Earth Science Literacy Initiative will be a community-based document that clearly and succinctly states the underlying principles and ideas of Earth science across a wide variety of research fields that are funded through the NSF-EAR program, include Geobiology and Low-Temperature Geochemistry, Geomorphology and Land-Use Dynamics, Geophysics, Hydrologic Sciences, Petrology and Geochemistry, Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology, and Tectonics.
The Earth Science Literacy framework document of Big Ideas and supporting concepts will be a community effort representing the current state-of-the-art research in Earth sciences. It will be written, evaluated, shaped and revised by the top scientists working in Earth science. Because of its validity, authority and succinct format, the ESL framework will be influential in a wide variety of scientific, educational and political domains. Future governmental legislation will be guided by it. Future national and state educational standards will be based upon it.
More information can be found at the web site for the
EARTH SCIENCE LITERACY INITIATIVE.
NRC Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards
I am currently Team Leader for the Earth and Space Science Design Team for the new National
Research Council project to create a new framework for K-12 science education. More on the
project can be found at the
Next-Generation Science, at Achieve, Inc.
I am on the organizing committee for the writing of the Next-Generation Science national science education standards,
being written by Achieve, Inc., based upon the NRC Conceptual Framework. More about this work can be found at
Geophysical Research Letters
I am currently an Associate Editor for the American Geophysical Union's Geophysical Research Letters. More about GRL can be found at
Geophysical Research Letters.
Long-Range Science Plan for Seismology
THe National Science Foundation sponsored a Long-Range Science Plan for Seismology that laid out
a plan for the future of seismology over the following decade. I was a coauthor, concentrating
on the deep-earth components.
The full document "Seismological Grand Challenges in Understanding Earth's
Dynamic Systems" can be downloaded here.
EarthScope Science Plan for 2010-2020
A panel was put together to map out a plan for the science to be down with the EarthScope
instrumentation during the Operations and Management phase of the project. I was coauthor,
focusing on the deep-earth applications of the EarthScope program.
The full "Unlocking the Secrets of the North American Continent: Science Plan for 2010-2020" can be
NASA Course on "Earth, Moon, and Mars"
I regularly visit the different NASA centers, teaching a 3-day APPEL workshop to NASA
employees. The course gives participants an understanding of the important, relevant, and
exciting issues within planetary geoscience. For a description of the course, go to
Earth, Moon, and Mars.
Teaching Company Course: "HOW THE EARTH WORKS"
In 2008 I completed a 48-lecture course with The Teaching Company entitled "How the Earth Works." The course consists of 48 half-hour lectures filmed at The Teaching Company's studios in Chantilly, Virginia. For more information on the course at The Teaching Company's web site, go to:
HOW THE EARTH WORKS.
A description of the course can be found in a TeachCo promotional piece.
An overview of the course can be found in the course's Introduction.
IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology)
Between 2006 and 2010 I served as the Chair of the IRIS E&O (Education and Outreach)
For more information, go to
I was one of the 2005 IRIS/SSA Distinguished Lecturers. I gave presentations about earthquakes and geophysics at several locations around the country, including:
New Mexico Museum of Science and Natural History, Albuquerque, NM
NSTA Conference, Dallas, TX
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Maryland Museum of Science, Baltimore, MD
Houston Science Museum, Houston, TX
American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY
Field Museum, Chicago, IL
Arizona Museum of Science, Phoenix, AZ
St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis, MO
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, CO
For a description of my experience, see the relevant
For a description of this program, see
For a copy of one of these lectures (I changed them slightly each time), download the
IRIS/SSA PowerPoint Lecture.
(You will also need the files containing the
IRIS 5-YEAR PROPOSAL
I edited the IRIS Accomplishments Section (217 pp) for the 2005 IRIS NSF Proposal (also known as the "1-Pagers", and wrote the
You can view the 2005 IRIS 1-Pagers
or as part of a
SINGLE PDF FILE.
CIG (Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics)
I am currently on the Computational Seismology Steering Committee for CIG. For a description of this program, go to the
CIG Web Site.
In Fall of 2006 I hosted the EarthScope/USArray Imaging Science & CIG Seismology
Workshop on Computational Seismology. To learn more about this, and access the
tutorials from the meeting, go to the 2006 WORKSHOP Web Site.
In Fall of 2007 I am co-organizing a joint CIG/SPICE/IRIS
Workshop on Computational Seismology. To learn more about this
go to the 2007 WORKSHOP Web Site.
NSTA (National Science Teachers Association)
As an author of Prentice Hall textbooks, I attend NSTA and other high school science workshops and help to train teachers how to teach earth science in the middle and high schools. For more on the NSTA, see their
Here are some recent sample Powerpoint lectures I have presented at NSTA Conferences and similar locales (the versions vary slightly between locations, even for the same title):
Fall, 2008 (Charlotte, Portland, Cincinnati) - "The Future of Energy Sources"
Spring, 2008 (Kansas City) - Presentation on Earthquakes at the Linda Hall Science Library
Spring, 2008 (Boston) - "Civilization Exists by Geologic Consent"
Fall, 2007 (Detroit, Birmingham) - "Civilization Exists by Geologic Consent"
Spring, 2007 (St. Louis) - "Earthquake Hazards Along the New Madrid Fault: Using Science to Distinguish Fact from Fiction"
Spring, 2007 (St. Louis) - "Civilization Exists by Geologic Consent"
Spring, 2007 (St. Louis) - "Earthquake Prediction and Forecasting"
Spring, 2007 (St. Louis) - Using Seismic Refraction to Investigate Earth's Surface
Spring, 2007 (St. Louis) - Using Data from EarthScope
Fall, 2006 (Baltimore) - "Civilization Exists by Geologic Consent"
Fall, 2006 (CSTA - San Francisco) - "Why California Won't Ever Get 'THE BIG ONE,' but Seattle Will! - Lessons Learned From Studying Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics"
Spring, 2006 (Anaheim) - "Why California Won't Ever Get 'THE BIG ONE,' but Seattle Will! - Lessons Learned From Studying Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics"
Fall, 2005 (Chicago, Hartford, Nashville) - "Convection in the Atmosphere, Ocean and Earth's Interior"
Spring, 2005 (Dallas) - "Shake and Bake: Teaching About Earthquakes and Volcanoes in High School"
Fall, 2004 (Indianapolis, Richmond)
On The Cutting Edge
I am a co-PI for the program On the Cutting Edge, which supports a wide range of workshops, acivities, and web-based resources aimed at
improving undergraduate geoscience education.
In August, 2007, I co-organized a workshop on teaching geophysics that was run with funding through the
On The Cutting Edge program.
In 2011 I co-organized an online workshop on Visualizing Seismic Waves. Resources from these and many other
workshops can be found at
On the Cutting Edge.
Here are some radio/TV clips on earthquakes and earthquake hazards:
Go here for a youtube interview (March, 2011) with the St. Louis Science Center concerning the March 11 Japan earthquake.
A radio interview (Apr 22, 2008) with the Kansas City NPR station KCUR on earthquakes.
A radio interview (Apr 22, 2008) with KMOX's Charlie Brennan on the seismic hazards in Missouri and Illinois.
A Channel 2 TV News Video clip (Apr 21, 2008) on midwestern earthquakes.
A radio interview (July, 2007) with KMOX on the seismic hazards in St. Louis.