2006 Fall Meeting Cite abstracts as Author(s) (2006), Title, Eos Trans. AGU,
(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract xxxxx-xx

HR: 1340h
AN: ED13A-1208
TI: Climate History of the Southern San Joaquin Valley of California, USA: Authentic Paleoclimate Research with K-12 Teachers
AU: * Baron, D
EM: dbaron@csub.edu
AF: Department of Physics and Geology, California State University, Bakersfield, 9001 Stockdale Highway, Bakersfield, CA 93311 United States
AU: Negrini, R M
EM: rnegrini@csub.edu
AF: Department of Physics and Geology, California State University, Bakersfield, 9001 Stockdale Highway, Bakersfield, CA 93311 United States
AU: Palacios-Fest, M R
EM: terra_nostra_mx@yahoo.com.mx
AF: Terra Nostra Earth Sciences Research, 6312 N Barcelona Lane # 606, Tucson, AZ 85704 United States
AU: Auffant, K
EM: auffantk@bcsd.com
AF: Owens Intermediate School, Bakersfield City School District, 1300 Baker Street, Bakersfield, CA 93305
AB: For three summers, the Department of Geology at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) has invited teachers from local schools to participate in a research program that is investigating the climate history of the San Joaquin Valley of California. In each 4-week summer project, three elementary/middle school teachers and three high school teachers worked with CSUB faculty, undergraduate geology students, and a small group of high school students. The research centers around the analysis of 50-foot (15 m) sediment cores from two locations in the Tulare Lake basin. These cores preserve a regional climate record dating back to about 35,000 years before the present. Research tasks include the description of sediments from the cores for parameters such as grain size, color, and mineralogy. Sediment analyses include total organic and total inorganic carbon, as well as magnetic susceptibility. Ostracode shells were separated from the sediments, ostracode species present were identified and their abundances determined. Each teacher was put in charge of the description and analysis of several 5-foot (1.5 m) core segments. Each teacher was the leader of a research group including a CSUB geology student and one or two high school students. The groups were responsible for all aspects of the description and analysis of their core segments. They were also in charge of the paleoclimate interpretations and the presentation of their research results at the end of the summer projects. Surveys conducted before and after the summer program indicate that teacher's knowledge of climate change and regional geology, as well as their confidence in teaching Earth science at their schools increased. Follow- up surveys conducted a year after the first summer program indicate that the research experience had a lasting positive impact on teacher's confidence and their enthusiasm for teaching Earth science. Several of the teachers have developed lesson plans and/or field trips for their classes incorporating aspects of what they learned during the summer programs. The following features make the investigation of regional paleoclimate an especially rewarding and successful research topic for the summer programs: First, the practical relevance of the research is easily apparent to participating teachers and students; second, the research tasks are relatively straightforward and require only a moderate amount of training; and third, many aspects of the research are relevant in the context of National and California Science Standards. Finally, the research draws on the expertise of CSUB faculty and allows them to advance their own research agendas while engaging in outreach to K-12 schools. They can thus avoid the hard choice between scientific research and educational outreach activities, an all too common dilemma for science faculty under pressure to publish scientific research.
DE: 0830 Teacher training
DE: 0850 Geoscience education research
DE: 0855 Diversity
DE: 1637 Regional climate change
SC: Education and Human Resources [ED]
MN: 2006 Fall Meeting