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Address : Oregon State University, United States
Celebration date : 8 Monday September 2008
Author name : Lillie, Robert

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  • Article title : Engaging park and museum staffs in informal geoscience education via the earthscope program
    Article type : Tectonic & Seismotectonic
    Location : International Geological Congress,oslo 2008

    Fulltext :

    EarthScope is a U. S. National Science Foundation (NSF) program that applies the latest science and technology to explore the structure and evolution of the North American continent and to understand the physical processes that cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. One of the fundamental aspects of EarthScope is the integration of many types of geological and geophysical observations to study the structure and evolution of the continent. Two challenges facing the EarthScope community include providing the public with access to timely EarthScope science and presenting complex data and related principles in language and formats accessible to varied audiences. Park rangers and museum educators are in a unique position to engage the public on the relevance of Earth processes by incorporating EarthScope discoveries as they are being made. A series of three-day workshops combines presentations by EarthScope scientists with interpretive methods to convey stories of geological hazards and the development of the dynamic landscape of the western United States.
    Park rangers and museum educators learn how to use EarthScope data and science results, and develop and present interpretive programs and exhibits during the workshops. The initial workshop, held at the Mt. Rainier National Park Education Center in the state of Washington, focused on results of EarthScope’s seismic and geodetic observations from the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The workshop explored how incorporating EarthScope data and scientific results into interpretive programs and exhibits enhances the "sense of place" represented by the dynamic landscape of an active subduction zone. Earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis reveal the power of Earth’s forces that form the spectacular landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Interpretive professionals can draw on connections that park and museum visitors have to the landscape to relate how and why EarthScope and other geological investigations are so important to physical, historical, and cultural aspects of society.

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