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Perspectives in Geographic and Scientific Literacy

This page includes presentations from the Perspectives in Geographic & Scientific Literacy symposium held November 5-6, 2010, at Grapevine, TX. Click the title for a downloadable .pdf file of the presentation



Presentation Title




Jean Johnson - Public Agenda pdfFuture Scientists, Future Citizens: What's Needed to Advance Public Engagement with Science?439.1 KB Leader’s in science, education, business, and government say the U.S. needs to ramp up science education to maintain our international competitiveness. And even Americans who don't pursue science careers need better context to make sense of crucial policy debates on energy, the environment, health care, and other key issues. How do typical Americans think about these challenges? How much do they really understand? What can scientists and science educators do to advance public understanding and engagement?

Britton Wilson - Texas A&M Interantional University pdfBridging the distance: Uniting the science and society through our world’s most precious resource1.02 MB To better understand our environment and its limited resources, scientists need to consider how resource issues are directly tied to societal needs and societal opinion. Using the real-world concern over availability of freshwater and policy issues related to water rights, this session will explore effective ways to communicate a complex integration of science and policy to a general audience using the lower Rio Grande in Texas as example.

Mian Jiang - University of Houston - Downtown pdfReadiness for college chemistry: Curricular embedding of daily life relevance to cutting edge undergraduate research3.78 MB Chemistry is often the bottleneck course in many undergraduate programs. To address this challenge of low completion rates we have embedded everyday life examples and student-centered research into our instruction incorporating societal issues and cutting-edge technological development. This session will provide new alternatives to ready our students for an ever-changing society that not only demands basic knowledge preparation but also requires creativity and development in green chemistry, new energy, biotech, and nano-era.

Thomas Shirley - Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi pdfBiodiversity of the Gulf of Mexico: An application to the Deep Horizon disaster4.45 MB In 2009 the Harte Research Institute published a book containing an all-species inventory of the Gulf of Mexico. A digital database created from the inventory is being used to answer questions such as how many species live in different areas, at what depth, and in what habitat. Direct applications for the uses of the inventory unfortunately arose on April 20, 2010 with the Deep Horizon oil well disaster. This session will apply a variety of scientific disciplines to demonstrate applications of biological classification, taxonomy, ecological principles and computer techniques to this recent environmental disaster.