AGU Education Section News

Education Section Newsletter | May 2023 Edition

By Sunday Siomades posted 05-22-2023 10:00


Education Section Newsletter | May 2023 Edition


Support the Section and Make Your Donation Count Double!

Thanks to everyone who made a donation to the section during Teacher Appreciation Week. Your contributions help support professional development and conference-related expenses of Earth and space science educators and students. If you have not made a donation yet, it is not too late to Honor an Educator and make your donation count double with the 2023 Past-Presidents' Matching Challenge. Thanks to generous donations from Section Past-Presidents, each donation of $50 or more will be matched up to a total of $5,000. Make a difference for others and help us unlock the full match in 2023. Make your gift today!

New Section Award Discussion

You’re invited! Join us for an AGU Education Section Geoscience Education Research (GER) Working Group Roundtable Discussion on Monday, June 5th, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM ET.  This roundtable will be centered on initial discussions to conceptualize what a new section award to recognize education research within the Earth and space sciences could look like and whether or not such an award proposal is worth pursuing. All career stage and GER experience level perspectives welcome!

If you are interested, but unable to make it, please email the working group co-chair, Laura Lukes (

Zoom meeting link:

Meeting ID: 614 4586 5605

Passcode: 283744

Calling all educators!

Bright Students Training as Research Scientists (BRIGHT STaRS) are the future of AGU. The BRIGHT STaRS Poster session at AGU’s Fall Meeting is a great opportunity for young scholars to share their projects, gain experience with scientific communication, and receive feedback. At the 2022 Fall Meeting, over 135 posters were submitted, and more than 300 students participated in person or virtually. All educators working with middle school and high school students interested in having their students participate in the BRIGHT STaRS program should contact Diana Ibarra ( or Dr. Dana Thomas ( Program planning is well underway at the moment!

Field-Based Geoscience Education at GSA

Interested in field education research, evaluation, and practice? Co-conveners Laura Lukes and Alison Jolley invite you to submit a talk or poster to their session at GSA Connects 2023 in Pittsburgh, PA (October 15-18, 2023). This session aims to advance the conversation about creating effective field-based learning experiences by exploring strategies, design, results, etc. from evidence-based studies about field trips, courses, and other related experiences. Diverse perspectives and approaches welcome!

Submit an abstract to Session T24: Field-Based Geoscience Education: Advances in Research, Program Evaluation, Pedagogy, and Curriculum. Submissions close July 25!

The Mighty Microgrant

Rebecca Friesen and Adriana Cimetta comment on institutional microgrants as a means to expand access to research experiences for undergraduates in this open access NSTA Journal of College Science Teaching article. The authors establish that the availability of sustainable undergraduate research opportunities is limited by departmental and institutional cultures, and that implementing change within those cultures is often time-consuming and expensive. The microgrant, especially when complemented by internal resources, was found to catalyze change by connecting people and ideas, inspiring action, and creating momentum. The authors conclude that microgrants can feasibly contribute to expanding opportunities for undergraduate research experiences.

Supportive STEM

Join an open virtual session hosted by the National Academies of Science to discuss mentorship in STEM. On June 13th, from 12:00 to 3:00 PM ET, connect with the conversation on disrupting ableism and supporting individuals with disabilities within the STEM community. This seminar will focus on the importance of belonging, the benefits of peer mentorship, and the educative value of lived mentor-mentee experiences.

Visit here for more information and register today!

Section Seeking a Social Media Communication Volunteer

Are you savvy with social media?  Do you want to get more involved in the AGU Education Section? Our section is in need of a social media communication volunteer to join our leadership team. Help our section diversify the platforms used to engage with Earth and space science educators and students. Please contact Kristen St John for more information about this role:

Joining the Section

How do you join the Education Section or check that Education is your Primary Section affiliation? We have an easy guide for you! Visit our website for step-by-step instructions for both new and current AGU members to check your affiliation status.

Feedback Welcome

Check out the Education Section’s new website! Our undergraduate student webmasters Sunday Siomades and Owen Celio have been working hard to upgrade the Education Section’s website, making it ready to host new content and support our members. Please visit our website and give Sunday and Owen your feedback. Is there something you wish to see? Let them know at!

We’ve Got Mail!

The Education Section newsletter is now accepting member-suggested submissions! Contact us at with timely events, articles, or programs relating to education in the Earth and space sciences. To be considered for inclusion in the newsletter of the month, please send items before 12:00pm EST on the second Tuesday. We look forward to hearing from you!