AGU Education Section News

Education Section Newsletter | May 2024 Edition

By Sunday Siomades posted 05-06-2024 17:03


Education Section Newsletter | May 2024 Edition


Honor an Educator

The Education Section invites you to recognize outstanding teachers and mentors that have made a difference in your life by donating to the Honor an Educator Campaign. This initiative funds professional development workshops, conference attendance, and other collaborative experiences for educators and students. Your contribution helps our Section increase opportunities to share Earth and space science with the world. Learn more and donate today!

Education Section Awarded NSF Travel Grant


Education Section leadership (Kristen St John, James Madison University, and Kusali Gamage, Austin Community College) in collaboration with AGU leadership (Executive Vice President Billy Williams) were recently awarded a NSF grant Enabling Faculty at Under-Resourced Primarily Undergraduate Institutions to Attend the 2024 Fall American Geophysical Union (AGU) Annual Meeting. This award will initiate a Travel Grant program for up to 50 early-to-mid career faculty to attend the 2024 AGU conference in December. In addition to a travel stipend, grant awardees will have the opportunity to participate in a professional development workshop, networking and social events, co-chairing sessions at the conference, and reviewing student presentations.

Please share this opportunity with geoscience educators at under-resourced 4- and 2-year colleges! Learn more on our website. A link to the application portal will be available by June 1.  Questions? Contact Kristen St John ( or Kusali Gamage (

Sustainability Compass


Compass Education is a non-profit organization focused on equipping educators with systems thinking training and teaching. One of these resources is the Sustainability Compass, a learning tool that frames sustainability as a function of four “directions”: Nature, Society, Economy, and Wellbeing. Lesson plans built around this tool encourage learners to consider these four components when discussing sustainable solutions to environmental problems.

Visit the Compass website to learn more and review curriculum materials. Although there is a charge for formal training, most of the resources found on the site are available for free!

Image credit: Compass Education

Seeking Volunteers for Bright STaRS


Every year, AGU invites middle and high school students to submit their research to the Bright STaRS program held in conjunction with the annual meeting. Hundreds of students participate. Organizing and supporting this program takes the efforts of multiple people––your assistance is needed! If you have the time and interest in assisting in the organizing and delivery of this inspiring program, please reach out to the Diana Ibarra, program chair, at

Sharing Pathways in Geoscience


Katherine Ellins et al. share the motivation and value of an extracurricular college-level program that seeks to develop demographic diversity in the geosciences in this recent Journal of Geoscience Education article. The Geoscience Ambassador program, based at the University of Texas at Austin, encourages college students to share their unique pathways into the Earth and space science disciplines through personal narratives, and then translate these perspectives into written or visual media to be shared with broader audiences. In this way, program broadly seeks to develop a more accessible, approachable community in the geosciences.

Calling All Photographers


We would like to feature your photos of Earth and space science on our section website! Submit your original photos with your name and a caption. Photos can be of anything that represents Earth and space science or teaching and learning. If people are in your photo, please be sure to obtain their permission before submitting!

Submit your photos to: A big thank you to everyone who has already submitted––take a look at your pictures on our updated home page!

Words of Advice


We know there are many educators with a wealth of lived experiences and advice to share! The Education Section invites you to submit your tips for effective teaching and learning, advice for early career instructors, or quotes that inspire your career. We would like to showcase your words and have prepared space for them on our section website.

Submit your teaching and learning tips, advice, and inspiration to: A big thank you to everyone who has already submitted––take a look at your words on our updated home page!

We’ve Got Mail!

The Education Section newsletter accepts 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 monthly newsletter, please send items before 5:00pm EST on the second Monday of the preceding month. We look forward to hearing from you!