Teachers on the Leading Edge: Earth Science Teacher Professional Development Featuring Pacific Northwest Earthquake and Tsunami

Teachers on the Leading Edge: Earth Science Teacher Professional Development Featuring Pacific Northwest Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards Brian Atwater (USGS Seattle) explaining Cascadia tsunami geology along the banks of the Copalis River near the central Washington coast.
Teachers on the Leading Edge (TOTLE) is a professional development program for K-12 Earth Science teachers in the Pacific Northwest. TOTLE offered five-day summer workshops in 2008 – 2010 for Earth Science teachers from Oregon and Washington states. Through a problem-solving approach to active continental margin geology, teachers learn how geoscientists developed our understanding of Pacific Northwest plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes and how EarthScope research is advancing frontiers of knowledge. This cutting- edge science content learning is blended with pedagogical sessions led by award-winning TOTLE Master Teachers. Three days of classroom and computer-based studies of active continental margin geology and EarthScope science are reinforced by two field days investigating Cascadia great earthquakes and tsunamis and Cascade volcanic hazards. Participants in TOTLE workshops receive maps, posters, and experimental apparatus that greatly facilitate transfer of workshop learning to Earth Science classroom teaching.
</p><p>Educational software, video lectures, animations, and K-12 Earth Science lesson plans are prominently featured in TOTLE teacher workshops. Robert Butler worked extensively with Jenda Johnson (IRIS E&O) and John Lahr (USGS Emeritus Seismologist, now deceased) on compilation and organization of educational seismology resources currently published by IRIS and EarthScope as the DVD Middle School Teachers’ Guide to Earthquakes and Seismology. Michael Hubenthal (IRIS E & O) and Shelley Olds (UNAVCO E&O) attended the 2008 TOTLE – EarthScope workshop and provided insightful feedback on workshop design that led to program improvements between 2008 and 2009. Butler currently works with Tammy Bravo, Jenda Johnson, and John Taber to produce teaching resources for all magnitude 7 or larger earthquakes worldwide and for smaller earthquakes of regional interest in the Pacific Northwest. All of these teaching resources are tailored for middle-school Earth Science and are posted on the IRIS Recent Earthquakes Teachable Moments web site (http://www.iris.edu/hq/retm) within four to 16 hours after a notable earthquake. These teaching resources have received high acclaim from and wide use by K-12 Earth Science teachers across the US. Teachers on the Leading Edge personnel look forward to many years of fruitful collaborations with IRIS Education and Outreach.
</p><p>Acknowledgements: Teachers on the Leading Edge is supported by a grant from the NSF EarthScope Program. Collaborations with IRIS Education and Outreach, the US Geological Survey, and the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries have been essential to the development of TOTLE.</p>


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