Geoscience Horizons

Press Release

Wright State University

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 31, 2003

CONTACT:
Richard Doty
(937) 775-3328

Two WSU student projects selected for presentation at annual meeting of Geological Society of America

Two Wright State University student projects have been selected for presentation at the 115th annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Seattle, Nov. 2–5.

Christy Jacobs, a senior from Tiffin, Ohio, will discuss her Geoscience Education Outreach project and Julie Scheerschmidt, who received her master’s degree this year, will review her project involving fourth grade students going to the ocean at Sandy Hook, N.J.

Both students will present an abstract of their work at the conference and have their findings published. Some 7,200 geoscientists are expected to attend the largest annual meeting in the history of the society.

“This is an important professional conference for geologists, and we are excited to have student work selected for the event,” said Cindy Carney, interim chair of the Department of Geological Sciences at Wright State. She said the presentations by Jacobs and Scheerschmidt reflect the quality of their research and significance of their projects.

Jacobs developed a project that involved WSU geology students volunteering to improve the quality of earth science education in public schools. The WSU students supplied their own rocks, fossils, minerals and other materials for presentations during the past school year that reached some 400 students in Ohio schools and helped four different Science Olympiad teams.

“It was exciting for me to see the students pursue hands-on work on their own and work together,” Jacobs said. “We encouraged them as much as possible and hope some may decide to pursue geology for a career.”

Scheerschmidt, who is from Navarre, Ohio, developed an interdisciplinary study program of the ocean for fourth graders at the Richard Allen Academy in Dayton. The students spent the past school year learning more about ocean ecosystems, the chemistry of ocean water and the physical processes that distribute sand along the beach. The culmination of their effort was the trip to Sandy Hook, where they used a marine science research vessel for their ocean studies.

“This experience led to increased student understandings of science content and process and positively impacted their perception of their ability to do science,” said Scheerschmidt, who is currently a substitute teacher with Xenia Community Schools. She completed the New Jersey project as part of the Master of Science in Teaching program.

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