ONEONTA, N.Y. -- The National Science Foundation, through its Geoscience Education Program, has awarded a grant of $148,406 to SUNY Oneonta for a focused expansion of its Earth Science Outreach Program. The project, entitled "New 'Drilling Prospects' to Feed the Geoscience Workforce Pipeline," will be directed by Earth Sciences Department faculty members Dr. James Ebert as principal investigator, and Dr. Todd Ellis and Steve Kluge as co-principal investigators.
The Earth Science Outreach Program at SUNY Oneonta provides college credit for advanced geoscience courses taught in high schools, a field that has traditionally lacked advanced-placement opportunities for high school students. Drs. Ebert and Ellis believe that greater exposure to the geosciences in high school could increase students' interest in majoring in a geoscience, potentially improving the flow in the workforce "pipeline" in the geosciences.
Through the grant, the SUNY Oneonta faculty members will offer professional development workshops to assist teachers in developing Earth Science Outreach Program proposals. Drs. Ebert and Ellis also will mentor teachers and disseminate information about opportunities in the geosciences to school administrators and guidance counselors.
A member of the SUNY Oneonta faculty since 1985, Dr. Ebert is extensively involved in Earth Science Education (K-12) and the preparation of pre-service teachers. He was honored with the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1993 and promoted to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2009.
Dr. Ellis joined the SUNY Oneonta faculty in 2008. He holds a doctorate in atmospheric science from Colorado State University, where he worked previously as a research assistant. In 2008, he was awarded a $70,875 subcontract from NASA for a project that uses the CloudSat satellite to study clouds and precipitation from space.
Co-principal Investigator Kluge taught Regents Earth Science for 30 years. He is a two-time recipient of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award, and was a 1990 finalist for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. He is an expert on the use of Google Earth as a geoscience teaching tool.
More information about the National Science Foundation grant and the Earth Science Outreach Program is available from Dr. Ebert at (607) 436-3707.