Publication Date



Teacher workshop at the Amherst College Beneski Museum of Natural History


Many students take an Earth science or geology course to fulfill a requirement, knowing little to nothing about the field. Like all sciences, geology can appear to have ready answers unconnected to other areas of human endeavor, such as art, religion or philosophy. An interdisciplinary approach to teaching can ameliorate this perception for students who are intimidated by the subject and deepen understanding for those who are already excited about geology. We will examine two strategies designed to support the nature of science while scaffolding student learning in geology: research based digital resources use and museum of natural history visits. One strategy is the effective use of research-based transdisciplinary digital resources. We will use recently developed website resources with a local focus to show how science integrated with history and art can deepen classroom and field trip experiences. The resources integrate historical and cultural resources with modern understandings of geology, drawing upon local libraries, historical societies, archives, municipal and state record offices, and the insights of working geologists and educators. The second strategy is the successful use of Natural History museum assets. The Beneski Museum of Natural History will serve as a backdrop for participants taking a team deep-dive into the local geology of Western Massachusetts using museum linked peer reviewed field guides.

geologic history of pioneer valley.docx (1718 kB)
The Geologic History of the Connecticut River Valley

Connecticut_Valley_Dinosaurs..pdf (34656 kB)