CLN > Climate Change Education Projects > Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA) National Science Foundation Project

Earth System Science Education Alliance

Principal Investigators: Robert J. Myers (lead); Theresa Schwerin, IGES
Project Website:
National Science Foundation Grant #

Project Description

NSF funding for ESSEA is supporting educational institutions in teacher preparation and professional development for pre- and in-service middle and high school teachers. This NSF-funded program builds and expands on the successful ESSEA program that was funded by NASA and implemented by IGES from 2000-2005.

IGES is enhancing and building on this foundation by: 1) Using the ESSEA online courses as a model to introduce upgraded Earth system science under-graduate and graduate courses; 2) Introducing extensive use of Earth science data and educational materials to support the teacher courses; 3) Disseminating model teaching practices and program success through annual conferences, continuing support, and presentations at geoscience and education conferences; and 4) Expanding the number of participating educational institutions from 20 to 40+. The map above shows participating institutions. Newest members as of Feb. 2010 are not shown: Challenger Learning Centers
and American Museum of Natural History.

IGES provides ongoing support to participating institutions through: building their capacity to deliver exceptional teacher preparation and professional development and providing them with tools to ensure that trained teachers have a strong understanding of Earth system science content and how to effectively teach it. A salient feature of ESSEA program is to introduce an active, student-centered teaching model to both university faculty and to k-12 teachers. ESSEA courses address teachers' needs in the areas of geoscience content, educational resources, and new teaching methods.

From Fall 2007-Summer 2009 over 85 ESSEA courses were completed by over 1,300 teachers, including 70% In-service and 30% Pre-service teachers. The breakdown by level: elementary-15%; middle-25%; and high school–60%).

Contact Information:
Principal Investigator: Robert J. Myers, IGES,
Co-Investigator: Theresa Schwerin, IGES,