Monday, August 20, 2018

Intro Geology Teaching Successes & Um, Not Successes

Meaghan has now taught three terms of Introductory Geology as an adjunct, and has a few things she's been sampling with her teaching that went well, and a few that, well, didn't. Since she's no longer working for CWU and won't be teaching this year but instead traveling and looking for a more permanent position (HINT HINT READERS WHO ARE EMPLOYERS), here's a review of what she's learned so that it can benefit anyone else looking to teach an introductory geo class.

But it's a lot easier to write in first person so we're going to do that in 3...2...1...NOW: For context, the classes I've been teaching are:

  1. Between 30 and 85 students
  2. 4 days a week for an hour
  3. Cover only a single quarter (10 weeks, September to December)
  4. Have an accompanying lab, but the lab grade is separate and also optional so not all students are taking the lab
  5. Are stand-alone intro courses: CWU doesn't have an intro geology series, just several variants of one class so students can choose to take whichever intro class that seems most appealing
  6. Meet one of the gen-ed standards, so typically are full of freshman that are undeclared
  7. Have a high failure rate. All the intro science classes do at CWU, though.
  8. Have some form of Canvas (online software) component
  9. And are taught using a mixture of Powerpoint and other activities/discussions
OK! Now onto the teaching techniques!

Photo by the AMAZING Marli Miller, whose photos are all free for geology class use!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Things You Can Cite Meaghan's Newest Article For!

Meaghan had a new article come out recently in Palaeo-Electronica. It's great, and you should read it!

And the authors are VERY TRUSTWORTHY and super good at SCIENCE
It's also very long! With many tables! So in lieu of you having to read the whole thing, here are the top take-away points that Meaghan thinks you should probably cite her & Edward for:

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Meaghan Rates the Best Snugs

In honor of Meaghan's third paper being accepted (COMING SOON TO A PAYWALL NEAR U), Meaghan is going to do a slug and snail rating post - or, as her old roommate Shannon's mom refers to them, snugs. Why, specifically, slugs and snails? Because that's what Meaghan's paper is on.


A vertebrate paleontologist had a paper accepted on modern species of snugs, because variety is the spice of science life (and also, she worked for years as a field biologist finding these stupid things, and then the data was never used for anything so she thought... well shit, might as well, right?). This new paper, called "The correlation between topographically-derived relative wetness and terrestrial mollusk presence and abundance," was co-authored with a bunch of reluctant geologists and three awesome undergraduates, and gave Meaghan an excuse to talk about snugs and how cute they are.

Cuz they are really cute you guys! (Photo from Cal Photos)
Meaghan's favorite thing about snugs is the epic names given to them by biologists, like if by naming them like viking warriors you can somehow make them cool to non-malacologists. So in honor of Meaghan getting a paper accepted on snugs, Meaghan will now rate and discuss her favorite Oregon snug species, a la this most excellent twitter feed about foxes and the great hashtag #rateaspecies.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Whale Rap Battle You Didn't Know You Needed

Amy and Meaghan were in the same place for several consecutive days, and from the loins of their cohabitation sprung this glory - Basilosaurus vs Killer Whale. Turn on closed captions to see our witty witty lyrics.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

One Lady, Many Beards

Recently Amy started a new job as the Collections Manager at the Museum of the Rockies, marking the end of her time as a graduate student! Yay for Master Atwater! But now that Amy is a professional, she suddenly has all this FREE TIME during her nights and weekends that she is 100% not used to. Does this mean that Amy is using her newfound freedom for exploring her new state and/or exercising and adventuring, or perhaps promoting the public good?


She is embracing her generation and spending most of her time on Snapchat.

Now, for those of you ancient decrepit fools who are not familiar with Snapchat, it is a form of social media based on video/image messaging with facial recognition, allowing for all sorts of strange filters for your face. Or as Scott Williams at the Museum of the Rockies calls it, "that other thing that Millennials use."

How can you not love this?!