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Geoscience and geoscientists; uniquely equipped to study Earth

Cathryn A. Manduca and Kim A. Kastens
Geoscience and geoscientists; uniquely equipped to study Earth (in Earth and mind II; a synthesis of research on thinking and learning in the geosciences, Kim A. Kastens (editor) and Cathryn A. Manduca (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2012) 486: 1-12


Geoscience is the study of Earth history and processes, a study so broad that individual geoscientists may have little knowledge or skill in common. This essay asserts that there is, nonetheless, a common set of perspectives, approaches, and values that characterizes the discipline. Geoscientists are united by a common commitment to testing hypotheses against observations of the natural system using multiple converging lines of evidence. Geoscientists test hypotheses by comparing modern processes to those found in the rock record; comparing related examples to understand commonalities and differences attributable to process, history, and context; finding multiple converging lines of evidence; and comparing observations to theory-based prediction. They share the perspective that observation and a spatial and temporal organizational scheme are fundamental to understanding Earth systems and processes. Their interpretations are grounded in a common understanding that Earth represents a long-lived, dynamic, complex system for which a 4.6-billion-year history has been shaped by processes operating at different rates. These methods and approaches have evolved over time because they are particularly well adapted to studying Earth. A geoscientist brings this approach to any collaboration, as well as deep knowledge and skill for studying a particular aspect of Earth, and a set of cultural values that support collaborative problem solving. Developing such individuals is the central goal of geoscience majors and graduate programs.

ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 486
Title: Geoscience and geoscientists; uniquely equipped to study Earth
Title: Earth and mind II; a synthesis of research on thinking and learning in the geosciences
Author(s): Manduca, Cathryn A.Kastens, Kim A.
Author(s): Kastens, Kim A.editor
Author(s): Manduca, Cathryn A.editor
Affiliation: Carleton College, Science Education Resource Center, Northfield, MN, United States
Affiliation: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, United States
Pages: 1-12
Published: 2012
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 71
Accession Number: 2012-069388
Categories: Miscellaneous
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Secondary Affiliation: Carleton College, USA, United StatesLamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201236
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