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Press Release:


FAU Partners With Earth System Science Education Alliance Project

BOCA RATON, FL (July 6, 2007) – The Department of Geosciences in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at Florida Atlantic University has been selected as a partner institution in the Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA), an innovative professional development program for pre-service and in-service middle and high school teachers. As part of this program, FAU will join other colleges, universities and science research and education organizations spread among 22 states and the District of Columbia.

“We are excited about the opportunity to contribute to earth science and environmental education in South Florida,” said Dr. Russell Ivy, chair of the Department of Geosciences at FAU.   “Dr. Tara Root, Dr. Tobin Hindle and leaders from the Center for Environmental Education at FAU will develop online teaching modules in the earth sciences that will be delivered in courses provided by FAU.”

As an ESSEA partner, FAU will receive funding and training to offer a series of online Earth system science courses geared toward teachers of specific grade levels and aligned to national education standards. Working in collaborative groups, teachers who enroll in ESSEA courses at FAU can earn credits while learning to teach Earth system science using inquiry-based classroom methods.

“I believe the cohort of partners we have selected are an excellent mix that will bring varied and innovative approaches to implementing the ESSEA courses,” said Theresa Schwerin, IGES’s associate director of education.

ESSEA is funded through a cooperative agreement awarded to IGES by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under its Geoscience Teacher Training (GEO-Teach) program, which supports projects designed to improve the quality of geoscience education, primarily at the middle and high school levels. GEO-Teach projects provide pre-service teacher training, in-service professional development and access to high-quality curricular materials.

“I’m thrilled with the selections that were made,” said Jill Karsten, program director for diversity and education in NSF’s Geosciences Directorate. “It is a diverse set, both geographically and institutionally, and I am excited about the impact ESSEA will be having.”

Located in Arlington, Va., IGES was established in 1994 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization supported by public and private entities. IGES is a trusted leader in Earth and space science education, communication and outreach, and in fostering national and international cooperation in observing the Earth.

For more information on this project, visit: or contact Dr. Tobin Hindle at


Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts nine colleges:  the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Barry Kaye College of Business and the Colleges of  Education, Engineering & Computer Science, and Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs.

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