2. Recent Notables

»Accessible Fieldwork – Success Stories! 

Miguel Gomez-Heras, Instituto de Geociencias (CSIC, UCM)

Alejandra Garcia-Frank, Universidad Complutense Madrid

Deafblindness is a single disability resulting in the combination of auditory and visual impairments, creating severe communication and other learning needs. Deafblindness is a particular case among physical disabilities because of the combined difficulties to access educational content and the learning difficulties associated with the complexity of acquiring language.

In 2015, a fieldtrip was conducted for a group combining people with and without deafblindness and no geological educational background. The experience was at the Geopark of the Basque coast in Zumaia, Northern Spain, facilitated by the IAGD-partnered association “Ciencia sin Barreras” (Science without Barriers). 

The learning outcomes of this fieldtrip focused on understanding the sedimentation process, the concepts of evolution and extinction, knowing the significance of geological time boundaries, comprehending the concepts of geological time and sedimentary succession, and recognizing the tactile aspect of strata and sedimentary structures.

This field trip was sponsored by the Geological Society through the Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust & Thomas Jefferson Field Research Fund, the Universidad Complutense project “Geodivulgar” (PIMCD-21-2015), and individual donations.

Professionally captioned YouTube videos provide an overview of the event in two languages (each video has audio and captioning in either Spanish or English). Please visit:

Spanish https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2uWUBsY3Ow 

English https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UofKRblfptY

See also: https://www.facebook.com/cienciasinbarreras

»Department Heads & Chairs Summit on the Future of Geoscience Undergraduate Education 8 – 10 January 2016 

Hosted at the University of Texas in Austin, U.S. 

The U.S. National Science Foundation-sponsored summit brought together ~100 geoscience academic leaders from R1 research universities with undergraduate programs, four-year private and state colleges (4YC), and 2-year community colleges (2YC) from across the country. Participants discussed the developing community vision for undergraduate geoscience education and developed strategies for implementing this vision in departments across the country. This summit was specifically designed for administrative leaders who have the ability to make and lead change. Materials generated during this 2016 event and the previous 2014 Summit are available at: http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/events/future-of-geoscience-undergraduate-education/summit-materials-powerpoints-and-webcast-archive/ .

Following the Day 2 afternoon presentations on Panel 4 (presentations regarding diversity), the summit facilitators allowed IAGD members to promote the IAGD website and allowed participant Wendi J. W. Williams (there as a 2YC contributor and an IAGD Executive Councilor) to speak to the group as a whole. Panelists Joshua Villalobos (El Paso Community College) and Diane Doser (UT-El Paso) were asked to comment about being members of IAGD and about working with students with disabilities. To view/hear the archived clip: http://tinyurl.com/Summit2016-Day2-4Panel-IAGD (In particular, between time markers 41.42 – 46.36 minutes).


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Disclaimer: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0939645. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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