Preparing Students to Address Societally Relevant Challenges in the Geosciences: The InTeGrate Approach

  • David C. GosselinEmail author
  • Cathryn A. Manduca
  • Timothy Bralower
  • Anne E. Egger
Part of the AESS Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and Sciences Series book series (AESS)


Society faces many challenges related to its long-term sustainability and resilience of the life-support system upon which Earth depends. Developing solutions to these grand challenges requires an interdisciplinary approach that demands scientific investigation of the interactions of the geological, biological, chemical, and physical environments, in combination with exploration of the human dimensions and societal institutions whose values underlie our currently unsustainable ways of living. Although geoscience literacy—the perspectives and methods of the Earth, ocean, and atmospheric sciences—is key to addressing these challenges, current educational pathways in the United States limit students’ exposure to the geosciences. To increase access to interdisciplinary opportunities and improve geoscience literacy, we developed the Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future (InTeGrate) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Talent Expansion Program (STEP) Center. InTeGrate engaged undergraduate educators in the development of interdisciplinary materials, programs, and strategies to teach geoscience in the context of societal issues. The project has reached over 100,000 students at more than 900 institutions across all 50 states and overseas. Here, we provide an overview of the InTeGrate project, its design elements, and the shared values that underpinned development of materials and model programs.


Interdisciplinary teaching Geoscience Sustainability Societal issues Education 



This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) collaboration between the Directorates for Education and Human Resources (EHR) and Geosciences (GEO) under grant DUE-1125331.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David C. Gosselin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cathryn A. Manduca
    • 2
  • Timothy Bralower
    • 3
  • Anne E. Egger
    • 4
  1. 1.Environmental Studies and School of Natural ResourcesUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Science Education Resource Center, Carleton CollegeNorthfieldUSA
  3. 3.Department of GeosciencesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  4. 4.Geological Sciences and Science EducationCentral Washington UniversityEllensburgUSA

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