June 2015

NESTA Messages

Thank You and Farewell!
by Roberta Johnson

I'd like to take this chance to thank NESTA Leadership and all NESTA members for the opportunity I've had to serve as NESTA Executive Director over the past nine years. The commitment of NESTA leaders and members to work together at the grass-roots level to improve Earth and space science education is remarkable and infectious - indeed, it was that commitment that drew me into this position in April 2006. With comparably little in the way of financial resources, NESTA members still dig deep and find a way to "make it happen" in ways that are really meaningful to teachers. I encourage you all to continue to work in this way, with a focus on the needs of K-12 Earth and space science teachers and their students, and in the interests of improved geoscience literacy for the public. NESTA has the largest membership of Earth and space science teachers across the country, and you need to build on this. I hope all of you become advocates for NESTA at the local, state, and national level, so NESTA can become even more effective at serving you. Please do get involved, and encourage your teacher colleagues to join our organization. There is strength in numbers!

If it is within your means, please consider joining NESTA at the Supporting or Sustaining levels, as I have, which provides critical additional support for our programs. I expect most NESTA members are not aware that the actual cost of NESTA programs over the past 9 years has been over $200 annually per member, while the basic membership fee has been much less than this. In order to keep offering the programs we do, we must then raise those funds from other sources. With external funding becoming increasingly scarce, and typically directed to organizations operating at the university level, it is vitally important that those that can consider the option of stepping up to become a supporter of NESTA.

Again, my very best wishes in the future. I want to send my particular "Thanks for the memories" to my colleagues and dear friends, David Mastie, Parker Pennington IV, Marlene DiMarco, Julia Genyuk, Michael Passow, Missy Holzer, and Rick Jones, who I've had the pleasure to work with closely within NESTA over this time, and for some, much longer than that! I will remain involved at NESTA as the Windows to the Universe Program Director, but will not be otherwise involved in NESTA leadership. I will also be engaged at the University of Illinois in the School of Earth, Society and the Environment, and of course in working to support the overall University of Illinois system. If you are a teacher that uses Windows to the Universe and would like to become involved as a volunteer to help advance that project, please do be in touch with me and I'll get back to you over email.

Have a lovely summer!


“What Does the Future Hold for NESTA?”
by Michael Passow

We hope you read Roberta Johnson’s “Thank You and Farewell” message above. Ever since people became aware that Roberta is moving on to her new challenges, I have been asked, “What does the Future hold for NESTA?” So let me try to give the “elevator speech” version.

First, NESTA will continue to publish our monthly E-News and quarterly The Earth Scientist, so you can learn about what’s happening and view examples of exemplary Earth science education. The NESTA website www.nestanet.org will continue to provide you with valuable resources. If you have ideas for contributions to the E-News, TES, or website, don’t hesitate to send them to us.

Second, NESTA will continue to provide workshops and other sessions at regional and national conferences. We will be at all three NSTA Area Conferences next fall, as well as at the NSTA Nashville Conference. NESTA leaders and members will continue their involvement at State and other events across the country to further our mission of supporting excellence in K-12 Earth Science Education.

Third, NESTA will continue to bring you the Windows to the Universe website. We will also carry on our relationships with our affiliated State Earth Science Teacher Associations. NESTA will partner for the GIFT (Geosciences Information For Teachers) Workshops at the annual AGU meeting in San Francisco. NESTA is also sponsoring a field trip and topical sessions at the GSA Baltimore conference.

Fourth, NESTA leaders will continue to advocate for strong Earth science programs across the country through interactions with leaders from the major geoscience professional societies, especially the AGI, AGU, AMS, GSA, and NAGT, among others. We are also submitting grant proposals to funding organizations to further our abilities to provide services and support.

So what will be different with Roberta’s departure? NESTA is instituting a new system to handle your membership renewals, merchandise sales, and other “back office” transactions that, we hope, will provide the same level of excellent service which Roberta and Marlene DiMarco (our unsung but very valuable Office Administrator) supplied for most of the past decade.

We are very close to a decision about our next Executive Director, and probably will make an announcement about this in next month’s E-News.

In short, we hope the answer to the questions in the title is, “Not very much.”

But part of the answer is in your hands—We continue to need your participation as a NESTA member. We ask you to renew as your term approaches its anniversary date, and to invite colleagues to join NESTA. We are a community of volunteers, and value highly what you can do for your colleagues.

We also ask you to consider showing your appreciate for all that Roberta has accomplished as NESTA’s Executive Director during the past 9 years by making a contribution to support NESTA’s FUTURE financial health. It could be as little as a token $9 contribution in honor of Roberta's nine years of service, or perhaps some multiple of 9 or other amount.

WE HAVE RECEIVED AN OFFER FROM AN ANONYMOUS DONOR TO PROVIDE A 1-TO-1 MATCH FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO NESTA, UP TO $3,000 EACH QUARTER FOR THE NEXT YEAR. If each NESTA member provides something, the total would go a very long way to placing NESTA on a sound footing so we can do even more to support our members.

You can send a check to PO Box 271654, Fort Collins, CO, or make an online donation.

Welcome to Cheryl Manning, the new NESTA President elect!
by Carla McAuliffe

Cheryl Manning is the new NESTA President elect. Cheryl has been teaching for 23 years and currently lives and works in Evergreen, Colorado.

She teaches 9th grade Honors Earth/Space Science and AP Environmental Science and 12th grade Honors Chemistry at Evergreen High School. Cheryl is a National Board Certified teacher who integrates hands-on inquiry science learning with technology and engineering. She has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Earth Science - Geology from Montana State University and earned her teaching certificate at the University of Utah. She has minors in Physics, Chemistry and Biology and has taught all of these at some point.

Cheryl loves field research and has worked as a field geologist and participated as a sedimentologist with the ARMADA Project in the Equatorial Pacific. Passionate about life-long and relevant learning, Cheryl integrates local field research projects in all of her teaching. For fun outside of teaching, she loves to travel on foot, skis, boat, planes, trains or cars, and, maybe someday, by rocket ship to space.

We welcome Cheryl as our new NESTA President elect!!

Want to Give Your Students ES Award Certificates?
by Michael Passow

Do you have students who really deserve special recognition for their Earth Science accomplishments this year? Of course you do! So consider presenting them with a NESTA Student Award Certificate.

NESTA offers current members a template to reward outstanding students. The Guidelines for Obtaining Certificates explain what you should consider.

When you are ready, e-mail your NESTA Regional Director and provide the required information listed on the website.

Be sure to do this well in advance of the required presentation date, and check the information carefully to avoid any discomfort. (If it's too late for this year, keep this in mind for next year.)

Just another way to get more from your NESTA membership.

Get More From Your NESTA Membership: Calendar News
by Michael Passow

Yes, I know that summer is just beginning and probably the last thing you want to think about is what will happen during the fall and winter!

Even so, you may want to have a place where you can go to find out what's coming in your State, Region, and Nationally. That's the purpose of the Members-Only NESTA Calendar which you can open in the upper-right side of the NESTA homepage. Some Upcoming Events can be viewed from the public page, but one of your Member Benefits is access to the full Calendar listings.

The NESTA Calendar was designed to be a place where members of our community can share news about events that would be interest to other members. So you may want to provide information that we can add to the Calendar. The best way to do this is to send it for uploading to Mike Passow, NESTA President.

Here's what should be included: Title, URL, Date(s) and Time(s), Event Type (e.g., conference, competition, field experience), and Description.

Please be aware that if there will be a fee for participating, by NESTA Board policy we may not be able to list it for free, but would accept it as an advertisement. Please communicate with me through the above e-mail address to answer questions about this.

Now that the NESTA and Windows to the Universe Newsletters are serving our combined subscribers, we certainly welcome contributions about events of interest to the Windows Community.

NESTA strives to be one of your Go-To Sources for information to help you strengthen your skills as an Earth Science Educator, so use the Calendar to get more out of your NESTA membership.

Classroom Resources

International Year of Soils - Soils Support Buildings/Infrastructure
by Missy Holzer

June - This month's theme is Soils Support Recreation. Like building sandcastles? Sand is a component of soil. Like playing soccer or baseball? Athletic fields, with natural grass surfaces, need healthy soils to support the grasses that support recreation. It takes just the right soil to make a great sports field. The site has to be level, water has to drain so there aren’t puddles, and the soil has to support a lush grass surface. Soil scientists are needed to ensure the quality of good sports fields. The people who manage golf courses, football fields, baseball fields, soccer fields, festival grounds and even tennis courts have to know a lot about soil.

Visit the Soil Science Society of America's International Year of Soils homepage (http://www.soils.org/IYS) for resources such as activities, videos, powerpoint presentations related to this theme and all of the themes from this past year.

Weather App from the Smithsonian
by Joe Monaco

The Smithsonian Science Education Center has joined with the National Weather Service and created an app that lets students see how air masses interact. Weather Lab is a tool to help students visualize how North America’s weather is formed. The lab is designed to model the complex interactions between air masses and ocean currents, but like all models it represents probable outcomes.

While viewing a map of North America, students select and ocean current and two air masses. They then make a prediction of the type of weather that could result from these conditions and compare them with the results forecast by a computer model.

This is a great way of reviewing air masses after students have learned about them in class. There are also some other science activities, mostly for the lower grades, on the site. Check out the Weather Lab!

Are You Using the New GLOBE Data Entry App?
by John Moore

The GLOBE Data Entry App is now available! If you have an existing GLOBE account, the Data Entry App allows you to enter protocol data directly from your iOS or Android device. The app also allows you to use your phone's camera to document your sites and measurements. Put science -- and adventures in learning -- in the palm of your hands!

For more information about the GLOBE Program can be found at The GLOBE Program. Not familiar with GLOBE? Find out how to become a GLOBE Certified Teacher by contacting John Moore, 2015 GLOBE Distinguished Educator Fellow.

Teacher and Student Opportunities

Subscribe to AGI Alerts
by Michael Passow

NESTA is a Member Society of the American Geoscience Institute (AGI), and participates in AGI activities pertaining to Earth science education. Many of you may want to receive information about critical Issues in the geosciences, news about the role of geoscience in federal policies, updates concerning Earth Science Week, and other important topics spearheaded by AGI.

If so, consider subscribing to the AGI Mailing List. You can select which of their alerts and other periodic e-mailings are of interest to you.

AGI wants to expand links with K -12 educators, and this is one effective way for you to build connections with one of Earth science education's stronger advocates.

28th Annual Satellites & Education Conference
by John Moore

SATELLITES AND EDUCATION CONFERENCE - July 23-25, 2015 California State University, Los Angeles, CA

Calling all teachers, full-time students, representatives from government and aerospace business, M.Y. S.P.A.C.E. research teams, anyone interested in learning about how any and every aspect of satellite technology helps us guide our students to a better understanding of our dynamic Earth.

For more than a quarter of a century, the Satellites & Education Conference has been the premier professional development event for educators who want to engage their students in effective, meaningful science, mathematics, engineering, and technology learning.

This is the first conference to purposefully connect educators with government and aerospace representatives in support of teachers in their classrooms.

A small, intimate conference bringing you up-to-date information, theory and practice as well as bountiful lesson ideas with resources and applications for all grade levels Pre-K through graduate studies and all subject areas.

Registration and more information can be found at the Conference website. Go to the Satellite Educator's Association to learn more about this organization and its educational opportunities and resources for teachers.

Non-NESTA Events

19th Annual GLOBE Partner Meeting
by John Moore

Event Date: 07/20/2015 - 07/24/2015
Event Time: 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program is an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment.

This year, the 19th Annual GLOBE Partner Meeting will be held in Los Angeles, from July 20 to 24th. The theme of this year's meeting is "Strengths of a GLOBE-al Community of Scientists." Registration and other information can be found at The GLOBE Partner Meeting website.

Deadline to register: July, 3 2015.

Earth Science Current Events

NGSS Summit Follow-Up Webinar
by Michael Passow

AGI and NAGT hosted a follow-up webinar to the Summit on Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (described in the May E-News.) The webinar provided the opportunity to reflect about what happened during the conference and develop strategies for what organizations and individuals can do in the coming months


You can view the archived version of this webinar to see what was presented. Of equal importance are the threads of comments captured in the chat boxes on the right.

NESTA will continue to be involved as one of the leaders in developing plans to support effective implementation of NGSS-based programs. If you would like to become involved in NESTA's efforts, please send an e-mail to Mike Passow, NESTA President.

State ESTA news

NYESTA Hosts 2nd Annual Field Conference
by Michael Passow

The New York State Earth Science Teachers Association (NYESTA) will host the 2nd annual summer field conference on July 8 - 10 at SUNY Stony Brook. NYESTA is one of NESTA's State Affiliates.

Much of the conference days will involve field experiences to study the glacial and coastal features of Long Island. Thursday morning will feature a trip to Caumsett Historic State Park on the North Shore, and Thursday afternoon's trip will explore Fire Island on the South Shore. Friday morning will investigate moraine and tidal flat features in Port Jefferson. There will also be opportunities for NYESTA-NESTA members to share examples of hands-on activities for your classroom.

Friday evening's Award Banquet provides the opportunity to recognize Don Duggan-Haas for his Distinguished Service to Earth Science Education and Gary Vorwald for the Distinguished Teacher Award.

For more information and to register: NYESTA Geologic Field Conference 2015.

Calendar of Events

NYESTA 2nd Annual Field Conference
07/08/2015 , Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

Earth Educators' Rendezvous
07/13/2015 , University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Combining Research and Education: Wyoming Water In The Classroom
07/13/2015 , Kelly Campus of Teton Science Schools, Kelly, WY

From time to time, NESTA provides information about programs, services and resources provided by third-party organizations or providers which we believe is relevant to our membership. We provide this information as a service to our members. Inclusion of this information in any of our publications as content, links, or ads does not constitute or imply our endorsement of the accuracy or quality of the program, services and resources provided by third parties. NESTA specifically exempts itself from any and all liability for third-party programs, services and resources included in our publications, or accessible from links or ads in our publications.

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