Paleonet: AGU Session: Scientific Collections and Informal Science Learning

Chang, Lucy M. ChangLM at
Thu Jul 12 21:21:57 UTC 2018

Dear colleagues,

We invite you to submit an abstract for the following session at the American Geophysical Union's annual meeting being held December 10-14, 2018 in Washington, DC.

ED048. Scientific Collections as an Essential Gateway to Informal Science Learning

Co-conveners: Benjamin Andrews (Smithsonian NMNH), Laura Soul (Smithsonian NMNH), Lucy Chang (Smithsonian NMNH), and Anna K. Behrensmeyer (Smithsonian NMNH)

Museum and university collections house millions of objects that can be used to engage the public in positive science experiences. With these collections as catalysts for hands-on experiences, visitors can explore plate tectonics or dinosaurs, families can attend an outreach event and learn about rocketry or geohazards, or individuals may be inspired to volunteer as citizen scientists. Such informal education experiences are often the primary avenue through which non-students are exposed to scientific evidence and ways of thinking, and often are their only opportunity to interact directly with scientists. Importantly, collections allow the public to connect with real objects and see first-hand “how we know.” This session will bring together scientists and educators to share strategies for collections-based informal geoscience education. We welcome presentations that focus on best practices or case studies from a variety of settings representing both short term events such as annual outreach days to long-term programs such as interactive exhibits or museum discovery centers.

Note: This is an Education session.  Thus, you may submit an abstract to this and an additional session.

The deadline to submit abstracts is Wednesday, 1 August 23:59 EDT.


Lucy Chang


Lucy M. Chang

Peter Buck Deep Time Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Paleobiology, MRC-121

National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian Institution

Washington, DC 20013-7012

Email: changlm at

Phone: 202-633-1306
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