CReSIS attends national and international conferences


By Bill Daehler
Spring 2013

CReSIS often sends its researchers to national and international conferences to contribute and learn about the latest developments in science, engineering and education, among others.

In May alone, CReSIS sent scientists and scholars to three conferences in the U.S. and Europe. These events are essential to trading knowledge and allowing students and faculty to develop their skills. As CReSIS prepares to host a major IGS Symposium on radioglaciology this fall, here’s what our education and remote sensing researchers have been up to in the meantime.

AERA Conference

CReSIS education researchers recently found evidence that could help teachers produce better results for students in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines.

In early May, CReSIS GRA’s Xiushan Jiang and Brandon Gillette presented research on K-12 STEM learning at a major education conference in San Francisco. The American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting, held from April 27 to May 3, was themed for research into Education and Poverty: Theory, Research, Policy and Praxis and featured numerous research papers and poster presentations.

The CReSIS teams’ presentation, entitled How Effective is Problem-Based Learning in K-12 STEM Education Compared to Lecture-Based Learning? A meta-analysis, was co-authored with Cheri Hamilton, CReSIS K-12 Education Outreach Coordinator, and Fei Zhao, a graduate student in the KU School of Education. The authors found problem-based learning to be more effective in producing higher achievement, skills and more favorable attitudes compared to peers in lecture-based learning.

Learn more about this research in the poster Jiang and Gillette presented below.

Researh poster by Jiang and Gillette

Photo 1: A poster presented by CReSIS students at a major education conference in San Francisco.

NSTA STEM Conference

Brandon Gillette and Cheri Hamilton attended the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) STEM Conference in St. Louis from May 16 to 18.

Gillette, a CReSIS GRA, presented Using Online Scientific Data to more than a dozen attendees.

“One of the projects I've been working on in my time here is how to integrate raw data into math and science classrooms,” said Gillette. “This particular presentation was focused on climate data that is freely available online and to show teachers how they can use this data in the classroom through inquiry-based lessons.”

Another activity Gillette presented concerned Web WIMP, a water budget modeling program.

Hamilton presented Making Science Elementary. The presentation discussed how to “weave science into all subject areas through questioning … by asking students good questions,” said Hamilton. “It’s about making them comfortable when answering questions.”

The NSTA conference was the first held after new curriculum, the Next Generation Science Standards, was released by the NSTA—for the first time, the curriculum includes lessons on climate science.

“Six years ago I couldn’t mention climate change when visiting classrooms,” said Hamilton. “Now I’ll be able to discuss it in classes.”

Hamilton said she expects to receive a lot more requests for classroom visits by the CReSIS Education Team this school year. Additionally, Hamilton said that in light of the new science standards she will be revising the team’s lesson plan—Ice, Ice, Baby!—to provide better learning opportunities for students.

Radio Echo Sounding Layer Tracing Workshop

CReSIS researchers presented at a workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark in May that focused on radio echo sounding layer tracing.

Dr. Prasad Gogineni, Director of CReSIS, and Assistant Research Professor Dr. John Paden gave presentations at the conference along with several other CReSIS staff and students. CReSIS GRA Jerome Mitchell delivered two presentations: Automatically Estimating Near Surface Layers from Polar Radar Imagery and Visions - Mapping Greenland's radiostratigraphy efficiently: prediction, flattening and quality control. Christian Panton—who recently returned to the University of Copenhagen from CReSIS’ headquarters in Lawrence, Kansas, USA where he worked on his dissertation—presented a session on RES tracing.

Jerome Mitchell

Photo 2: Jerome Mitchell, CReSIS GRA and Ph.D. student at Indiana University.

“My presentation,” said Mitchell, “focused on developing computer vision approaches for detecting bedrock and near surface layers from radar imagery.”

Dr. Carl Leuschen, Dr. Rick Hale, Dr. David Braaten and Dr. Stephen Yan also attended the meeting in Copenhagen.