Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

USING A GEOSCIENCE BLOG TO PROVIDE RESEARCH-BASED, CONTEXTUAL, AND CULTURALLY-RELEVANT GEOSCIENCE INFORMATION TO A SPANISH-SPEAKING AUDIENCE

Department

Geology Department

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

Formal geoscience education in Puerto Rico has traditionally relied upon the use of textbook and curricular materials translated from the English language and focused on geoenvironmental and cultural contexts foreign to the Caribbean. Informal geoscience education for the Spanish-speaking general public is also mostly translated from English and scarcely found in traditional (e.g. newspapers) and newer media outlets (e.g. news websites and opinion or journalistic-style blogs). The lack of culturally-relevant and contextual geoscience information available to the public led us to develop a geoscience dissemination blog aimed to provide reliable, research-based, geoscience information to a Spanish-speaking audience. This blog, called Ciencias Terrestres, Geología y Puerto Rico (CTGP; http://geolpr.wordpress.com/), is not based on the authors opinions or the publication of science news posted elsewhere. The articles in CTGP are: an original contribution of the authors, written in Spanish, focused on an audience that understands concepts at the middle school introductory college level, supported by primary and secondary science literature, and pertinent to the circum-Caribbean region. The blog is disseminated through social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and online science communities (e.g. CienciaPR) and news outlets. The blog is also listed in several educational websites, and in Puerto Rican and international blog directories. Blog statistics show that more than 35,000 people, from over 65 countries, have accessed articles in 19 months. The most popular topics are ocean currents, geohazards, and the nature of geoscience. A recent audience survey show that readers are interested in enhancing their general understanding of geoscience concepts, searching for information to work on secondary school projects, and learning about the geology of their country. These results suggest that the blogs audience finds meaning in accessing the site. Results also encourage us to further our contributions, develop partnerships with future collaborators that may diversify the perspectives and articles published, and develop new assessments to understand and serve our audience. Our paper explains the CTGP model and discusses the challenges and future directions of geoscience blogging.

Conference Name

Geological Society of America - Southeastern Section

Conference Location

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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