earthguide • about us

Geosciences Research Division

What we do

Earthguide Main Page

Earthguide Online Classroom

Earthguide is dedicated to providing online materials for K-14 students, teachers, and the public that enhances lifelong learning and encourages positive action related to the management of the Earth, its living and natural resouces and society.

We do this by building online content for individual projects and our home website that holds that content. Earthguide and Earthguide Online Classroom are our two primary home websites. Earthguide serves visitors around the U.S. with some visitors from around the world. Earthguide Online Classroom includes materials of special regional relevance for students, teachers and parents living within the San Diego region and southern California. We also participate in teacher professional development programs and operate a student internship program for UCSD undergraduates.

Because of our unique position within the heart of the scientific community at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and partnerships that include scientists, regional educators, governmental agencies and local communities, we are uniquely positioned to incorporate special knowledge within these groups.

Who we are

Since inception in 2000, we have worked under the direction of Dr. Wolf Berger, Professor of Oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Development of the website and day-to-day management has been conducted by Memorie Yasuda, Earth science educator and web developer. Production has been conducted by a creative team of UCSD undergraduate students. Earthguide is part of the Geosciences Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and works to support the greater outreach community at Scripps.

Where we want to go

We wish Earthguide to play a role in improving science literacy for all Californians and people that surf the web.

We would like our online resource to be highly utilized and known for its convenience, educational value, quality of its content, durability and relevance to the forward-looking interests of the public.

Our priorities

  • Providing significant and basic earth science content for educational purposes via the web.
  • Developing web-based educational materials that support and enhance learning and teaching for K-14 students and their teachers.
  • Developing interactive web materials that are intuitive and easy-to-use in existing home and classroom settings.
  • Designing content that encourages academic development and engages a diverse audience.
  • Collaborating with complementary outreach organizations that seek to improve public literacy in the areas of general science, math, engineering and technology.
  • Selecting projects that allow UCSD undergraduates to produce them as part of their practical learning experience.
  • Seeking, utilizing and highlighting high-quality science content wherever it already exists and making it more readily available to students, teachers and parents.
  • Presenting content in a way that promotes dialog, provides hope for the future and highlights the value of natural systems and resources.
  • Supporting the web-based educational outreach needs of the research community at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD.

What we value

  • Greater public literacy and awareness of the value of Earth, marine and environmental science.
  • The availability of high-quality educational materials that supports the existence of an informed, capable and reflective citizenry, able to participate in solving natural resource and environmental challenges at home and around the globe.
  • Educational materials that support readiness to meet technical and workplace skills of the future.
  • Educational content that meets the practical needs of individual learners and educators.
  • Educational content that uses the power of the web to achieve more individualized learning, greater self-awareness of cognition and ethical choices.
  • Scientists as a source of knowledge, as the individuals who have succeeded in acquiring the capabiltiies we wish to promote, and as experts in anticipating and prioritizing significant environmental change.
  • Using emerging higher-order capabilities of the web to communicate geospatial and other information more intuitively to an audience.
  • Using web-based animations, visualizations, simulation, imagery and narrative to enhance rather than replace understanding of the real world and to develop abstract thinking skills.
  • Presenting science as a system of acquiring knowledge that simplifies by exposing patterns of order and unifies by identifying cause-and-effect relationships in complex systems - to counter the common notion that science consists of many unrelated facts.
  • Helping people to understand that scientific thinking is creative and that research has entrepeneurial components.
  • Helping people distinguish different degrees of certainty with respect to scientific knowledge.
  • Presenting science as an important tool for decision-making, planning and making the most our of limited resources.
  • Distinguishing science and technology to counter a common notion that they are synomymous.
  • Developing public awareness that well-managed natural and engineered Earth systems are essential to sustain and improve human well-being.

Our work

K-12 education

Through federally funded programs of priority, coordinated with outreach at Scripps, Earthguide develops online materials that meet both federal and California state guidelines for schools.

Current examples include:
  • Earthguide our evolving home website for the general public, with support from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Earthguide serves as a repository and central home for outreach products built for many projects over time.
  • Earthguide Online Classroom, our growing website for students, teachers and parents living within the San Diego region and southern California, with ongoing support from the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) - California, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through mid- 2012. The prototype for this project was produced in partnership with the San Diego Unified School District.
  • Mystery Detectives, in development. Project-based activities that span short to multi-week capstone and synthesis activities for hybrid classrooms that combine digital and hands-on components, in final year of support from the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) - California, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through early - 2012.
  • Designs of the Deep: The Fishes, a public educational website in production as part of the Digital Fish Library project at SIO and UCSD, funded by the National Science Foundation through early 2010.
  • Examples of animated explanation for Undersea Detectives, an educational website in production that serves broader impacts goals of a research project funded by NSF through early 2009.
  • Deep-Diving Elephant Seals, an educational website in production that serves broader impacts goals of a research project, funded by NSF through 2009.
Past examples include:


Undergraduate interships

Over 65 undergraduate student interns have contributed to the production and evolution of Earthguide. Today, 4-6 interns work on the Earthguide team. Interns create interactive materials that communicate and educate. Our projects benefit from the enthusiasm, creative input and viewpoints of our student interns.

Special benefits to our interns:
  • A paid opportunity to gain skills in areas related to future careers and build portfolio materials.
  • Project experience that includes defining a communication problem, creating a solution and executing its production.
  • An opportunity to test and develop interpersonal skills required for creative collaboration.
  • An opportunity to develop awareness of the multiple ways in which people bring value to our production team, and thus an awareness of what employers seek in job applicants.
  • Experience producing an object, such as a mathematically-driven animation, that requires input from more than one team member.
  • Development of self-awareness of one's own core competencies and confidence in being able to acquire new skills on an as-needed basis.
  • Development of an understanding that problem-solving is not "a problem" and that it is the focus of creative work.
  • Opportunities to participate in public events, presentations and field experiences when a match exists between individuals and opportunites.
  • Developing professional work habits.