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University Geosciences Program Expands to Texas High Schools

A project whose aim is to promote diversity in the geosciences is expanding into Texas high schools.

The DIG Texas program has received federal funding to bring its activities to the high school level. DIG Texas is a statewide, multi-institutional effort — led by Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin — whose aim is to increase diversity in geosciences and to give teachers in Texas training and resources to teach geosciences more effectively.

Under the DIG Texas Blueprint project, DIG Texas scientists will work with a limited number of high school teachers to develop geosciences curricula that will eventually be shared statewide. These curricula are standards-based and will consist of five to six "online course road maps, or blueprints, for use in high school Earth and Space Science classes," according to information released this week by TAMU's news service.

In addition, one of the aims of the project is to "develop new directions in recruitment and retention, especially from under-represented groups such as those at the graduate level," said TAMU project lead Eric Riggs in a prepared statement. Riggs is assistant dean for diversity and graduate student recruitment and development and research associate professor in geosciences at TAMU. "The regional campuses often have a more diverse student body than the flagship campuses, but the main campuses often have more resources and research opportunities. By joining forces in the DIG Texas network, we maximize the benefit to students and faculty alike and improve educational opportunities."

The project was made possible through three grants from the National Science Foundation totaling about $432,000.

Aside from TAMU and UT Austin, DIG Texas hub member institutions include Lamar University, Department of Earth and Space Sciences; Stephen F. Austin State University, Department of Geology; Texas A&M International University, College of Arts and Sciences; Texas Tech University, Department of Geosciences; University of Texas at Arlington, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences; University of Texas at Brownsville, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences Department; University of Texas at El Paso, Department of Geological Sciences; Trinity University, Department of Geosciences; and University of Houston, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science.

Additional details can be found on the DIG Texas Blueprints site.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at He can now be followed on Twitter at (K-12) or (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at

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