RMAG Foundation – Award for Excellence in Teaching Earth Sciences 2009

Title: RMAG Foundation – Award for Excellence in Teaching Earth Sciences 2009

Publication: The Outcrop, October 2009, p. 22

This is the ninth year that the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists Foundation has honored a teacher that actively promotes excellence in teaching of earth science with its “Teacher of the Year Award.” The recipient receives a plaque and a cash award, provided by the RMAG Foundation, and it is the generous donations and supporters of the Foundation that make this all possible. A subcommittee of the K-12 Education and Public Outreach Committee solicits and judges applications submitted by teachers from throughout the Front Range area. A9R1iiyffa_6kue6c_8rc

The 2009 recipient of our Excellence in Teaching Award is Ms. Anne Burnette. Anne holds a B.S. degree in geology and B.A. degree in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College, and earned the M.S. degree in Journalism with emphasis in science communication and writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has been a teacher for 8 years and for the last four years has been a high school science teacher at the Rocky Mountain School for Expeditionary Learning in Denver.

Her colleagues attest that she brings impressive content to her classes at a very challenging level, and engages her students in the scientific process of discovery with authentic and appealing activities. In the school’s science curriculum, earth science is taught in the fall trimester to junior and senior level students. Her curriculum begins with an introduction to the scientific method and how it is used in earth science. This is followed by introductions on minerals and rocks, structural geology, and the principles of plate tectonics and its relationship to the formation and distribution of mineral deposits. She also focuses on the biogeochemical cycles in nature and the importance of the extractive industries on humankind, including the concepts of renewable and non-renewable resources. She actively promotes field excursions and has taken her students to the field with trips to the Edgar Mine (the CSM experimental mine in Idaho Springs) and to the Climax Mine in Leadville.

Anne Burnett is an exceptional teacher and an outstanding example of those dedicated educators who make a significant and positive impact on our children. We owe our gratitude to people like Anne for developing young minds and planting the seed of interest and appreciation of geology. She represents the best of those who teach earth science and is a very deserving educator worthy to be presented the RMAG’s 2009 Teacher of the Year Award.