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ERIC Number: EJ1164619
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
The [Geo]Scientific Method; Hypothesis Testing and Geoscience Proposal Writing for Students
Markley, Michelle J.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v58 n4 p198-202 Sep 2010
Most undergraduate-level geoscience texts offer a paltry introduction to the nuanced approach to hypothesis testing that geoscientists use when conducting research and writing proposals. Fortunately, there are a handful of excellent papers that are accessible to geoscience undergraduates. Two historical papers by the eminent American geologists G. K. Gilbert and T. C. Chamberlin (Gilbert, 1886; Chamberlin, 1897) were the first to fully articulate and explore the method of multiple working hypotheses. Both papers still make for inspirational reading. A long essay on the scientific method by Johnson (1933) presents both a recipe for rigorous scientific thinking and a traditional but detailed articulation of linear hypothesis testing using geologic examples. More recently, papers by Frodeman (1995) about the fundamentally non-linear nature of interpretation and reasoning in the geosciences and Cleland (2001) about a "smoking gun" approach to validating hypotheses are helpful articulations of the geoscientific method, i.e. a shared understanding of how geoscientists articulate, frame, and tackle research questions.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A