• 1495 Citations
  • 21 h-Index
1980 …2021
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Personal profile

Research interests

Steven Semken is an ethnogeologist and geoscience education researcher who explores the ways that place, culture, and affect influence modes of inquiry, teaching, and learning in the Earth system sciences. He has studied and worked extensively in Native American and Hispanic/Latino communities across the Southwest United States, and was a faculty member at the tribal college of the Navajo Nation for 15 years before joining Arizona State University. He works trans-disciplinarily with colleagues in Anthropology, Geography, Science Education, and Sustainability. His current research activity encompasses sense of place in place-based science education for environmental and cultural sustainability; Native American ethnogeology and culturally informed geoscience teaching; geoscience interpretation in Southwestern National Parks; geoscience learning in virtual field settings; improving diversity in the geoscience community; and regional and environmental geology of the desert Southwest.

Supervision Expertise

2014Effects of fault segmentation, mechanical interaction, and structural complexity on earthquake-generated deformation by David Haddad. Comments: Ph.D. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2013The Blue Mound Chert: Interpreting a topographic anomaly in southern Wisconsin by Calley Galarowicz. Comments: Honors B.S. Barrett, the Honors College, and School of Earth and Space Exploration
2013Determining persistence of community college students in introductory geology classes by Katrien van der Hoeven Kraft. Comments: Ph.D. Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
2013Evaluation of online teacher and student materials for the NRC Science Framework crosscutting science and engineering concepts by Patrick Schwab. Comments: Ph.D. Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
2012Structural evolution of the McDowell Mountains, Maricopa County, Arizona by Brad Vance. Comments: M.S. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2012Assessing the effects of climate change in a semi-arid basin utilizing a fully distributed hydrologic model: A case study of Beaver Creek, Arizona by Gretchen Hawkins. Comments: M.S. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2012Exploring evidence for Quaternary north-south directed extension at the southern margin of the Tibetan Plateau by Jeni McDermott. Comments: Ph.D. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2012Speaking place, saving place: Western Apache cultural diversity and public discourse by Deborah Williams. Comments: Ph.D. School of Human Evolution and Social Change
2011Students’ understanding of weathering and erosion by Ashley Tillman. Comments: M.A. Mary Lou Fulton Teacher's College
2011Integrating LiDAR topography into the study of earthquakes and faulting by Sarah Robinson. Comments: M.S. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2011Eye-tracking investigations exploring how students learn geology from photographs; and The structural setting of hydrothermal gold deposits in the San Antonio area, B.C.S., MX by Joshua Coyan. Comments: Ph.D. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2011Late Quaternary normal faulting and hanging wall basin evolution of the southwestern rift-margin from gravity and geology, B.C.S., MX; and Exploring the influence of textfigure format on introductory geology learning by Melanie Busch. Comments: Ph.D. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2011Exploring the history of India-Eurasia collision and subsequent deformation in the Indus Basin, NW Indian Himalaya by Alka Tripathy. Comments: Ph.D. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2011A study on how the public uses the landscape to understand principles of geologic time while experiencing the Trail of Time intepretative exhibition in Grand Canyon National Park by Rebecca Mathews Frus. Comments: M.S. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2010Changes in inquiry practices for beginning chemistry teachers by Gerardo Lopez. Comments: M.S. Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education
2010Major-ion and trace-element cycling in an arid, spring-fed stream by Tracy Lund. Comments: M.S. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2010A characterization of the knowledge and practices of beginning secondary physics teachers, Vidision of Cirriculum and Instruction by Jennifer Neakrase. Comments: Ph.D. Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education
2010Exploring the beliefs of persisting secondary science teachers in general induction programs: A longitudinal study by Sissy Sze-Mun Wong. Comments: Ph.D. Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education
2010Informal high-school astronomy resources for Arizona by Brian Gleim. Comments: M.N.S. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2009Family outdoor experiences and student’s selection of an introductory science course by Kara Gasperone. Comments: Honors B.A. Barrett, the Honors College, and School of Social and Family Dynamics
2009Diabase alteration and relation to low-temperature mineral deposits, Salt River Canyon area, Arizona by Kevin Goldman. Comments: M.S. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2009Microbialites in Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico by Valeria Routt. Comments: M.S. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2009Secondary science teachers’ views toward and classroom translation of sustained professional development by Elizabeth Lewis. Comments: Ph.D. Division of Curriculum and Instruction, Mary Lou Fulton College of Education
2009Terrestrial fieldwork and laboratory thermal infrared spectroscopy of basaltic impactites from the Earth and Mars by Shawn Wright. Comments: Ph.D. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2008Paleoecology of Early Jurassic Navajo Sandstone interdune deposits by Nathan Wilkens. Comments: Ph.D. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2008The interaction of assessment format and sex in assessing the knowledge structure coherence of middle school students’ understanding of the concept of force by Sharon Schleigh. Comments: Ed.D. Division of Curriculum and Instruction, Mary Lou Fulton College of Education
2008Hydropolitics: Examining the role of science in Arizona’s Groundwater Management Act of 1980 by Megan O'Shea. Comments: M.S. School of Earth and Space Exploration and Center for Science, Policy, and Outcomes
2008Place attachment in geology students and the general public by Tracy Perkins. Comments: M.S. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2008Mafic phreatomagmatic volcanism and density current dynamics by Brittany Brand. Comments: Ph.D. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2007Visitor preconceptions and meaning-making at Petrified Forest National Park by Nievita Bueno Watts. Comments: M.S. School of Earth and Space Exploration
2006The origin and modification of the Medusae Fossae Formation (MFF), Mars by Rebecca Escobar Dial. Comments: M.S. Department of Geological Sciences
2006Student visual-spatial abilities in map use by Sian Proctor. Comments: Ph.D. Division of Curriculum and Instruction, Mary Lou Fulton College of Education
2005Structural geology and stratigraphy of Paleozoic rocks of the Big Maria syncline, southeastern California by Anthony Salem. Comments: M.S. Department of Geological Sciences
2005Subsurface geology of a groundwater remediation site, eastern Phoenix basin, Arizona by Joshua Coyan. Comments: M.S. Department of Geological Sciences
2005Psychological, moral, and intellectual dimensions of pre-service teachers’ attitudes toward teaching evolution by Deirdre Hahn. Comments: Ph.D. Division of Psychology in Education, Mary Lou Fulton College of Education
2004End-Permian karst stratigraphy and geochemistry at the Kaibab- Moenkopi contact and its relationship to the Permian-Triassic boundary for northern Arizona by Kathleen McFadden. Comments: M.S. Department of Geological Sciences
2004A model 400-level Field Hydrogeology course by Leslie A. Field. Comments: M.N.S. Department of Geological Sciences
1997Hydrogeologic characterization of the floodplain that lies below the Uranium-Mill Tailings Remedial Action Site at Shiprock, New Mexico by Bernadette Tsosie. Comments: M.S. Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
1994Groundwater modeling at the Shiprock Uranium-Mill Tailings Remedial Action Site by Edward Henry. Comments: M.S. Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico
Transient response to baselevel fall or lithologic control on river incision and landscape morphology, and Comparing the transfer of knowledge from field lessons on the Mogollon Rim to erosion of Grand Canyon by Andrew Darling. Comments: Ph.D. 2015 candidate School of Earth and Space Exploration
Structural evolution and ore mineralization of the Cacachilas Mountains, La Ventana, Baja California Sur by Samuel Wachtor. Comments: M.S. 2014 candidate School of Earth and Space Exploration
Seismological and geological studies in the Mojave Neovolcanic Province and San Francisco Volcanic Field by Chelsea Allison. Comments: Ph.D. 2014 candidate School of Earth and Space Exploration
Ethnogeology of the Taino people of the Caribbean and Isotope geochemistry of Yellowstone hot springs by Angel Garcia. Comments: Ph.D. 2017 candidate School of Earth and Space Exploration
Comparison of virtual and physical field trips in geoscience education by Geoffrey Bruce. Comments: Ph.D. 2015 School of Earth and Space Exploration
Ethnogeology and ethnohydrology of the Uitoto people of Colombia and Geochemistry of antibacterial clays by Sandra Londoño. Comments: Ph.D. 2015 candidate School of Earth and Space Exploration
Mercury isotope geochemistry and Biogeochemical concept inventory studies by Chris Mead. Comments: Ph.D. 2014 candidate School of Earth and Space Exploration
Technologies and critical incidents related to recruitment and retention of disabled individuals in STEM by Heather A. Pacheco. Comments: Graduate student, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Education/Academic qualification

PHD, Ceramics/Material Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

… → 1989

MS, Geochemistry, University of California-Los Angeles

… → 1984

SB, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

… → 1980

External positions

Senior Sustainability Scientist, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University

Jan 1 2013 → …

Senior Sustainability Scientist, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University

2013 → …

Deputy Director for Education and Outreach, NSF EarthScope Project National Office

Jan 1 2011 → …

Associate Director for Undergraduate Education, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University

Jan 1 2011Jan 1 2013

Deputy Director for Education and Outreach, NSF EarthScope Project National Office

2011 → …

Associate Director for Undergraduate Education, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University

20112013

Associate Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University

Jan 1 2009 → …

Associate Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University

2009 → …

Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University

Jan 1 2003Jan 1 2009

Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University

20032009

Adjunct Professor of Earth Sciences, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Jan 1 2002Jan 1 2003

Adjunct Professor of Earth Sciences, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

20022003

Chair of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Diné College, Navajo Nation

Jan 1 2000Jan 1 2003

Chair of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Diné College, Navajo Nation

20002003

Visiting Associate Professor of Geochemistry, United States Air Force Academy

Jan 1 1998 → …

Visiting Associate Professor of Geochemistry, United States Air Force Academy

1998 → …

Associate Director, WERC, A Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology

Jan 1 1991Jan 1 2003

Associate Director, WERC, A Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology

19912003

Geology and Chemistry Instructor, Diné College, Navajo Nation

Jan 1 1988Jan 1 2003

Geology and Chemistry Instructor, Diné College, Navajo Nation

19882003

IBM Graduate Fellow in Materials Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jan 1 1986Jan 1 1989

IBM Graduate Fellow in Materials Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

19861989

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jan 1 1983Jan 1 1986

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

19831986

Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of California at Los Angeles

Jan 1 1980Jan 1 1983

Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of California at Los Angeles

19801983

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the experts' scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 5 Similar Profiles
teaching Earth & Environmental Sciences
education Earth & Environmental Sciences
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Teaching Social Sciences
science Social Sciences
sense of place Earth & Environmental Sciences
Earth science Earth & Environmental Sciences
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Research Output 1980 2018

Habitable Worlds: Delivering on the Promises of Online Education

Horodyskyj, L. B., Mead, C., Belinson, Z., Buxner, S., Semken, S. & Anbar, A. D., Jan 1 2018, In : Astrobiology. 18, 1, p. 86-99 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Exobiology
online courses
Project SETI
exobiology
Problem-Based Learning
2 Citations

Place-based education in geoscience: Theory, research, practice, and assessment

Semken, S., Ward, E. G., Moosavi, S. & Chinn, P. W. U., Nov 1 2017, In : Journal of Geoscience Education. 65, 4, p. 542-562 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

research practice
education
teaching
Teaching
curriculum

Students in fully online programs report more positive attitudes toward science than students in traditional, in-person programs

Perera, V., Mead, C., Buxner, S., Lopatto, D., Horodyskyj, L., Semken, S. & Anbar, A. D., Dec 1 2017, In : CBE Life Sciences Education. 16, 4, ar60

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Students
human being
science
student
Exobiology
2 Citations

Ethnogeology in Amazonia: Surface-water systems in the Colombian Amazon, from perspectives of Uitoto traditional knowledge and mainstream hydrology

Londono, S. C., Garzon, C., Brandt, E., Semken, S. & Makuritofe, V., 2016, Geoscience for the Public Good and Global Development: Toward a Sustainable Future. Geological Society of America, Vol. 520, p. 221-232 12 p. (Special Paper of the Geological Society of America; vol. 520)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

traditional knowledge
hydrology
water resource
surface water
Earth science

Teaching geoscience in the context of culture and place

Apple, J., Lemus, J. & Semken, S., 2014, In : Journal of Geoscience Education. 62, p. 1-4

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Activities 1993 2014

  • 73 Types of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organization

Arizona Geology Articulation Task Force

Semken, S. (Other)
2014

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organization

Journal of Geoscience Education

Semken, S. (Other)
2014

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organization

Geological Society of America Cordilleran and Rocky Mountain Sections Joint Meeting

Semken, S. (Other)
May 2014

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organization

NAGT/NSF On The Cutting Edge

Semken, S. (Other)
Feb 2012

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organization

Geological Society of America Annual Meeting

Semken, S. (Other)
Nov 2012

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Membership of external research organization

Prizes

Burlington Resources Foundation Teaching Award

Steven Semken (Recipient), 1992

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Burlington Resources Foundation Teaching Award

Steven Semken (Recipient), 1991

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Instruction

Steven Semken (Recipient), 1990

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Instruction

Steven Semken (Recipient), 1995

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Distinguished Speaker

Steven Semken (Recipient), 2000

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Projects 2003 2021