William A. Prothero, Jr.

Geophysicist, Seismologist, Educator

My primary research field is seismology, tomography, and seismic instrumentation. Currently, however, I have been focussing on the application of technology to learning, especially large classes. This seems to me to be an extremely important issue, because technology is affecting all areas of education and it is important that models of the effective use of technology be created by practicing scientists. I am most interested in using technology to teach the "process" of science and scientific thinking to non-scientists, especially to the general education audience.

I have taught the large general education oceanography course (GS-4), earthquake seismology, Geological Data Analysis (GS-134), and a seminar in science education. I am currently retired and working on my educational software <http://learningwithdata.org/>

Recent Funded Project: "Collaborative Research: Moving Data Based Inquiry Learning to the Internet." Funded by NSF, Fall 2002, and completed Dec. 31, 2007. Its focus was continued development of the "EarthEd Online" technology to create an online oceanography course featuring a) the use of real earth data, b) scientific writing, c) collaboration, and d) application of the content to society.This technology is being incorporated into the new "Learning With Data" software.

For more information about my use of technology in a large general education class, click here.

Find out about my new "Learning With Data" software, click here.

Recent publications:

Prothero, W (chair), M. Giorso, M. Ramamurthy, R. Richardson, J. Stanesco, R. Sternbert, D. Stout, B. Tewksbury, 1997. “How Should We Teach Earth System Science?”,  in “Shaping the Future of Undergraduate Earth Science Education, Innovation and Change Using an Earth System Approach”, Report of Workshop convened by A.G.U. Nov. 14-17, 1996.

Prothero, W. A. 2000. Keeping our focus: a perspective on distance learning and the large introductory science class, Computers and Geosciences, Elsevier, Vol 26, No. 6, pp647-655.

Kelly, G. J., Chen, C., & Prothero, W. (2000). The epistemological framing of a discipline: Writing science in university oceanography. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37, 691-718.

Mayer, R., P. Mautone, and W. Prothero, 2002. Pictorial aids for learning by doing in a multimedia geology simulation game, Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 171-183.

Takao, A.Y., W. Prothero, G.J.Kelly, 2002. Applying argumentation analysis to assess the quality of university oceanography students’ scientific writing, Jour. Geoscience Education, v. 50, n. 1, p. 40-48.

Kelly, G.J., Bazerman, C., Skukauskaite, A., Prothero, W.  2002  Rhetorical features of student science writing in introductory university oceanography.  Proceedings of the Ontological, Epistemological, Linguistic and Pedagogical Considerations of Language and Science Literacy:  Empowering Research and Informing Instruction conference, Dunsmuir Lodge, University of Victoria, September 12-15, 2002.

Takao, A. Y., & Kelly, G. J. (2003). "Assessment of evidence in university students' scientific writing." Science & Education, vol. 12, (2003), 341-363.

Kelly, G. J., & Bazerman, C. (2003). How students argue scientific claims: A rhetorical-semantic analysis. Applied Linguistics, 24(1), (2003), 28-55.

Kelly, G. J., Regev, J., & Prothero, W. A. (2008). Analysis of Lines of Reasoning in Written Argumentation. In S. Erduran & M.P. Jimenez-Aleixandre (Eds.), Argumentation in science education: Recent developments and future directions, (pp. 137-157). New York: Springer.

Prothero, W.A. and Kelly, G.J. (2008). Earth Data, Earth Data, Science Writing, and Peer Review in a Large General  Education Oceanography Class, Jour. Geoscience Education, January, V56. No. 1.