- Senior Global Futures Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
- Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Steven (Steve) Semken is an ethnogeologist and geoscience education researcher whose work focuses on place-based and intercultural geoscience education, to foster a more inclusive and diverse geoscience and greater public Earth-science literacy. He joined ASU in 2003 following fifteen years teaching at the Diné (Navajo) Nation tribal college. Steve and his students work in geologically and culturally diverse places of Southwestern North America and Latin America, often with Indigenous and Latine/Chicane collaborators.
Steve teaches ASU courses in regional geology and sustainability of the Southwest, in field geology, in Earth history, and in science education. He regularly offers talks and field trips for public outreach in National and State Parks and other public lands in Arizona and the Southwest. Steve also teaches Southwest geology to the community through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at ASU.
Steve is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and a Past-President and former Distinguished Speaker of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Steve has been recognized with the highest awards for undergraduate science teaching at three different institutions where he has taught: Arizona State University, Diné College, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Certificate in Diné (Navajo) Educational Philosophy, Diné College, 1991
- PhD, Ceramics/Materials Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1989
- MS, Geochemistry, University of California-Los Angeles, 1984
- SB, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1980
- geological processes
- educational development
- educational practice
- geoscience education
- environmental history
- indigeneity, the arts and sciences
- learner-based teaching
- place-based education
- Quality Education
- Life on Land
- Climate Action
Geraghty Ward, E. M., S. Semken and J. C. Libarkin. 2014. The design of place-based, culturally informated geoscience assessment. Journal of Geoscience Education 62(1):86-103. DOI: 10.5408/12-414.1. (link )
Allison, C., R. C. Porter, M. Fouch and S. Semken. 2013. Seismic evidence for lithospheric modification beneath the Mojave Neovolcanic Province, southern California. Geophysical Research Letters 40(19):5119-5124. DOI: 10.1002/grl.50993. (link )
Bohon, W., S. Robinson, J. R. Arrowsmith and S. Semken. 2013. Building an effective social media strategy for science programs. Eos Transactions 94(27):237-238. DOI: 10.1002/2013EO270001. (link )
Bueno Watts, N., D. R. Baker and S. Semken. 2013. The impact of writing intensive professional development on high school teachers science content knowledge of energy in systems. Global Journal of Human Social Science Research 13(3-G):45-58. (link )
Luft, J., S. S. Wong and S. Semken. 2011. Rethinking recruitment: The comprehensive and strategic recruitment of secondary science teachers. Journal of Science Teacher Education 22:Art. 459. DOI: 10.1007/s10972-011-9243-2. (link )
van der Hoeven Kraft, K. J., L. Srogi, J. Husman, S. Semken and M. Fuhrman. 2011. Engaging students to learn through the affective domain: A new framework for teaching in the geosciences. Journal of Geoscience Education 49(2):71-84. DOI: 10.5408/1.3543934a. (link )
Brand, B. D., A. B. Clarke and S. Semken. 2009. Eruptive conditions and depositional processes of Narbona Pass Maar volcano, Navajo volcanic field, Navajo Nation, New Mexico (USA). Bulletin of Volcanology 71:Art. 49. DOI: 10.1007/s00445-008-0209-y. (link )
Semken, S., C. Butler Freeman, N. Bueno Watts, J. J. Neakrase, R. Escobar Dial and D. Baker. 2009. Factors that influence sense of place as a learning outcome and assessment measure of place-based geoscience teaching. Electronic Journal of Science Education 13(2):126-159.
Karlstrom, K., S. Semken, L. Crossey, . , E. D. Gyllenhaal, J. Dodick, M. Williams, J. Hellmich-Bryan, R. Crow, N. Bueno Watts and C. Ault. 2008. Informal geoscience education on a grand scale: The Trail of Time exhibition at Grand Canyon. Journal of Geoscience Education 56(4):354-361. DOI: 10.5408/informal_geoscience_education_. (link )
Semken, S. and C. Butler Freeman. 2008. Sense of place in the practice and assessment of place-based science teaching. Science Education 92(6):1042-1057. DOI: 10.1002/sce.20279. (link )
Semken, S., M. Fouch, E. Garnero, P. Zah and D. Lippert. 2007. Meshing American Indian concerns with goals of EarthScope's USArray. EOS Transactions 88(31):409-316. DOI: 10.1029/2007EO310001. (link )
Gonzales, D. and S. Semken. 2006. Integrating undergraduate education and scientific discovery through field research in igneous petrology. Journal of Geoscience Education 54(2):133-142. DOI: 10.5408/1089-9995-54.2.133. (link )
Hahn, D., S. K. Brem and S. Semken. 2005. Exploring the social, moral, and temporal qualities of pre-service teachers' narratives of evolution. Journal of Geoscience Education 53(4):455-461. DOI: 10.5408/1089-9995-53.4.456. (link )
Semken, S. 2005. Sense of place and place-based introductory geoscience teaching for American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduates. Journal of Geoscience Education 53(2):149-157. DOI: 10.5408/1089-9995-53.2.149. (link )
Wilson, D., R. Aster, M. A. West, J. Ni, S. Grand, W. Gao, W. S. Baldridge, S. Semken and P. Patel. 2005. Lithospheric structure of the Rio Grande rift. Nature 433:851-855. DOI: 10.1038/nature03297. (link )
Zeigler, K., J. M. Timmons, S. Timmons and S. Semken eds. 2013. Geology of the Route 66 Region: Flagstaff to Grants. New Mexico Geological Society. Socorro, NM. ISBN: 9781585460991.
Mathias, A., R. Lillie and S. Semken. 2013. Sharing geology with the public along I-40 using interpretive and place-based educational techniques. Pp. 20-22 In: Zeigler, K., J. M. Timmons, S. Timmons and S. Semken eds., Geology of the Route 66 Region: Flagstaff to Grants. New Mexico Geological Society. Socorro, NM. ISBN: 9781585460991.
Semken, S. 2012. Place-based teaching and learning. Pp. 2641-2642 In: Seel, N. M. ed., Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer. Boston, MA.
Williams, D. and S. Semken. 2011. Ethnographic methods in analysis of place-based geoscience curriculum and pedagogy. Pp. 49-62 In: Feig, A. D. and A. Stokes eds., Qualitative Inquiry in Geoscience Education Research. Vol 474. Geological Society of America. DOI: 10.1130/SPE474. ISBN: 9780813724744.
Semken, S. and E. A. Brandt. 2010. Chapter 24 - Implication of sense of place and place-based education for ecological integrity and cultural sustainability in diverse places. Pp. 287-302 In: Tippens, D. J., M. P. Mueller, M. van Eijck and J. D. Adams eds., Cultural Studies and Environmentalism: The Confluence of Ecojustice, Place-based (Science) Education, and Indigenous Knowledge Systems. Springer Netherlands. ISBN: 978-90-481-3928-6.
Gonzales, D. and S. Semken. 2009. A comparative study of field inquiry in an undergraduate petrology course. Pp. 205-221 In: Whitmeyer, S. J., D. W. Mogk and E. J. Pyle eds., Field Geology Education: Historical Perspectives and Modern Approaches. Vol 461. Geological Society of America. Boulder, CO. ISBN: 9780813724614.
Toke, N. A., K. Darby, E. M. Cook, C. Mead, J. Brian, T. Benn, S. G. Fisher, C. G. Boone and S. Semken. 2010. Pedagogy in interdisciplinary higher education: An investigation of faculty and student perspectives. Poster presented at the January 14, 2010 12th Annual Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Poster Symposium, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
Mead, C., S. Semken and A. D. Anbar. 2011. Identifying misconceptions about biogeochemistry among undergraduates. Presentation October 9-12 at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, Minneapolis, MN.
Toke, N. A., K. Darby, E. M. Cook, C. Mead, J. Brian, T. Benn, S. G. Fisher, C. G. Boone and S. Semken. 2009. Pedagogy in interdisciplinary higher education: An investigation of faculty and student perspectives. Presentation October 18-21 at the Annual Geologic Society of America Meeting, Portland, Oregon. Abstracts with programs.
Semken, S., J. Dodick, O. Ben-David, M. Pineda, N. Bueno Watts and K. Karlstrom. 2009. Timeline and time scale cognition experiments for a geological, interpretative exhibit at Grand Canyon. Proceedings of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching 2009 Annual Meeting. NARST 2009 Annual Meeting. (link )
Butler Freeman, C., S. Semken, A. Lawson, M. Oehrtman, J. Jensen and C. Schaufele. 2007. How old is the Earth? An exploration of geologic time through place-based inquiry. Proceedings of the NARST 2007 Annual Meeting. NARST 2007 Annual Meeting. New Orleans, LA. (link )
Semken, S. and C. Butler Freeman. 2007. Cognitive and affective outcomes of a Southwest place-based approach to teaching introductory geoscience. Proceedings of the NARST 2007 Annual Meeting. NARST 2007 Annual Meeting. New Orleans, LA. (link )