Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Document Type


Publication Date



Models (from simple mental models to complex computational models) are used by geoscientists to conceptualize and better understand the Earth system and to make predictions. Earth processes affect the human condition and result in hazards and complex issues that require both expert and citizenry decision-making about mitigation and adaptation. In addition, a wide range of Earth materials (e.g., mineral, rock, water) are valued resources that need sustainable management. All of these challenges require recognition of the problem (problem-finding), and the development and application of problem-solving skills. In addition, Earth system understanding and problem-solving benefit strongly from quantitative reasoning. Quantitative reasoning, problem-solving, and use of models present many daunting challenges to both students and instructors. All are valued by the professional geoscience community and by employers, and all would benefit from more education research. In this chapter, grand challenges and recommended strategies for each of these areas are identified and described.