The Bedrock CZN has a vigorous outreach, education and engagement plan. Read more about it below.

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Want to learn more about important concepts related to the Bedrock cluster's research? Check out our blog Bedrock Talks, which includes pieces written by our early-career researchers.

Our outreach, education, and engagement plan centers on four overarching elements:

(1) The "Virtual Critical Zone,"

(2) Programs for K-12 students and teachers,

(3) Efforts to advance diversity and inclusion in CZ science, and

(4) Programs to engage the CZ community.

Some of the only places we can see the depths of the Critical Zone are at roadcuts and outcrops, and although photographs of them are interesting, they don’t fully communicate how detailed and amazing the Critical Zone is. To connect the public with these wonder-inspiring geologic structures, we are working to create 3D, interactive models of CZ appearance, structure, and properties, which we call “The Virtual Critical Zone.” At roadcuts and quarries from our sites, we use drones to capture the shape and appearance of the exposed CZ. We will then create a product where users can display a rotatable, color-coded image of the Critical Zone and its properties.

To promote teaching, training, and learning in the critical zone, we will partner with local science educators (teachers, teaching coaches, and curriculum directors) to bring CZ research to K-12 classrooms. We will promote local, place-based, experiential education by offering a two-day small group workshop to educators near our institutions . Each workshop, led by a PI and a graduate student at each institution, will offer an introduction to the critical zone, a field tour of a local CZ site, and exposure to our research efforts, in order to empower teachers to integrate CZ science into classroom curriculum.

Woven throughout our program are efforts to enhance diversity, inclusion, and equity in geoscience, including the teacher training program, which will target underrepresented minorities in urban areas (Baltimore, Los Angeles, Denver) first-generation (Southwest Virginia, South Carolina, rural Pennsylvania) and Native American (Wyoming) populations in rural areas; the high school summer camps, which will target underrepresented and underserved high school populations in urban and rural Appalachia; and support of a GeoPATHS student for the geophysical field team.

A principal motivation of our network is to provide the scientific community with unprecedented access to the deep CZ across a suite of sites that allow CZ hypothesis tests. Our proposed network will provide community access to the deep CZ through 1) a suite of completed deep boreholes, 2) curated cores, cuttings and associated logging data at the CSDCO facility, and 3) hydrological data, and geophysical measurements. All of the data and materials will be made openly available to the community, in order to enable broad use, collaboration, and complementary proposals. We will also engage with the CZ community through open workshops on communication and CZ science held prior to the fall AGU meeting. First, the VT Center for Communicating Science will host two one-day workshops (Years 2 and 3) for CZ scientists, focusing on scientific communication. The first (Year 2) workshop (Communicating Across Differences) will be for CZCN cluster/hub co-PIs to provide a CZCN-wide team-building exercise. The second (Year 3) workshop (Distilling Your Message/Working with the Media) will be reserved for early-career researchers (e.g., grad students and postdocs) working on other CZCN teams.