The College of Natural and Health Sciences - NHS
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Science Education, Climate Literacy, Teacher Training, Teacher Professional Development, Science Policy, Education Policy, Geology, Technology Education, Informal Education, Museum Studies, Science & Society, Pseudoscience’s Impact on Society, Inquiry Education, Aeolian Geology, & Near Surface Geophysics.
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Dr. Andrew PK Bentley obtained his MS degree in geology at Temple University under the guidance of Dr. Ilya Buynevich on near-surface geophysics. White Sands National Monument outside of Alamogordo, New Mexico was chosen for the study site. An aeolian internal complexity threshold was proposed, which incorporates standardized scores of slipface thickness, point-source diffraction density, and continuity of major bounding surfaces at mesoscale range determined through semivariogram analysis.
Dr. Bentley’s current research focuses on the public’s acceptance of anthropogenic climate change (ACC). Specifically, Dr. Bentley quantified the correlation between individuals’ agreement with dissenter messages and ACC acceptance. A mix-methods approach guides his research; qualitative data is used to construct a quantitative instrument. Authentic dissenter messages were collected from the ‘echo chamber,’ and were used to build a Likert-Style survey instrument. Through several distributions of this instrument, and principal component analysis, Dr. Bentley determined that dissenter messages factored into five distinct categories. This data, and the instrument validation were recently published in Environmental Education Research. This instrument is being currently employed to know what message are most correlated with ACC dissent. Preliminary results indicate that the most effective way to increase ACC acceptance may be to incorporate of the nature of science (NOS) in to ACC curriculums and outreach efforts.
Future research includes further distributions of the Anthropogenic Climate Change Dissenter Inventory to better understand which dissenter messages are most correlated with dissent. This information can be used to better inform teacher’s ACC education practices.
Dr. Bentley has taught high school, community college, and university Earth Science classes across several states. He designs his lessons based on a constructivist teaching philosophy. Whenever appropriate he teaches through guided inquiry, and begins each lesson by assessing students previous knowledge for that day’s topic.
When not conducting research or teaching, Dr. Bentley enjoys tinkering with his antique cars, motorcycles and pinball machines.