Earth Science Education (ESE) is a very small not-for-profit that primarily teaches teachers science.

We’re very small based on budget and staff (no full-time staff but a half-time largely-volunteer Chief Education Officer). We thrive because of volunteers (estimated contributed time = over $75,000). Considering how small we are, we think we make a big difference to society. Every summer we teach approximately 100 teachers along Utah’s Wasatch Front how to see and appreciate the Earth science in their backyard. Genevieve Atwood, Chief Education Officer, is former State Geologist of Utah and emeritus adjunct associate professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Utah. Her calling is to diminish elementary school teachers’ fear of science and embolden them to go outside and share the joy of observation and analysis.

Elementary school teachers can turn children on or off to science. Occasionally they role model that women can’t do science, or that science is hard, or boring. By the end of an ESE in-service, virtually all teacher participants have felt the JOY of going outside to teach PATTERNS. If a student can see patterns, that student can be a scientist. Teachers can use guided curiosity to lead students toward content, specifically, tectonics, Earth materials, the role of water on Earth’s surface, and the geologic history of Utah… how our spectacular geology came to be. Even more important, teachers understand that Earth science is not jargon or a set of facts but a way of asking questions and analyzing the world around them. ESE is an example of a very small entity, essentially a one-person educational outfit, which makes a difference with virtually no overhead, meaning, no office, no development staff, and no classroom other than the great outdoors. We’re fortunate that vistas from virtually every schoolyard along the Wasatch Front provide opportunities to see diverse rock types and evidence of Earth processes. We are grateful to donors and volunteers who make our programs successful.


Earth Science Education has 501(c)3 status and a supportive Board of Trustees.


ESE Board members are volunteers. They are convivial, wise, and very much appreciated. Board members should feel under no obligation to contribute financially to the organization, although some Board members are donors or been responsible for major contributions to ESE. They provide advice as a Board and as individuals. The Board establishes ESE policies, endorses the annual work program, and authorizes the budget.

The Board meets twice a year. The end-of-year meeting (sometimes held as a telephone conference) is the annual meeting and includes annual elections. The early summer meeting usually focuses on a topic of importance to the Chief Education Officer.

Chair of the Board of Trustees:  Clark Giles, attorney
President and Chief Education Officer:  Genevieve Atwood, geomorphologist
Vice President and Assistant Treasurer:  Joann Seghini, retired Mayor of Midvale former director of curriculum, Jordan school District
Treasurer:  Kevin Steiner, business person
Secretary:   Gwen Springmeyer, former executive director, Utah Nonprofits Association
Louis Cononelos, former Vice President for the Americas, Rio Tinto
Sonya Redd, former member of the San Juan School Board
Natalie Hilker, Assistant Treasurer
Alisa Schofield, geologist and secondary school teacher.


ESE’s niche continues to be, to teach teachers earth science OUTSIDE.


Teachers and their students want to know about their rocks, their scenery, and their environment. Unlike chemistry, a science that can be taught in much the same way in New York, Salt Lake and Moab. ESE believes that earth science should be taught differently in these places. ESE is exceptionally well-qualified to teach Utah’s backyard science because Don Mabey and Genevieve Atwood are experts in Utah’s geology and don’t hesitate to call on colleagues for back up. No other organization fills this niche.


In ESE’s first decade, Genevieve Atwood has taught four, summer, teacher in-services, each year. Our 2009 records list over 1400  teacher-participants of whom over 1000 are “fresh faces” meaning they have only taken one course. Some teachers take all four courses. Teacher evaluations of the courses are positive. The summer in-services are a partnership of school districts, Kennecott Utah Copper [rio tinto?], and ESE. Kennecott contributes sufficient funding for ESE to give each teacher-participant approximately $50 worth of classroom and text materials, while ESE teaches the classes. Classes are taught outside in parks, cemeteries, and schoolyards of Salt Lake County.


ESE has no full-time salaried staff, no office, and virtually no overhead. Genevieve Atwood, Board Member and President of ESE is ESE Chief Education Officer and teaches all courses. Don Mabey contributes to resource materials. ESE has no building, no capital equipment, and little overhead. KPMG has donated an audit of yearly finances since 1997.


To get in touch with Earth Science Education, please reach out to:

Genevieve Atwood, Chief Education Officer

Earth Science Education

30 North U Street

Salt Lake City, Utah 84103-4301