Lundgren, L. M., & Crippen, K. J. (2017). Developing social paleontology: A case study implementing innovative social media applications. In D. Remenyl (Ed.), The Social Media in Practice Excellence Awards 2017 at ECSM 2017: An Anthology of Case Histories (pp. 11-26). Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited (ACPIL).


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Cyberlearning - "the use of networked computing and communications technologies to support learning" (pg. 5)

NSF (2008). Fostering Learning in the Networked World: The Cyberlearning Opportunity and Challenge. Arlington, VA: NSF Task Force on Cyberlearning.



    FOSSIL logo

    Fostering Opportunities for Synergistic STEM with Informal Learners | Follow The Fossil Project on Facebook

    Throughout the U.S., more than 60 fossil clubs and paleontological societies hold meetings, host speakers, organize festivals, and run field trips; conduct outreach; work with scientists; build their own collections; and use the Web to learn about paleontology. However, in contrast to other science hobbyist groups (e.g., birdwatchers, stargazers), fossil clubs are not closely networked (nationally). Moreover, some fossil clubs have only limited interactions with professional paleontologists and natural history museums. Together, these realities limit participation in the science of paleontology and reduce capacity for informal STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning.

    Coordinated from the Florida Museum of Natural History and funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation (DRL-1322725), FOSSIL will cultivate a networked community (known as a community of practice) in which fossil club members and professional paleontologists collaborate in learning, the practice of science, and outreach. This national community will help determine the scope of FOSSIL activities, tools, and resources, and collaborate in their development and implementation. Mediated by the myFOSSIL Web space (, FOSSIL components may include opportunities to: (1) communicate electronically and socially (e.g., social media, chat, blog, and wiki); (2) engage in training and development; (3) attend meetings and workshops (in person or virtual); (4) conduct K12 outreach to underserved audiences; (5) contribute to and have online access to the growing digitized collections in U.S. natural history museums; and (6) create and share personal digitized fossil collections. The inaugural FOSSIL project meeting will take place in conjunction with the 10th North American Paleontological Convention in Gainesville, FL in February, 2014.

    More than 30 of the fossil clubs surveyed during the development of the FOSSIL funding proposal, and in subsequent communication, have been enthusiastic about participating in FOSSIL, as are an initial cohort of professionals. FOSSIL includes research to better understand how this transformative approach supports the community of practice and impacts participation in science. In addition, FOSSIL would like to build upon ongoing national “big data” initiatives that over the next decade will make available millions of digitized fossil specimens, thus enabling access by diverse stakeholders, including fossil clubs and other amateur scientists. The knowledge gained from FOSSIL will enlighten informal learning and STEM educators about how to effectively engage the public with scientific data.



  • K12 Science Online

    This line of inquiry seeks to understand, develop, and support curriculum materials and instruction for K12 students in online environments.

  • Exam-PLE

    Exam-PLE is a worked example powerful learning environment that scaffolds the development of fundamental strategies for well-structured problem solving. This is the first known project to use the Web to deliver meaningful example-based learning.

  • Cyberinfrastructure

    This project promotes knowledge transfer to scientists, educators, students, and citizens within and beyond the Consortium of Nevada, Idaho, and New Mexico by enhancing state cyberinfrastructure, and to enable the community science that is required to address regional to global scientific and societal challenges.

  • Taking STEM to the Cloud - Applications of SaaS

    Collaborating with colleagues from the Computer Science Department at Arizona State University, we are involved in the research and development a next-generation web-based tool for nationwide use by high school students for problem-solving activities that are expected to facilitate the acquisition of contemporary computing knowledge and skills in addition to STEM related concepts.

    The tool is designed for teaching/learning both traditional and modern computing concepts, e.g., cloud computing and software services, using the latest web-based composition or mashup techniques. Students perform declarative problem-solving activities that will require them to learn and apply computing and other STEM knowledge. They work in a realistic environment, dealing with software service requirements, discovery of reusable services, visual composition, and mashup of web-based data sources and services.