Honors Projects


Climate change is a pervasive element in our modern lives, yet many harbor ideas about climate change and associated climate mechanisms that are misinformed or incorrect. Ideas like these – prior conceptions (ideas that people carry with them into learning experiences about a subject) – are studied in varying degrees across fields. The geosciences do not have a particularly robust collection of research on the subject of geoscience-specific prior conceptions. At the same time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, alternatives to in-person lecture such as online lecture have become normalized. The original aim of this paper was to determine if different approaches to online lecture (such as including background music or having students click through a series of videos) had different outcomes in correcting prior conceptions. However, due to sample size constraints, this paper presents a survey-based look into what prior conceptions about climate change BGSU college students have through the lens of an introductory geology class lecture. This paper asserts that certain prior conceptions (such as those concerning rates of change, deep time, the role of humans in climate change, and the meaning of the term “climate change) are more pervasive within the student body than others. This paper also provides a framework for future study on the subject with a larger sample size.




Geology: Paleobiology

First Advisor

Dr. Margaret Yacobucci

First Advisor Department


Second Advisor

Dr. Rick Worch

Second Advisor Department


Publication Date

Spring 4-17-2023

Included in

Geology Commons