My name is Julien-Pooya Weihs and I was firstly educated in general physics and theoretical physics at the University of Geneva. Through a series of events, I ended up sailing for 2 weeks on Svalbard, from Longyearbyen to Ny-Ålesund, met scientists on the research station and from that moment on, I had found my new calling within the field of arctic geophysics. I went back to Svalbard during my masters in applied physics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology while doing research on ocean/sea-ice interactions. Since then, I merged my fascination for the Earth with my passion for didactics and have become a member of iEarth, this first-of-its-kind research centre in Norway investigating the teaching and learning of geoscience in Norwegian universities. In my free-time, I enjoy mountain sports and classical music in and around Bergen.
My project investigates the conceptual understanding of students in important topics of geophysics. Through group-session observations and interviews, I explores the students’ knowledge and experience of disciplinary concepts, their possible misconceptions and difficulties. I then create a conceptual framework for some geophysical concepts and use it to assess the knowledge structures of both students and faculty. Lastly, I assess teaching interventions with specifically developed tests and examine how to support the knowledge integration of geophysical concepts for students.
In our educational research group, I contribute during our regular meetings and discussions with insights and literature gathered from my own project, offer my thoughts and experience with different theoretical frameworks and methodologies, but also suggest new ideas that could be explored collectively by our body of interested researchers and teaching practitioners. The output of my work pertains predominantly to the focus areas “Student culture for learning” and “Teaching culture for teaching”, but those categories are easily transcended in our common work in the ERG.