Tuesday, March 13, 2012

From GSA: Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Geoscience Degrees and Careers

Dear Geoscience Education Division Members,

If you are working with community college students or transfer students from community colleges and have an interest in providing them with excellent career resources, great research experiences, internships or short apprenticeship programs to learn more about careers, geotechnical training programs, and/or other career development or workforce development programs and strategies, please read on. Open to faculty and administrators from both two-year/four-year colleges and universities and other agencies or organizations that support community college students.
Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Geoscience Degrees and Careers
University of Washington-Tacoma, WA
18-21 July 2012
Application deadline: 19 March 2012

Building a strong and diverse geoscience workforce is a critical national challenge. Two-year colleges (2YCs) play an important role in increasing both the number and diversity of geoscience graduates. This workshop will develop resources, strategies, and recommendations for preparing students in two-year colleges for geoscience careers, either as geotechnical graduates or as geoscience majors at four-year colleges and universities. In addition, the workshop will explore the scope and potential for geoscience technical training (e.g., earth resources, environmental management, and marine technology).

This workshop will bring together geoscience faculty and administrators from two-year colleges, four-year colleges and universities with representatives from professional organizations and government agencies. We will share successful practices in 2YC college-transfer and geotechnical workforce programs, research and internship programs for 2YC geoscience students, and geoscience careers and career resource, and will work together to develop new strategies and recommendations from the classroom to the national level. This workshop will be a great opportunity to share ideas for strategies to promote student success.

The goals of this workshop are to:
• Identify and document the successes and challenges of programs, activities, and resources that support career preparation of 2YC students for the geosciences
• Develop a vision for programs, resources, and materials to improve the preparation of 2YC students for geosciences careers and degrees
• Explore strategies and make recommendations to increase the number and diversity of geoscience professionals coming from two-year colleges
• Establish a network of leaders who will promote and support activities that prepare 2YC students as geotechnicians and geoscience majors

The workshop will include plenary talks, panelist presentations, small and large group discussions, individual presentations or posters, planning/writing sessions, and time for networking and collaboration. Our grant covers travel costs and onsite food and lodging expenses for faculty participants.

More information about the workshop is given on the
workshop webpage , which also has a link to the online application form.

This workshop is part of the program, Supporting and Advancing Geoscience in Two-year Colleges (SAGE 2YC). SAGE 2YC is sponsored by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers and funding is provided by grants from the National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education.

Please forward to others who might be interested in the workshop.


Heather Macdonald, College of William & Mary
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
Robert Blodgett, Austin Community College
Jan Hodder, University of Oregon

Sadredin Moosavi
Chair, GSA Geoscience Education Division
Department of Science
Rochester Community Technical College

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nominate an Outstanding Earth Science Teacher of the Year! You Know Someone Who Deserves it

A what?

An Outstanding Earth Science Teacher of the year! There are a lot of teachers out there in California, Nevada and Arizona who are in the trenches of warfare against ignorance and apathy. If you are a teacher, you know the feeling of frustration that can come with students who don't seem to care, and yet you do all you can to make the sciences come alive. And once in a while you find you made a difference. Sometimes it may be years before you find out, but there are always the students who couldn't look like they were interested, but later on, inspired to go to college, they get back to the geological sciences, because of the interest you sparked. Or even better, they become teachers of the geosciences. And sometimes you even hear about it, and sometimes they will come back to thank you.

It's wonderful when that happens, but that also can be a rare event.

If you know a teacher of the earth sciences who tries to go that extra mile to bring the sciences alive, there is another way to grant him or her the recognition that they deserve. You can nominate them to be the Far Western Section's Outstanding Earth Science Teacher of the year. We can never know who the single best teacher is. We can only recognize the ones who deserve a bit of extra attention because they are the ones who put their heart into their work every day.
Outstanding Earth Science Teacher (OEST) awards are given for "exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences at the secondary level." Middle school and high-school teachers are eligible. Only ten national awardees are selected each year, one from each NAGT regional section.
  • 2 year complementary membership in NAGT
  • 3 year complimentary membership in the Geological Society of America (GSA)
  • 3 year complimentary membership in GSA Geoscience Education Division
  • $500 travel funds to a GSA meeting
  • $500 classroom improvement funds from GSA
It is a straightforward process to nominate an OEST. The information can be found here. The deadline is May 1. Give it some thought: someone you know is a truly excellent teacher, and they deserve to know it.