On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences: Workshop for Graduate Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Cutting Edge > Career Prep > Previous Workshops > Workshop 09 > Program

Workshop Program

Note: the 2009 workshop is over. Find out more about the "Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences" workshops, or read on for more information about the 2009 workshop.
2009 workshop participants during the opening session. Photo by Carol Ormand.
Jump down to Friday * Saturday * Sunday

Thursday, July 16, 2009


10:00-6:00 Workshop Registration
Participants and leaders check in at Tonopah Hall (TON) for dorm assignment and meal card. See travel and logistics page for additional information. Workshop registration is also at Tonopah Hall (TON) from 10:00-4:30 and then from 5:00-6:00 in the Student Union (SU), Room 208BC, also the location of the workshop opening reception. Please check in for the workshop and get your name badge and workshop notebook when you arrive.

Optional Pre-Workshop Events on Thursday Afternoon


12:00-4:00 NAFT Forever Earth Field Trip - Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Cost per person: $30. This fee will cover all transportation costs, field trip expenses, lunch, and cold beverages. Participants will enjoy the Forever Earth Floating Research Laboratory and Classroom, a 70-foot houseboat, while discovering the geologic story of the Lake Mead area. All field expenses are covered in the $30/person fee. Dress casually. Optional swimming activity - bring swim suit and towel. Please meet the group leaders for the Forever Earth field trip on the west side (the side facing The Las Vegas Strip) of the Tonapah Complex for a 12:00 pm departure. If you do not have time to check into your dorm, we can accommodate your luggage for the afternoon. We will be taking two vans for the 1-hour drive to Lake Mead National Recreation. Dress casually and wear tennis shoes or other closed-toed shoes. Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses are strongly recommended.
See the Lake Mead field trip photo gallery

2:30-3:30 Concurrent Sessions

Workshop leaders for the "Families and Careers" panel. Photo by Carol Ormand.

3:45-4:45 Concurrent Sessions

Workshop Begins


2009 workshop participants during the opening icebreaker activity. Photo by Carol Ormand.

5:00-6:00 Receptionand Icebreaker Activity, Student Union (SU) Room 208BC

6:00-7:00 Dinner, SU Room 208BC

7:00-9:00 Introductions and Opening Session, SU Room 208BC


Friday, July 17, 2009


7:00-8:00 Breakfast - Hazel M. Wilson Dining Commons (DIN)

8:15-8:35 Overview of Day and Preparing Now For Your Future Academic Career in the Geosciences (Acrobat (PDF) 779kB Jul8 09), SU Ballroom Section C
Heather Macdonald

Theme for the day: Who are you as a teacher?

Robyn Wright Dunbar presenting what research tells us about learning science.

8:40-9:40 Research on Learning: Concurrent Sessions

9:40-10:00 Break

10:00-11:00 Teaching Breakout Sessions I

Workshop participants discuss their ideas for making their lectures interactive. Photo by Carol Ormand.

11:10-12:10 Teaching Breakout Sessions II

Workshop participants recording their thoughts in the session on Designing Effective Science Courses.
Workshop participants share their teaching activity ideas via posters. Photo by Carol Ormand.

12:10-1:00 Lunch and Optional Lunch-time Birds of a Feather Discussions (12:15-1:15) - Hazel M. Wilson Dining Commons (DIN)

Possible topics might include: International scientists in the U.S., dual-career academic couples, geoscience misconceptions, other topics suggested by participants or leaders.

1:40-3:15 Designing Effective Classroom/Laboratory Activities - SU Ballroom Section C
Heather Macdonald and other workshop leaders

For this activity, you will work in small groups to develop a classroom or lab activity that addresses a key concept or skill in your discipline. This session will be an opportunity to share ideas with other participants as you consider different ways to teach that concept or skill.

See the list of the characteristics of strong teaching activities workshop participants developed.

See the posters about teaching activity ideas.

  • Daily Class Planning links to resources to help you develop your own classroom, lab, or field activities, or to find existing activities that meet your needs.
  • How to Plan a Single Class Period provides guidance in planning a lesson, from setting learning goals for the day to assessing whether students have met those goals. This page includes specific geoscience examples and a worksheet you can use to plan a class period.

3:15-3:45 Break

3:45-5:00 Teaching Statements Concurrent Sessions: Articulating Your Teaching Goals and Highlighting Your Accomplishments

  • Your Teaching Statement is a list of resources describing how to write your own personal teaching statement. At the top of the list is a worksheet to help you through the process.
  • Meizlish, D. and Kaplan, M. (2008). Valuing and Evaluating Teaching in Academic Hiring: A Multidisciplinary, Cross-Institutional Study. The Journal of Higher Education, v. 79, n. 5, pp. 489-512.
  • O'Neal, C., Meilish, D., and Kaplan, M. (2007). Writing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy for the Academic Job Search. CRLT Occasional Papers, n. 23.
Discussion during a break in the workshop program. Photo by Carol Ormand.

5:00-5:20 Reflection time and Daily Road Check - SU Ballroom, Section C

5:20-6:30 Dinner - Hazel M. Wilson Dining Commons (DIN)

7:00 Optional Evening Discussions


Saturday, July 18, 2009

7:00-8:00 Breakfast - Hazel M. Wilson Dining Commons (DIN)

Theme for the morning: Who are you as a researcher?

Participants practice and discuss their "elevator talks." Photo by Carol Ormand.

8:15-8:35 Report on Daily Feedback and the Role of Research in Launching a Career (Acrobat (PDF) 43kB Jul16 09) - SU Ballroom Section C

Faculty as researchers
This session will start you thinking about where your research might lead in the future, how it might integrate with your teaching, and how it might differ depending upon the institution type.

8:35-9:40 Presenting Yourself to Others (Acrobat (PDF) 81kB Jul16 09) - SU Ballroom Section C
Heather Macdonald and FranciscaOboh-Ikuenobe

In the job search process you will have very brief, yet critical, opportunities to convey your work to others. Participants in this session will refine a personal "Elevator Talk," a paragraph that describes the nature and significance of your research and is aimed at an audience of other geoscientists. You will then practice talking about your work to others.

9:40-10:00 Break

10:00-11:00 Moving Your Research Forward to New Settings: Breakout Sessions

Participants discuss potential challenges in moving their research to a Primarily Undergraduate Institution (PUI). Photo by Carol Ormand.

11:10-12:10 Research Statements: Concurrent Sessions

12:10-1:00 Lunch and Optional Lunch-time Birds of a Feather Discussions (12:15-1:15) - Hazel M. Wilson Dining Commons (DIN)

Possible topics might include the community college interview, children and careers, question and answer (Q&A) potpourri, and other topics suggested by participants or leaders

Theme for the afternoon: Choosing Where You Want to Go and Getting There

View from the UNLV Student Union. Photo by Carol Ormand.

1:30-2:50 Mapping Your Career: Choices, Balance, and Action Planning - SU Ballroom Section C
Heather Macdonald and all workshop leaders

Given where you are in your career and what you have learned at this workshop, reflect on your long term goals or "dream job." What are your next steps? What advice would help you most at this point?

2:50-3:10 Break

3:10-4:30 The Academic Job Search (Acrobat (PDF) 47kB Jul16 09): Applications, Interviews, Teaching Demonstrations, and Job Talks - SU Ballroom Section C
Heather Macdonald and all workshop leaders

How to tailor your application for each advertised position, what to expect during your interview, and how to prepare an effective "job talk" (research presentation and/or teaching demonstration). Brief presentations will be followed by a question and answer period and some mock interview questioning.
  • The Job Search is a collection of resources for people looking for jobs in academia. It includes information on beginning your search, assembling your application materials, interviewing, negotiating, and dealing with additional considerations (such as being part of a dual career couple).
  • The job talk, (PowerPoint 30kB Aug2 06) from Ann Bykerk-Kauffman, summarizes a few key points about how to give an effective presentation during an on-campus interview.
  • The Academic Job Search Handbook, by Mary Heiberger and Julie Vick, is a gem of a book with a wealth of advice.

4:30-5:00 Negotiating Before You Accept an Academic Position: Setting Yourself Up for Success
Peg Rees, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

This session will provide some insights on what you might want to consider asking about and asking for prior to accepting an academic job offer. Negotiating is a combination of skills and an awareness of what might be available. We will explore the potential of going to work with a greater potential for success because you negotiated. The workshop leader has years of experience watching and participating in the process as a faculty member, a department chair, and as an upper-level academic administrator. She'll share knowledge, skills, and tricks of the trade.

5:00-5:30 Reflection, Next Steps, and Workshop Evaluation

Participants contra dancing. Photo by Katie Leonard.

6:30 Reception followed by dinner at 7:00 - SU Ballroom Section B and C. Dinner will be followed by an optional contra dance for those who are interested.


Sunday, July 19, 2009


7:00-8:30 Breakfast - Hazel M. Wilson Dining Commons (DIN)

Optional Workshop Sessions


8:30-9:30 Concurrent Workshops: Session 1

9:30-9:45 Break

9:45-10:45 Concurrent Workshops: Session 2

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-12:00 Concurrent Workshops Session 3

If you attended any of the optional sessions on Sunday morning, please fill out the Sunday session evaluation form. Thanks!


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