Early Career Geoscience Faculty Bookshelf
This page lists books recommended by leaders and alumni of the Early Career Geoscience Faculty workshops, for early career faculty members. While by no means an exhaustive list, these books come highly recommended. If there's something you'd like to recommend that's not listed here, please suggest a book for our bookshelf.
Jump down to books about teaching or books about research
Jump down to books about teaching or books about research
Combining the best of several of his earlier papers and publications, including Professors as Writers and The New Faculty Member, with new research results, this book is the one to start with. Boice's research is based on interactions with 1000+ new faculty members, mostly from research and comprehensive universities, over a 20-year period, and his model has been successfully applied to new faculty in the full range of institutional settings.
Boice, Robert, 2000, Advice for New Faculty Members: Nihil Nimus, Allyn & Bacon, Boston, 319 pp.
Faculty in New Jobs: A Guide to Settling In, Becoming Established, and Building Institutional Support
Menges' book summarizes results from research at the National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment on diverse new faculty from a range of settings, including community college, liberal arts, comprehensive and research universities. Advice moves forward from settling in to getting established and building critical institutional supports.
Menges, Robert J. and Associates, 1999, Faculty in New Jobs: A Guide to Becoming Established, and Building Institutional Support, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 338 pp.
Hearing the call for a follow-up to the wildly successful Ms. Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia, Ms. Mentor now broadens her counsel to include academics of the male variety. Ms. Mentor knows all about foraging for jobs, about graduate school stars and serfs, and about mentors and underminers, backbiters and whiners. She answers burning questions: Am I too old, too working class, too perfect, too blonde? When should I reproduce? When do I speak up, laugh, and spill the secrets I've gathered? Do I really have to erase my own blackboard? Does academic sex have to be reptilian?
Toth, Emily, 2008, Ms. Mentor's New and Ever More Impeccable Advice for Women and Men in Academia, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadephia, PA, 272 pp.
In question-and-answer form, Ms. Mentor advises academic women about issues they daren't discuss openly, such as: How does one really clamber onto the tenure track when the job market is so nasty, brutish, and small? Is there such a thing as the perfectly marketable dissertation topic? How does a meek young woman become a tiger of an authority figure in the classroom-and get stupendous teaching evaluations? How does one cope with sexual harassment, grandiosity, and bizarre behavior from entrenched colleagues?
Toth, Emily, 1997, Ms. Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadephia, PA, 240 pp.
The book begins with the basics about selecting the right college to work at, going through the application, interview, and negotiation process, and getting oriented to the job and the college. Gibson expounds on finding one's role within the larger liberal arts tradition, how to focus on good teaching, and deciding where scholarship fits into the equation. He discusses the faculty member's role in the department, the organization, and the community. He offers practical measures to manage time and stress, while staying effective, and gives guidance on working through career phases toward promotion and tenure. Concluding with counsel on "how to stay good" as a teacher, scholar, and citizen, Gibson demystifies the process of getting the job, being a good colleague, contributing to a vital department, and developing a life-long plan of personal and professional growth.
Gibson, Gerald, 1992, Good Start: A Guidebook for New Faculty in Liberal Arts Colleges, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 264 pp.
This book (a quick read) highlights the importance of scientists communicating to others the significance of their work and then goes on to suggest that unfortunately we, the current generation, are doing a poor job of it. Do not fear though as the authors have identified a variety of solutions to get you motivated to communicate and improve the understanding among the public of what exactly it is that you do and why they should care.
Mooney, Chris and Kirshenbaum, Sheril, 2009, Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future, Basic Books, New York, 240 pp.
Books about teaching
An Early Career workshop participant writes: "This book was given to me by the professional development center when I started my teaching position.... I do have to say more than one of the situations portrayed in this book I actually experienced during my first semester teaching! [It] not only portrays the situation but also gives you advice on how to approach each one." This week by week guide to your first semester addresses preparing your syllabus, classroom management, grading and plagiarism, students evaluations, balancing your personal and professional commitments, and common situations new faculty members face.
Lang, James, 2008, On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching, Harvard University Press, 336 pp.
According to a review by Jennifer Berg, assistant professor of Mathematics at Fitchburg State University: "How Learning Works aims to leverage the research on what factors influence learning into principles that faculty can use to make choices in their teaching. The authors, who are from the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence at Carnegie Mellon University, distill decades' worth of research into seven such principles. The principles are derived from the authors' own research in cognitive science and hands-on work with faculty. The book thus manages to balance the academic and the practical."
Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, and Norman, 2010, How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 336 pp.
An Early Career workshop participant writes: "This book is an invaluable tool for understanding how to effectively teach science by utilizing results from educational research. While geared towards biologists, most of the ideas and exercises in the book are easily transfered to a geoscience classroom. The book is clear and concise, providing concrete tools with just enough justification from learning research to be satisfying without getting too far off track."
Jo Handelsman, Sarah Miller, and Christine Pfund, 2006, Scientific Teaching, W.H. Freeman, 208 pp.
Books about research
An Early Career workshop participant writes: "This book is valuable for geoscientists who will be running a research lab. It focuses on all of the things scientists are usually not taught in graduate school - management, conflict resolution, dealing with difficult personalities, leadership, and negotiation. The authors come at the issues with perspectives from both the lab and from behavioral psychology. I found the book very helpful when I was dealing with a difficult research collaboration and often remind myself of some of the main points of the book when I find myself getting frustrated, defensive, or angry in professional situations. The book is very concrete and provides a lot of examples and case studies on all the topics presented."
Carl M. Cohen and Suzanne L. Cohen, 2012, Lab Dynamics: Management and Leadership Skills for Scientists (2nd edition), Cold Spring Harbor Press, 280 pp.
An Early Career workshop participant writes: "This book is not written explicitly for geoscientists but the majority of it is applicable to anyone starting a career in science. It discusses tips for interviewing and hiring personnel, variations in learning styles, lab culture, keeping students motivated, timelines and expectations."
Kathy Barker, 2010, At the Helm: Leading Your Laboratory (2nd edition), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 372 pp.