Building Strong Geoscience Departments > Workshops > Preparing Future Geoscience Professionals > Workshop Program

Workshop Program

Note: This workshop has already taken place.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

5:00 Reception

6:00 Dinner

Opening session. Photo by Carol Ormand.

7:00 Opening Session: Career Preparation - What Are We Trying to Accomplish?

We will break into small groups for discussion. Based on where our students are going, what do they need in terms of skills, attitude, and knowledge? What will they be ready to do when they finish their degree program?

Thursday, January 11

8:30-9:00 Workshop Goals and Overview of the Day

9:00-10:00 Geoscience Careers in the 21st Century

The landscape of career opportunities in geoscience is constantly changing. Where are our students going?
  • Current Trends in the Geoscience Workforce
    Roman Czujko, Director, Statistical Research Center, American Institute of Physics
  • GeoCareer Futures: Myriad Opportunities, Complex Pathways
    Christopher Keane, Acting Executive Director, American Geological Institute
  • 10:00-10:20 Break

    10:20-1:30 Current Practices: Presentations by Workshop Participants

    1:30-2:00 What Opportunities, When: A Framework for Professional Development (PowerPoint 4.2MB Jan19 07)

    Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary
    What professional traits do we want our students to develop? How can we help them to develop those traits? How does this relate to career advising at different stages?

    2:00-3:00 Designing a Program: The Curriculum and Beyond

    We will break into groups to design program elements for students at different levels, based on the goals we've identified thus far.
    Participants program design. Photo by Carol Ormand.

    Resources developed by working groups:

    • Providing real-world experiences (Microsoft Word 25kB Jan26 07) describes a wide variety of "real-world" experiences that can be incorporated into a geoscience program, considers why they are valuable, and offers advice for helping students to get the most out of such experiences.
    • Building a rigorous curriculum (Microsoft Word 25kB Jan26 07) focuses on the challenges of building a rigorous geoscience curriculum, and on some strategies for doing so successfully.

    3:00-3:20 Break

    3:20-4:50 Working Together: Building Alliances Beyond Your Department

    Panelists from various campus offices will present their perspectives on career preparation and offer suggestions on effective collaborations.
    Participants work on their action plans. Photo by Carol Ormand.

    4:50-6:00 Action Planning and Road Check

    One of the goals of this workshop is for you to leave with a personalized action plan for your department. We will consider different kinds of implementation strategies, based on challenges and opportunities, and have you begin to develop your action plan. We will also ask you to reflect on what you have learned during the workshop, up to this point.
    Download action plan instructions/worksheet. (Microsoft Word 29kB Jan11 07)

    7:00 Dinner at Nawab Indian Restaurant

    There will be no formal evening activities and participants are free to develop their action plans for their own departments.

    Friday, January 12

    8:00-8:15 Overview of the Day

    8:15-9:15 Assessment: Measuring the Impact of our Programs on Students

    Cathy Manduca and Ellen Iverson, Science Education Resource Center
    Just as we need to assess our teaching to know what our students are learning, we need to assess our professional development programs to know whether students are prepared for the careers they are choosing. This presentation applies methods that geoscientists will find familiar to the process of program assessment.
    Participants hard at work. Photo by Carol Ormand.

    9:15-10:30 Working Groups

    Participants will form working groups to discuss topics arising from the workshop, and each group will produce a document that will become an online resource on their topic. Possible topics could include graduate curriculum and student professional development, advising students when career options are a moving target, how to engage your entire department in career preparation and advising, or best practices for different types of experiences and programs, such as internships, research experiences, career advising, faculty mentoring, and outreach programs.

    Resources developed by working groups:

    • Strategies for Effecting Change: (Microsoft Word 23kB Jan26 07) Getting your department to buy into changes may be the biggest challenge you face. This document describes some effective strategies for overcoming resistance to change.
    • Globalization/Internationalization: (Microsoft Word 22kB Jan26 07) Some thoughts on the benefits and challenges of adding an international component to a geoscience program, and some examples of possible ways to do so.
    • Internships: (Microsoft Word 28kB Jan26 07) Some thoughts on the logistical issues related to developing an internship program, as well as a list of possible employment options. One of the participants also provided an example internship contract (Acrobat (PDF) 178kB Jan26 07) used at his institution (Shippensburg University).

    10:30-10:45 Break

    10:45-11:30 Action Planning and Poster Preparation

    This will be work time for participants to incorporate ideas from the morning sessions into their action plans and to make posters describing their plans.

    11:30-12:45 Lunch & Poster Session: Participants' Action Plans

    12:45-1:15 Considering Programs Holistically

    We will take this time to synthesize what we have learned from each other's action plans, based on guided observation of participants' posters.

    1:15-1:45 Overarching Recommendations

    Reflecting on the past two days, we will collectively construct a set of recommendations/guidelines (Microsoft Word 38kB Feb2 07) that departments can use to strengthen their program in preparing students for geoscience professions.

    1:45-2:00 Closing Remarks and Workshop Evaluation


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