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Reaching Beyond Your Institution: Forging Collaborations with Geoscientists at Other Colleges and Universities at the Local, State, and Regional Level

Pamela Gore and Heather Macdonald

At the 2009 workshop on Strengthening Your Geoscience Program, working groups of participants met to address topics of concern. This page is a summary of one working group's discussion.

What are some examples of departmental efforts in this area?

  • - contacting other alums of our undergraduate institutions to collaborate on professional development as well as research projects
  • - regions academic advisory committee for geology and geography brings together faculty members from many different institutions in the same state system and review k-12 curriculum, coordinate course numbering and titles, core curriculum issues, student transfer issues, reviewed status of technology and GIS, fieldtrip listings
  • - Georgia Geological Society: annual field conference for the state – Virginia and Pennsylvania also have one of these and many others may have one as well
  • - Local geological societies: monthly meetings
  • - Minority Doctoral Scholars: link with other local universities to provide opportunities and to help support minority students
  • - ASLO multicultural student program to provide support to students to go to national/international meetings
  • - Multicultural Students at Sea Together (MAST): summer program for marine science and policy, need to interact with colleagues to get the word out for participants
  • - Faculty-to-faculty interactions for graduate student recruitment
  • - Geology of VA for Teachers: 2 week field course for k-12 teachers that is a collaboration between many different institutions. Taught in many different locations, but developed collectively and teach it for the common good. Funded through State Dept. of Education. This initially was to help with Earth Science certification of teachers.
  • - Regional Science Consortium of many academic, state and national partners that provide lab space, equipment and collaborations for work in a particular region
  • - Community college identified Geo interested students and they are brought into the dept of the 4-yr university
  • - Connect with state surveys and research heavy universities to provide expertise on local geologic issues
  • - Working with other universities to not duplicate resources for expensive lab equipment and to work together on proposals
  • - Student transfer/trades for looking at different regional geology for either semester or summer programs
  • - Access the State Geologists as their job is to provide geological information to the public, great to see how they work and how geology is conducted
  • - Connections between 4-yr and 2-yr schools for equipment and facilities, which also encourages students to transfer into the 4-yr institution when they finish at the 2-yr school.
  • - Collaboration with k-12 schools to provide dual enrollment course, helps out both institutions with numbers.
  • - Teacher training for certification as well as GIS
  • - Institutional program that provides guaranteed admission into a 4-yr institution from local/state community colleges
  • - State programs allowing easy transfer of students between institutions
  • - Advertising of seminars to all universities/colleges in the region
  • - Coming to workshops like this!

What are benefits and positive outcomes?

  • - Recruitment and facilitating transfer students
  • - Help for new, young faculty. Especially those moving to new regions
  • - Facilitating student interaction between institutions
  • - Pool/share resources
  • - Bring in money to the institution– field trips, grant writing
  • - Helping meet administrative missions
  • - Expose students to other professionals and institutions
  • - Provides research opportunities and equipment for both facutly and students
  • - Professional development and sharing of knowledge within the discipline
  • - Faculty energized by interaction with colleagues
  • - Providing new opportunities for all to broaden their horizons
  • - Visibility for all institutions involved

What are challenges and barriers?

  • - time and effort needed to make the connections
  • - money
  • - distance
  • - university lawyers
  • - transferability of courses
  • - student commitment issues for fieldtrips
  • - transportation issues
  • - administration buy-in

What are some ideas for making this work better?

  • - administration buy-in
  • - all parties of collaboration get something of value
  • - advertising of your successes
  • - identifing how your institution benefits - make sure it aligns with the mission of the institution

What resources regarding this topic would you want to see on the website?

  • - A contact list for things like....I am looking for good fieldtrip stops in Western New York, or I really want to know if stops listed in a guidebook/road log are still accessible
  • - local information on fieldtrip locations, good field locations for student projects etc.
  • - a map based seminar or fieldtrip search engine or even people willing to be contacted
  • - regional calendars of geologic activities/fieldtrips/seminars
  • - job fair information

What is your plan for the future?

  • - provide information to our colleagues about what we are doing
  • - determine what is already available
  • - work on developing collaborations with regional schools to develop regional activity calendars.