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Essays on Geoscience at Two-Year Colleges

Participants in several workshops have contributed essays touching on various challenges and opportunities of teaching at two-year colleges.


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How do we prepare the next generation of geoscientists in this technology-driven world? We need to attract them in the first place. part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Suki Smaglik, Central Wyoming College
First of all, we need to have geoscience students in our classrooms in order to start to prepare them. Therefore, we need to start young. Kids love rocks; some collect rocks from the time they can crawl. The question we might ask is: Why does this interest stop rather than expand? Only a few of us who discovered our connection to Earth at a young age become geologists. We need to make it known that being a geoscientist is a good career. Geoscientists with an emphasis on environmental issues will always be employable, from field technicians to industry consultants. We have spent nearly two centuries despoiling North American resources. Problems related to resource extraction will take at least another century to set right. It is geoscientists who will be leading the way.

Successful academic transfer, job-ready skills lacking part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Renee Faatz, Snow Colleg
Snow College has a longstanding reputation for producing geology majors that are well prepared for transfer. The strengths of our little geology program (I am a one person department) include recruiting good students and major's courses that are rigorous and focus on fieldwork. In addition, maintaining good relationships with four-­‐year institutions assures that my students succeed after transfer.

Big Changes and New Directions for a Small Program part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Christine Witkowski, Middlesex Community College (MA)
Middlesex Community College is one of the smallest of the twelve community colleges in Connecticut, with about 3000 credit students per semester (1700 FTE). The Science, Allied Health & Engineering Division offers many 3- and 4-credit science courses in support of the General Studies and Liberal Arts A.S. degrees...

A Moveable Museum part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Roger Steinberg, Del Mar College
Del Mar College (DMC) is a two-year college in Corpus Christi, Texas. We have a lot of the pieces in place needed to create a strong program in support and preparation of students for transfer to four-year colleges, the geotechnical workforce, or geoscience careers - but we could use some new strategies for putting the pieces together.

Strategic Advisement for Career and Transfer Success part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Amanda Colosimo, Monroe Community College
While Monroe Community College (MCC), in Rochester, NY, has grown significantly in the past decade, it has also seen tremendous faculty turnover, as professors with 30 years tenure have been replaced by less experienced but enthusiastic new faculty. Administration has been largely supportive, frequently funding experimental projects and professional development opportunities for junior faculty members...

Engaging Students Through Research at a 2YC part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
I can honestly say that for the past six years of teaching full-time I have been excited about going to work every day. The prospect of having the opportunity to introduce something new to a group of students, or explain something that they take for "granite" everyday gives me as much excitement and contentment as my regular morning tall Starbuck House Blend coffee! I like to think that all college professors had that one instructor, professor, or advisor that made them want to go down the path of education and forgo the path of fame or fortune in the geosciences.

The AGU, its Fall Meeting, and a niche for two-year colleges part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Pranoti Asher, American Geophysical Union
The American Geophysical Union is a not-for-profit society of Earth and space scientists with more than 61,000 members in 148 countries. Established in 1919 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., AGU advances the Earth and space sciences through its scholarly publications, meetings, and outreach programs.

A Geologic Pathway to Success part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Tania Anders, Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi
Among the geoscience community, geology is increasingly referred to as "the science of the 21st century". The general public isn't as aware of the importance of geology and career options in the field...

A "Jobs in Geosciences" Speaker Series: Addressing What Geologists Really Do part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Lynsey LeMay, Thomas Nelson Community College
The geology department at Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) recently initiated a program to bring geologists employed in a variety of fields to campus. Noted both anecdotally and through survey data collected about perceptions and careers in geosciences, students often have misconceptions about what geologists actually do in their various job functions. To address these misconceptions, the "jobs in geosciences" speaker series was started. This was funded by a small grant from the TNCC Educational Foundation.

Pairing 2YCS with research-focused universities part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
John Taber, IRIS Consortium
Given the value that has been shown for early research experiences for undergraduates, including for students who have yet to decide on a major, IRIS would like to partner with other organizations to develop, or help build on a student research program that integrates research opportunities at two-year and four-year schools. We have experience running a national distributed REU program for upper-level students with math, physics and/or geoscience background, but need to learn more about the needs and interests of first and second year students, as our current program has evolved into one where most participants have completed their junior year...

More Questions than Answers: Identifying Geoscience Career Opportunities part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Cheryl Emerson Resnick, Illinois Central College
Illinois Central College is located along the Illinois River in Peoria, Illinois. We currently serve approximately 12,000 FTE students. Our three full-time faculty teach sections of introductory Earth Science, Physical Geology, and Meteorology. We also teach a two week field course each summer that takes students out west for hands-on learning. The faculty who teach physical geology require multiple field trips to local and regional locations, teaching students basic field observation techniques...

Working Towards a Geoscience Degree part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Erica Barrow, Ivy Tech Community College-Central Indiana
Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana's only 2-year college, is still transitioning from a technical college to an all-encompassing fully accredited community college. Within the science department we have 4 full-time faculty members who cover the basic science disciplines (biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science) through introductory laboratory classes...

PRIME - Promoting Research Investigations in the Marine Environment - A program for 2YC students part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Jan Hodder, University of Oregon
I am a marine biologist at the University of Oregon's Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) and the Director of the Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence -Pacific Partnerships (COSEE-PP). The COSEE-PP project has concentrated on providing 2YC faculty and students with professional opportunities to work with ocean scientists and learn about current ocean science research...

Interview with a scientist part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Amber Kumpf, Muskegon Community College, MI
Overarching goal of the activity: help students be more informed about (1) their possible career options and about (2) specific skills they can develop to best prepare themselves for the workforce.

2YC students from a 4YC chair's perspective part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Matthew Schwartz, University of West Florida, The
As chairperson of a four year college department of Environmental Studies, I have two main types of interaction with 2YC students: 1) I have worked directly with 2YC students via a course designed as part of a collaborative ATE research grant and 2) we accept many 2YC students as transfers into University of West Florida...

Collaboration Between Wake Tech and NC State to Increase the Number and Diversity of Geoscience Students part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Gretchen Miller, Wake Technical Community College
I have been successful in recruiting several students into geoscience majors in recent years simply through enthusiastic teaching and identifying students who are asking the right kinds of questions. I keep an email list of interested students, and forward any relevant information regarding educational opportunities...

Hands-on Field Experience and Career Training in Oceanography part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Allison Beauregard, Northwest Florida State College
One of the biggest challenges we face as community college instructors is preparing our students for careers; this is especially true in geoscience fields because people are generally not familiar with the discipline and they do not typically know anyone who is a geoscientist. Further, community colleges do not typically have research programs where students can gain exposure to geoscience research and/or field applications.

Early Advising and Successful Transfer to Four-Year Degree Programs part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Michael Cummings, Portland State University
The Department of Geology at Portland State University offers B.S./B.A. in Geology and B.S./B.A in Earth Science. The B.S./B.A. in Geology is the program for students intending to practice as professional geologists. The B.S./B.A. in Earth Science is a supporting degree for other professions such as law, K-12 teaching, urban and regional planning...

Not a Teacher, But Want To Play a Really Good One in the Classroom part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Ian Miller, Peninsula College
I am a specialist with Washington Sea Grant and my paycheck comes from the University of Washington, but my work site is at Peninsula College, a small 2-year college on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. In return for office space I am responsible for teaching at least one class a year, and because I am also developing a research program I recruit and work with students as interns...

Creating and Promoting 2-Year Geoscience Degrees part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Debra Woodall, Daytona State College
I joined the faculty at Daytona State College (DSC) in 2008 as the first and only geoscience professor—which continues to be true. My initial responsibilities included teaching introductory courses in Oceanography and Geology—predominately to non-science majors. While teaching these courses, I quickly became aware of the immense opportunities to grow the geosciences; Daytona Beach is not only located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, but also lays at the front door of the most diverse ecosystem in North America—the Indian River Lagoon Estuary.


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