Teach the Earth > Cutting Edge > Celebrating 15 Years

Celebrating 15 Years of On the Cutting Edge, With Special Thanks to NSF

In 2017, On the Cutting Edge celebrated fifteen years of impacts on geoscience education, made possible with support from the National Science Foundation.


Since its establishment in 2002, On the Cutting Edge has engaged more than 3,000 faculty, post-docs, and graduate students from over 900 institutions in 109 face-to-face and virtual workshops and community-based research projects. In addition, On the Cutting Edge has produced a website that has more than 9,000 pages of content and is visited by more than 1,000,000 users annually. On the Cutting Edge celebrated these accomplishments at the 2017 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA with an oral session titled "On the Cutting Edge: Fifteen Years of Impacts on Geoscience Education" (104:T122) and an associated poster session (163:T122) of the same name.

Convened by three On the Cutting Edge Principle Investigators (David W. Mogk of Montana State University, Heather Macdonald of the College of William and Mary, and Michael E. Wysession of Washington University in St. Louis), the session began with six oral presentations that described the development and evolution of On the Cutting Edge program elements. An additional eight oral presentations and twelve posters discussed the impacts of On the Cutting Edge across the geoscience education community. Every presenter had stories to share about how the On the Cutting Edge program has enhanced their teaching, offered career guidance, and improved teaching and learning about the Earth.

The reach, impact, and success of On the Cutting Edge would not have been possible without an investment of more than $9.8 million by the National Science Foundation over a fifteen-year period. To thank the National Science Foundation for their support, more than 500 On the Cutting Edge community members contributed to a collective note of thanks to NSF. These comments were presented in book-form by all eight On the Cutting Edge Principal Investigators to National Science Foundation former program officers Jill Singer and Jeff Ryan at the GSA session.

To view a PDF of the book, click here: 500 Notes of Thanks to NSF for Supporting 15 Years of On the Cutting Edge (Acrobat (PDF) 483kB Nov17 17)

For fifteen years of essential funding, for boldly supporting a groundbreaking project, and for investing in long-term undertakings to improve geoscience education, On the Cutting Edge thanks the National Science Foundation.

On the Cutting Edge continues strong under a management committee with representatives from the three primary contributing professional societies (AGU, GSA and NAGT). The robust programming offered by On the Cutting Edge includes a virtual webinar series, the Workshop for Early Career Geoscience Faculty, the Traveling Workshop Program, the Earth Educators' Rendezvous, and more.