Workshop Overview

Note: the 2004 workshop is over. Find out more about the "Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences" workshops (including a link to next year's), or read on for more information about the 2004 workshop.
Description and Goals

This workshop will bring graduate students and post-doctoral fellows interested in an academic career together with geoscience faculty members from different institutional settings who have a range of expertise and experience. The workshop will provide a stimulating and resource-rich environment in which to explore important facets of an academic career. Three main goals of the workshop are for participants to become more effective teachers, stronger candidates for academic jobs, and better prepared for a quick start to teaching and research in the next stage of their career.

During the workshop, each participant will

  • Learn about roles and responsibilities of faculty members in different educational settings (e.g., two-year colleges, four-year colleges, universities) and positions in other academic institutions (e.g., museums).
  • Explore aspects of effective and innovative teaching.
  • Design a research plan suitable for the next career stage.
  • Learn about strategies for documenting strengths and accomplishments in teaching and research and develop or revise supporting materials.
  • Learn more about the job-search process.
  • Meet informally with other participants and with workshop leaders from a range of educational settings.
  • Share ideas and strategies for stress- and time-management.
  • Develop a self-inventory of preferred options for the next career stage and a personal action plan.


The workshop will include an early-career faculty panel, short presentations on various topics, structured discussions, small-group collaboration, and informal interaction and conversation. Participants will leave with a broad understanding of academic options, specific strategies for developing as teachers and scholars and for meeting competing demands, and an expanded network of colleagues. Participants will participate in electronic discussion and preparation prior to the workshop to become familiar with key issues and concepts and will follow-through with post-workshop plans.


The workshop will begin at 6:00 pm on Thursday, July 29, and will conclude after dinner on Saturday, July 31. Optional workshops will be offered in the morning of Sunday, August 1.


Application must be made on-line by March 24. An important part of each application is a statement of endorsement from a faculty member. Therefore, when submitting the on-line application, each applicant must provide contact information for a faculty member who has agreed to endorse the applicant. We will then ask the faculty member to submit electronically a brief statement regarding the potential of the applicant to benefit from and contribute to the workshop.

Selection Criteria and Cost

The workshop size is limited. The final set of participants will be established with a goal of assembling a diverse and interactive group representing a range of experiences, educational environments, career aspirations, and specialties. Preference will be given to those entering or soon to enter the academic job market.

The operational costs of the workshop as well as room, board, and workshop materials are covered by a grant from the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE-0127310). Participants or their home institutions must provide transportation to and from the workshop. In cases of unusual hardship, we will be able to offer a few small stipends to help defray travel costs.

For more information about the workshops, including travel stipends, see general information for workshop participants.


The workshop will be held at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN. Participants will be housed in double rooms in dormitories on campus and will eat meals on campus. Meal and lodging support begins Thursday evening, July 29 and ends Sunday morning, August 1. Persons wishing to arrive earlier or stay later will need to make their own arrangements.

Further Information

Contact Heather Macdonald ( or Robyn Wright Dunbar ( for more information.