Workshop Program

Note: the 2012 workshop is over. Find out more about the "Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences" workshops, or read on for more information about the 2012 workshop.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2:00-7:00 Workshop Registration, Friday Center, Atrium North (registration will move to Trillium A at 5:30 pm)

Optional pre-workshop events on Wednesday afternoon

2:30-3:30 Concurrent sessions,Friday Center
  • The Sierra Nevada as a Natural Laboratory for Research, Teaching, and Subverting the Dominant Paradigm - Allen Glazner, Chair and Mary Lily Kenan Flagler Bingham Professor of Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,Friday Center, Bellflower
I will talk about my past few decades of research and teaching in the Sierra Nevada, how we ended up throwing out the textbook explanation of what plutons are, the fallout from that, and how all of these things provide fodder for showing students what science is really all about.
  • Water's Color as a Key to Its Carbon Chemistry- Chris Osburn, North Carolina State University,Friday Center, Windflower
The color of water--its absorption and fluorescence of light in the ultraviolet and visible wavelengths--informs us on its chemistry. Water's color can be measured quickly in the lab and, for surface waters, even remotely by satellites. Thus, these observations of the Earth aquatic environments can be analyzed geospatially. Measuring water's color has thus become routine to the point that these properties are becoming a primary means of investigating a wide range of topics in the geosciences. Examples include water quality, carbon and nitrogen cycling, and climate change. This talk will present an overview of these topics within the context of key uncertainties in the state of knowledge and opportunities for future research.
3:45-4:45Families and careers: A panel discussion - Rachel O'Brien (moderator),Erin Kraal, Chris Osburn, Dana Royer, Jacob Sewall, and Joshua Villalobos, Friday Center, Bellflower
Discussion of issues, opportunities, and choices associated with families and careers, including children, dual-career couples, and more, followed by questions from the participants.

Workshop begins

5:30-6:00 Reception and icebreaker activities - Heather Macdonald and David McConnell, Friday Center, Trillium A

6:00-7:00 Dinner, Friday Center, Trillium A

7:00-9:00 Introductions and opening session, Friday Center, Trillium A
  • Welcome, introductions, workshop goals, and overview - Heather Macdonald, David McConnell, and Allen Glazner, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Where do you want to go? A spectrum of academic careers: panel and discussion - Workshop leaders from different types of colleges and universities

Thursday, June 28, 2012

7:30-8:10 Breakfast, Friday Center, Atrium Center

8:15-8:30 Overview of day; Preparing now for your future academic career in the geosciences (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 1MB Jun21 12) - Heather Macdonald and Rachel O'Brien, Friday Center, Redbud

Theme for the day: Who are you as a teacher?


8:30-9:40 Getting ready for class: A fresh look at course design (Acrobat (PDF) 746kB Jun26 12) - David McConnell and Heather Macdonald, Redbud

This presentation will describe three major steps in designing an effective learning environment: 1. Creating specific, student-friendly learning goals; 2. Developing tasks for feedback and assessment; and, 3. Incorporating targeted teaching and learning activities. Participants will leave with sample learning goals, examples of formative and summative assessment tasks linked to the learning goals, and sample activities that will engage students as active participants in class rather than passive observers.

9:40-10:00 Break, Atrium Center

10:00-10:50 Teaching breakout sessions
  • Developing interactive lectures (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 7.1MB Jun27 12) - Erin Kraal and Joshua Villalobos, Redbud
    Deconstructing the traditional lecture. How do you improve learning and keep students involved during lectures? This session explores the integration of a variety of interactive approaches such as mini-problem sets, activities, group work, and writing and how you can effectively and efficiently implement them in classes of any size and level.
  • Getting students to think about their learning: Building self-regulation skills (Acrobat (PDF) 1.1MB Jun26 12) - David McConnell and Sandra Yuter, Bellflower
    We will introduce participants to the concept of self-regulation (students monitoring of their learning process) and discuss how we can adapt classes to guide students to be more thoughtful about their learning. We will discuss why many students vastly overestimate their understanding of basic concepts and demonstrate some simple techniques that can be incorporated into any class environment that will increase student retention of information.
  • Incorporating data analysis into undergraduate courses (PowerPoint 3.1MB Jun19 12) - Rachel O'Brien and Dana Royer, Windflower
    Data analysis is a powerful tool to help students practice the process of scientific work. In this session we'll explore the myriad of ways you can incorporate the use of data analysis in your introductory and upper-level courses to involve your students in active learning.
  • 11:00-11:50 Teaching breakout sessions
    • Developing interactive lectures (also offered at 10:00) - Erin Kraal and Joshua Villalobos, Redbud
    • Incorporating data analysis into undergraduate courses (also offered at 10:00) - Rachel O'Brien and Dana Royer, Windflower
    Over forty years ago, Benjamin Bloom and co-workers created a classification scheme for educational objectives that continues to provide a useful structure for matching learning goals with appropriate assessment experiences. We will introduce the taxonomy and use it to classify a range of learning exercises. Participants will leave with a hierarchy of question types and assignments that address a full range of cognitive skills.
    12:00-1:00 Lunch and optional lunch-time discussions, Trillium A

    1:30-3:10 Designing an effective lesson (Acrobat (PDF) 213kB Jun28 12) - David McConnell and Heather Macdonald, Redbud


    3:10-3:30 Break, Atrium Center

    3:30-4:40 Teaching statements concurrent sessions: Articulating your teaching goals and highlighting your accomplishments
    This session is designed to "jump start" the writing process for those who have yet to draft a teaching statement. Participants will articulate their teaching goals and accomplishments and begin the process of folding these into a concise teaching statement.
    • Review of teaching statements - Heather Macdonald and other leaders, Redbud
    Participants who bring five copies of their teaching statements will work in small groups, each with a workshop leader, reviewing each other's statements and offering feedback. Leaders will also offer their comments.

    4:45-5:15 Wrap-up and daily road check, Redbud

    6:00-7:00 Dinner, Trillium A

    7:30-8:30 Optional evening discussions

    • Early career time management - Jacob Sewall
    • Writing your first research grant - Rachel O'Brien
    • Short reviews (10 minutes) of curriculum vitae and/or cover letter for job application for participants who have brought these documents with them - Heather Macdonald and Dana Royer

    Friday, June 29, 2012

    7:30-8:10 Breakfast, Friday Center, Atrium Center

    Theme for the morning: Who are you as a researcher?

    8:15-8:25 Overview of day and report on daily road check - Heather Macdonald and David McConnell, Redbud

    8:25-9:15 Making a strong first impression: The elevator talk (PowerPoint 1.3MB Jun26 12) - Heather Macdonald and David McConnell, Redbud

    9:20-10:00 Moving your research work forward to new settings: Breakout sessions (will be repeated at 10:20)

    10:00-10:20 Break, Atrium Center

    10:20-11:00 Moving your research forward to new settings: Breakout sessions (repeated from 9:20)
    • Two-year colleges - Joshua Villalobos, Redbud
    • Primarily undergraduate institutions - Rachel O'Brien, Erin Kraal, Dana Royer,and Jacob Sewall,Bellflower
    • Graduate institutions - David McConnell, Sandra Yuter, and Lara Wagner (UNC-Chapel Hill), Windflower

    11:10-12:10 Research statements: Concurrent sessions

    This session is designed to "jump start" the writing process for those who have yet to draft a research statement and will include discussion of key aspects of research statements intended for a particular type of institution (e.g., liberal arts college, research university).
    • Review of research statements - David McConnell and other leaders, Redbud
    Participants who bring five copies of their research statements will work in small groups, each with a workshop leader, reviewing each other's statements and offering feedback. Leaders will also offer their comments and will discuss key aspects of research statements intended for a particular type of institution (e.g., liberal arts college, research university).

    12:10-1:00 Lunch and optional lunch-time discussions, Trillium A

    Theme for the afternoon: Choosing where you want to go and getting there

    1:30-2:50 Mapping your career: Choices, balance, and action planning, Redbud

    Given where you are in your career and what you have learned at this workshop, reflect on your long term goals or "dream job." What are your next steps? What advice would help you most at this point?

    2:50-3:10 Break, Atrium Center

    3:10-4:30 The academic job search: Applications, interviews, teaching demonstrations, and job talks (Acrobat (PDF) 197kB Jun26 12), Heather Macdonald, David McConnell, Sandra Yuter, and other workshop leaders, Redbud

    4:30-5:00 Negotiating before you accept an academic position: Setting yourself up for success, Redbud

    5:00-5:30 Closing thoughts and workshop evaluation, Redbud

    6:30 Dinner (with cash bar), Courtyard by Marriott, Chapel Hill, Old Well and Bell Tower


    Saturday, June 30, 2012

    6:00-8:25 Breakfast, Courtyard by Marriott, Chapel Hill (on your own)

    Optional workshop sessions on Saturday morning

    8:30-9:30 Concurrent Sessions, Courtyard by Marriott, Chapel Hill

    The transition from the more regimented learning in classes to the creative problem solving necessary for original research is easier for some graduate students than others. This session will discuss ways to help create a flexible, collaborative work environment while maintaining high standards.
    Faculty may face many challenges in the classroom--from limitations of the physical space to inappropriate behavior from students. We'll discuss some of the most common classroom challenges and consider approaches and ideas for how to handle these challenges.
    Writing is a core skill that transcends science, but the workload associated with improving student writing can be overwhelming. We will discuss strategies for developing writing skills in the classroom while avoiding the crush of too much grading.

    9:45-10:45 Concurrent Sessions, Courtyard by Marriott, Chapel Hill

    Becoming a faculty member means joining an academic department (or program) as well as a particular institution. Service to those two groups is a part of faculty workload that you'll encounter. We'll discuss the ways for you to do this work effectively while keeping a balance to your workload.
    Participants will learn about common components of the community college interview process. A typical interview visit will be described, and sample questions will be presented and discussed.
    Finding time to write can be challenging enough. Once you find the time, you want to be as productive as you can. In this session we'll discuss strategies for efficiently moving from a completed research project to a submitted manuscript in ways that let you take advantage of small blocks of time.

    11:00-12:00 Concurrent Sessions, Courtyard by Marriott, Chapel Hill

    • Building collaborative relationships for research - Jacob Sewall and Rachel O'Brien, Old Well
    Starting a career at a new institution can provide opportunities for new research arenas and challenges to maintaining existing ones. Join us for advice on how cultivating productive and sustainable research relationships in and outside of your institution can aid your passage into new research fields while helping you maintain productivity in existing areas.
    • Preparing for academic interviews - Heather Macdonald and Erin Kraal, Winston
    In this session we will discuss strategies for what you can do to prepare before an interview, to present yourself during interviews, and to prepare for the types of questions you might be asked during an interview. We'll also continue to work on elevator talks (short, yet critical, opportunities to convey your work to others), and do some mock interviews.
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