Workshop Overview


Finding the time, energy, and inspiration to develop a new course or to re-design an existing course is a challenge for faculty. Join us for a four-day workshop in a stimulating and resource-rich environment where you will make significant progress toward designing or re-designing an effective and innovative undergraduate course in the geosciences.

Workshop goals for participants:
  • to design or re-design a course at either the introductory or upper level, working with other participants and with workshop presenters as mentors
  • to explore a variety of innovative and effective teaching and assessment techniques aimed at improving student learning
  • to develop ways of incorporating real-world data and research or research/like activities into assignments and activities for courses
  • to leave the workshop with clear goals for the course, a concrete plan for achieving those goals, a detailed course outline, and preliminary plans for specific course activities
  • to participate after the workshop in follow-up activities designed to disseminate the results of course development activities of workshop participants.

The workshop program will engage participants in meeting these goals by combining time for individual goals setting and materials development with time for sharing, structured discussion, short presentations on specific teaching techniques, small group collaboration, and informal interaction and conversation. Funded participants will participate in electronic discussion and preparation prior to the workshop to become familiar with key issues and concepts, present a poster at the end of the workshop describing their course development activities, and follow through with post-workshop plans.


Applicants for this workshop must hold a faculty teaching position in geoscience at a two- or four-year college or university and have responsibility for teaching undergraduate geoscience courses. The workshop is limited to 30 participants. The final list of participants will be established with the goal of assembling a group representing a wide range of experiences, educational environments, and specialties.


The first workshop event will take place at noon on Sunday, July 28, and the last at noon on Thursday, August 1. Participants must attend all sessions.


Application must be made on line by May 1, and successful applicants will be notified by May 10.


The workshop itself is FREE, thanks to a grant from the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education. NSF Grant DUE-0127310 will provide funding for the operational costs of the workshop plus room, board, and workshop materials. Participants or their home institutions must provide transportation to and from the workshop. We will be able to offer small travel stipends to participants from institutions unable to cover travel costs. If you wish to apply for a travel stipend, please contact Heather Macdonald at


The workshop will be held at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY (approximately 60 miles east of Syracuse, NY). Participants will be housed in rooms in the dormitories on campus and will eat meals in the College dining hall.

Further Information

Contact Barbara Tewksbury ( or Heather Macdonald ( for more information.

Planning team
  • Barbara Tewksbury-Hamilton College
  • Heather Macdonald-College of William & Mary
  • four additional presenters.