Opportunities Over the Next 3-5 Years

Go back to the beginning of this presentation, by Randall Richardson and Susan Beck of the University of Arizona, about the results of a national survey of geoscience departments.

Key findings:

All types of institutions reported opportunities in multidisciplinary science and building new partnerships on campus, with other institutions, and with industry. Many institutions saw opportunities to expand into environmental studies, GIS technology, climate, and natural disasters. Some PhD granting institutions also mentioned opportunities in biogeochemistry, geobiology, geodynamics and geophysics. The 4-year, master's and PhD granting institutions reported opportunities to partner with industry especially given the upswing in the energy sector. Private fund raising and outreach to alumni was also reported as an opportunity. There were numerous comments about the opportunities the geoscience community has as a result of the recent natural disasters that have occurred over the last year. This has increased the public awareness of the Earth sciences and should lead to more interest.

List the largest opportunities you see for your department in the next 3-5 years.

Two Year Colleges

  • Growth in GIS technology
  • Training K-12 teachers
  • Expanded and diverse course offerings including on line courses

"GIS technology has opened more opportunities for applications in a wider variety of subjects. Thus making it a useful tool for use in other subject areas and attracting additional students."


Undergraduate Programs

  • Expand in areas of geobiology, biogeochemistry, climate and environmental sciences
  • Increased research especially multidisciplinary research
  • Increase fund raising and partnerships with industry and alumni

"Large interdisciplinary research team projects that draw upon the range of expertise that we have."

"The largest opportunity is potential for non-profit fund raising from foundations and individuals."


Masters Programs

  • Hire new faculty
  • Expand into multidisciplinary environmental programs
  • Increase research opportunities for faculty and undergraduates

"Become major players in revised Environmental studies program"

"Increasing external funding of RUI and REU proposals in effect expanding the role our faculty play in undergraduate education beyond the classroom setting"


Doctoral Programs

  • Growth in GIS, environmental science, natural hazards and climate
  • Partnerships with industry due to the upswing in the energy sector
  • Increase in the number of majors

"The plethora of recent natural disasters and associated energy issues are going to precondition incoming students to be aware of earth sciences and environmental issues"

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