Workshop Overview

This workshop has already occurred. Check out the On the Cutting Edge Workshopspage for upcoming opportunities.

Format and goals

Students working near Morsarjokull, Iceland

  • Plenary sessions:Participants discussed general issues such as
    • How do we help students visualize important concepts in geomorphology?
    • What should students be able to do after having taken an undergraduate geomorphology course, and does the answer depend on the perspective (e.g., graduate school, government agency, consulting industry)?
    • How can we best integrate geomorphology concepts into courses in the core geoscience curriculum, especially in departments where geomorphology is not taught as a required course?
    • How can we best include the important and growing roles of experimentation and modeling in understanding geomorphic processes?
    • What is the potential for, and what should be the content coverage of, a new type of textbook consisting of a short paper volume supported by online modules of data, case studies, etc.?
  • Dealing effectively with issues in teaching geomorphology:How do we cope effectively with the typically diverse backgrounds of students in geomorphology courses, especially when both undergraduate and graduate students are involved in a course? What about the expectations of students and their preparation in quantitative skills? How might networking be developed at the workshop to help faculty who have no colleagues in geomorphology at their own institutions? What can we do about department attitudes toward geomorpholgy?
  • Experimental approaches:Participants had the opportunity to visit the flumes at the CSU Engineering Research Center and discuss the role and appropriate balance of experiments, modeling, and observation in teaching geomorphology to undergraduates.
  • Assignment/activities sessions:All participants submitted at least two activities or assignments for actively engaging students in the classroom or for providing effective and innovative lab or field experiences. These activities were shared with other participants either as posters or short oral presentations during the workshop and on the Cutting Edge web site.
  • Teaching materials collection:All participants contributed to development of the collection Resources for Teaching Geomorphology, similar to the collections Resources for Teaching Petrology, Resources for Teaching Structural Geology, Resources for Teaching Hydrogeology, Resources for Teaching Sedimentary Geology, and Resources for Teaching Geophysics. Workshop attendees considered what makes effective activities and assignments and reviewed and made suggestions for improving submitted materials.
  • Email List:A email list for workshop participants has promoted discussion before and after the workshop.


satellite image of Lake Powell
The first workshop event took place at 7 pm on Monday, July 28, and the last at dinner on Friday, August 1. An optional field trip took place on Saturday, August 2.

Eligibility and application instructions

Applicants for this workshop must hold a faculty position at a two- or four-year college or university and teach a geomorphology course at the undergraduate level. We welcome applications from all academic ranks. The workshop is limited to 70 participants, and 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.


Workshop costs.The workshop fee of $250 covers meals and double-occupancy rooms for the workshop. Our National Science Foundation grant provides funding for the remainder of the operational costs of the workshop. To be supported by these funds, a participant must be either a US citizen, a permanent resident, or in the employ of a US institution. If you don't meet these requirements and are interested in participating in this workshop at your own expense, please contact the workshop conveners.

view from ridge at Thorsmork, Iceland

Travel.All participants or their home institutions must provide transportation to and from the workshop. The workshop will be held at Colorado State University. Colorado State is located in Fort Collins, Co, about 70 miles north of Denver International Airport. Participants must make their own way to CSU in time for the first workshop event at 7 pm on Monday, July 28. The workshop will be over on Friday evening, August 1, and participants will return home on Saturday, August 2. Those who wish to go on the optional field trip on August 2 can return home on Sunday, August 3. SuperShuttle offers hourly shuttle service from Denver International Airport to Fort Collins. The shuttle takes approximately 2 hours to go from DIA to Ft. Collins.

We will be able to offer small travel stipends to participants from institutions unable to cover travel costs. The deadline for applying for one of these stipends is February 21, 2008.


Workshop sessions will take place at Colorado State University, and participants will live in the dorms on campus. The registration fee covers the cost of meals and a double-occupancy room. We will offer the opportunity to choose a single room at a single supplement fee.

Further Information

Contact Barbara Tewksbury (