Overview, Traveling Workshop Program

Rainbow Bridge National Monument, Utah. Satellite image courtesy of GeoEye.

Program Description

Departments select topics of high interest from a list of areas of expertise developed through prior community workshops. Two of our workshop leaders work with the department to customize our workshop materials in these areas and deliver the programming on (or near) campus. Each session is built on presentations, discussions, and action planning. The workshop program features concrete examples drawn from the leaders' experience and from the collective experiences of the geoscience community, and highlights online resources for further information. All workshops also incorporate information on building departmental consensus and assessing departmental efforts.


When you apply for a traveling workshop, your department may choose one or more of the following topics on which to focus for your one-day to two-day workshop. Plan on a minimum of half a day per topic, with a maximum of three topics, to allow sufficient time to explore each topic in depth.

  • Curriculum and Program Design
  • Beyond the Curriculum
  • Recruiting Students
  • Preparing Students for the Workforce
  • Program Assessment

Workshop Outcomes

Our visiting leaders will offer their knowledge and expertise on the topic or topics you choose from the list above, and will lead your department in a structured conversation about how to move forward with your departmental plans for the future. In particular, at the end of the workshop you will have:

  • Strategies that have worked for other geoscience departments.
  • A collection of resources, from other geoscience departments and beyond, on the topic(s) of your choice.
  • A departmental action plan for moving forward.


Traveling workshops take place during the academic year, at the mutual convenience of your department and our leaders. There are two deadlines for applications in 2013-2014: November 15, 2013 and February 15, 2014. Later applications will be considered if funding remains. Applicants will be notified of the status of their application within approximately three weeks after the deadline.


Participating departments are expected to:

  • Schedule the workshop to support full participation by all department faculty members.
  • Reserve a meeting space with robust internet access.
  • Provide us with information about your department and its programs.
  • Prepare in advance for workshop discussions via readings, writings, discussion or other activities developed by workshop leaders.
  • Participate fully in the entire workshop.
  • Develop an action plan at the workshop, implement it, and report the outcomes to us.
  • Contribute to on-line collections of resources for the Building Strong Departments website.
  • Assist in disseminating the results of the workshop through discussions with colleagues and other activities.

Institutional Costs and Responsibilities

The host institution must pay leaders' travel expenses and provide housing, meals, local ground transportation and any other on-site expenses (e.g., duplication of handouts).

Selection Criteria

Applicants will be selected on the basis of potential impact on the department and the match between department needs as articulated in the application and our programs strengths. We will give preference to applicants with a high level of commitment, as indicated by the percentage of the department that will be involved and the length of workshop requested.