GeoNeeds: Broadening Participation in the Geosciences Workforce

Thursday, Friday 8:30am-11:30am Red Gym: Masley Media Room

Session Chairs

Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
Heather Petcovic, Western Michigan University

This workshop is for faculty and administrators who would like to build or expand opportunities for students to engage with the geosciences (atmospheric and climate science, engineering geoscience, geology, hydrogeology, oceanography, and related disciplines) as a career option. We focus particularly on two year colleges (2YCs), minority-serving institutions (MSIs), and other institutions where the geociences are either under subscribed or not taught at all. The workshop program will present research-based best practices in recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented groups, resources available to support course and curriculum development from across the geocience education community, and models of successful program development. Participants will develop an Action Plan with workshop leaders to develop expanded geocience educational opportunities at their home institutions. More information about the GeoNeeds project


As part of an NSF-funded project to identify new strategies for increasing diversity in the geosciences, this mini-workshop conducted by the GeoNeeds project is targeted for faculty and/or teams of faculty and administrators primarily from Minority Serving Institutions and 2-yeear colleges to explore strategies to increase instruction in the Earth Sciences. The workshop will produce institutional action plans, in consultation with workshop leaders, to utilize existing community resources (e.g., Cutting Edge, InTeGrate) to promote instruction at institutions where the Earth Sciences are either not taught, there is a desire to expand coverage, or where instructors may be teaching "out of field".

Target Audience

We are seeking applicants who seek to increase opportunities for URM students to engage with Earth Science experiences and content.

  • Faculty (including adjunct or instructor) or administrator at 2YC or MSI.
  • Preference will be given to administrator-instructor teams
  • Preference will be given to applicants who identify authentic experiences (ex. research opportunities for students, locally-relevant geoscience, integrating geo into sustainability programs, etc.) as their primary goal for participating


The goals for the GeoNeeds project at the 2016 EER are to:

  1. Build capacity of individuals and institutions to offer geoscience courses and programs
  2. Offer professional development to faculty and administrators with limited experience in the geosciences
  3. Develop an Action Plan to increase instruction in Earth Sciences at MSIs and 2YCs serving underrepresented students.


The workshop will include:

  • A series of introductory presentations on topics such as the recommendations from the earlier GeoNeeds focus groups, and an overview of existing resources available to help develop courses and curricula in the Earth sciences;
  • Small group working sessions ("birds of a feather") to define challenges, opportunties, strategies, and solutions;
  • Individual work time to develop an Action Plan to develop instructional programs in Earth Sciences at home institutions.

Travel Stipends to pay for participation in the EER are available through the Geo-Needs Project. We will support ~20 participants (EER registration, travel to Madison WI, stipend for lodging and meals) for participants from MRIs and 2YCs that serve primarily students from underrepresented groups. Participants who are awarded this travel stipend are expected to: a) attend the full week of EER events, b) participate in an opening dinner to learn more about GeoNeeds and to meet the other participants in this cohort; c) attend the mini-workshop on Thursday and Friday; and d) complete an Action Plan for increasing instruction of Earth Science at your home institution. Apply for this travel stipend at GeoNeeds Travel Support Application; the deadline is March 1, 2016. Notice of acceptance will be sent by March 15, 2016 so you will have time to arrange your summer schedules.

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