Geo-Needs: Broadening Participation in the Geosciences Workforce


Please remember to bring a laptop to this workshop!

Thursday & Friday 8:30am-11:30am

This workshop is designed to support development of courses, curricula, and extracurricular programs to broaden participation in the Geosciences by students from underrepresented groups. The workshop will include short presentations from the conveners, small and whole group discussions, and personal exploration, reflection and writing time. The conveners will work with individuals and small groups to explore possibilities to expand Geoscience to diverse groups of students through your courses, curricula, and extracurricular activities (such as recruitment and retention efforts, outreach, internships, bridging programs, etc.). To support this work, resources are provided from the Geo-Needs report and website, and links to sister projects (e.g., On the Cutting Edge, InTeGrate). But there is also a wealth of knowledge and experience among the workshop participants, so please work collaboratively to help us achieve a geoscience workforce that looks like America!

Pre-Workshop Preparation

  • Read the Geo-Needs Focus Group Meetings Report
  • Review resources on the Geo-Needs Website
  • Respond to pre-workshop survey before July 15
  • Visit the Action Plan Template. Talk to your colleagues and start to think about a course, curriculum, or extracurricular activity that would work in your institutional context; Begin to prepare background information that will be used in developing your Action Plan. If you'd like to draft your responses offline, you can download a Word document with the questions from this form (Microsoft Word 59kB Jun21 16) and copy and paste your responses into the form when you are ready to submit them.

Day 1: Thursday July 21

8:30-8:45 Welcome and Introduction to Geo-Needs

  • Introduce the Geo-Needs Project and workshop conveners
    • The underrepresentation problem in the geosciences
    • Barriers and opportunities at 2YCs and MSIs
    • Geo-Needs focus group meetings outcomes
  • Introduce Workshop Goals
    • Build capacity of individuals and institutions to offer geoscience courses, curricula, and/or extracurricular programs at minority-serving institutions or institutions that have a significant population of students from underrepresented groups;
    • Offer professional development to faculty and administrators who have limited experience in the geosciences and who plan to build competence and capacity;
    • Support individuals in developing an Action Plan to design (or revise) a course, curriculum or extracurricular program that will increase awareness of, engagement in, or instruction in Earth Sciences at MSIs, 2YCs and other institutions serving underrepresented students; and
    • Synthesize and post finished Action Plans on the Geo-Needs website in order to share examples of course, curricular, and extracurricular innovations with the broader geoscience community.
  • Workshop Outcomes: Development of an Action Plan to support broadening participation in the Earth Sciences in your course, curriculum or program
  • View the Day 1 introductory slides (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 8MB Jul22 16)

8:45-9:15 Participant Introductions in small groups (round table discussion, groups of 5-6)

  • What is your institutional setting?
  • What is your institutional mission?
  • How is Earth Science currently taught at your institution, or how/where could it be taught ?
  • What course/curriculum/program would you like to work on at this workshop to support broadening participation in the Earth Sciences?

9:15-9:45 A Focus on Your Students (small groups II)

  • Who are your students? Where do they come from? What is the demographic profile of your student population?
  • What are their aspirations? What career paths do they follow, or what career paths are available to them?
  • What knowledge, skills, and personal attributes will the students need to be successful?
  • What can you build into your course design that will help them get there?

Supporting Resources

9:45-10:15 Personal Writing Time and Break

  • Begin to fill out your Action Plan with information on your institutional setting and information about your targeted student population. Staff will be available to help get you started with the Action Plan form.

10:15-11:00 A Focus on your Course/Curriculum/Program (Small Group III; provide feedback, suggestions, advice based on experience)

  • What course/curriculum/extracurricular program are you planning to develop?
  • Who is your target audience (K-12, public, current students, new students, etc.)?
  • What are the course, curriculum, or project goals and outcomes - what do you hope to accomplish? For example
    • What are your student or participant learning goals and outcomes?
    • What are the key concepts, content and/or skills that you expect your students or participants to master?
    • How does the course/curriculum/program impact diversity in the geosciences?

Supporting Resources

11:00-11:15 Reflection, Homework and Next Steps (Whole Group Report Out)

  • What is your course, curriculum, or extracurricular activity?
  • What have you learned from Geo-Needs that will support your course/curriculum/program, development?
  • What have you learned or experienced at the EER that will help?
  • What other resources from On the Cutting Edge, InTeGrate, or other sources do you think you will use in your course design?

11:15-11:30 Evaluation Road Check: Day 1


Take some time to review the resources suggested on this program to explore strategies, methods, and other resources that can be used in your project development. Review and edit your Action Plan in progress, and begin to populate your Action Plan with the resources that you've discovered. Look ahead on the template; our work tomorrow will be much more effective if you've thought about (or uploaded) ideas for tomorrow's session.

Day 2: Friday July 22 (the Work day of this workshop)

8:30-8:45 Review where we are, plan for the day, developing your Action Plan, questions?

8:45-9:45 Course/Curriculum/Program Outline Development (Individual writing time, but with discussion as needed in small groups)

  • Key concepts, skills, or topics to be included
  • Example activities
  • Pedagogic strategies and methods
  • Curricular design
  • Key program elements (fieldwork, research, outreach, internship, etc.)

Supporting Resources

9:45-10:00 Break

10:00-10:45 Design For Success (Individual writing time, but with discussion as needed in small groups)

  • What barriers to student or program success do you anticipate? How can you overcome these?
  • What strategies and methods can be used to ensure success for ALL students?
  • What Institutional or other stakeholder support will you need?

Supporting Resources

10:45-11:00 Practical Matters (Individual writing time, but with discussion as needed in small groups)

  • What continuing professional development support do you and your faculty/staff needs
  • Recruitment and Dissemination Plans
  • Budget and in-kind support for your course/curriculum/program
  • Timeline
  • Evaluation and Assessment

Supporting Resources

11:00-11:30 Wrap-Up

  • Report outs: progress made
  • Next steps: finishing (revising, editing) your Action Plan; where do you need help
  • End of Workshop Evaluation