Creating a Personal Pathway Map Toward a Geoscience Career

Thursday 3:15pm TSU - Humphries: 203


Kathy Ellins, The University of Texas at Austin
Stephen Boss, University of Arkansas Main Campus
Tahlia Bear, Geological Society of America
Susan Eriksson, Eriksson Associates
Adam Papendieck, The University of Texas at Austin
The Geological Society of America (GSA) On To the Future (OTF) initiative helps build a diverse geoscience community by engaging groups traditionally underrepresented in the geosciences. During the OTF workshop at the 2018 Annual GSA Meeting we presented a pathway mapping activity to encourage participants to begin to plan a geoscience academic degree and career path. Each participant created a personal Geoscience Pathway Map populated with elements that addressed three questions: How Did I Get Here? (Start), Where Am I Going? (End) and How Can I Get There? (Middle). The exercise encouraged participants to (a) identify unique accomplishments, novel attributes/experiences, and personal interactions with geoscientists and consider how these influenced their decision to study geoscience; (b) express clear academic and career aspirations; and (c) think strategically about how to augment their academic effort with high value extracurricular activities and social capital that could aid progress toward their desired career goal. Groups of 8-10 participants were matched with a mentor who was a practicing geoscientist or faculty mentor. Mentors shared elements of their own career paths and personal experiences, and encouraged participants to be creative and take chances while creating their personal pathway maps. Our presentation describes the implementation of the activity, provides examples of participants' work and shares preliminary evaluation findings on the usefulness of the pathway mapping activity as a Geoscience career-planning tool. This work was supported by NSF I-USE GeoPaths Award 1801569 and inspired in part by the EarthConnections project (NSF INCLUDES Award 1649367).

Presentation Media

Creating a Personal Pathway Map Toward a Geoscience Career (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 19.4MB Jul18 19)