A Retrospective Study of Geoscience Early Career Workshop Participants: Understanding the Lasting Influences on Faculty Professional Lives

Wednesday 12:50 PT / 1:50 MT / 2:50 CT / 3:50 ET Online
Oral Session Part of Oral Session III


Ellen Iverson, Carleton College
Kristin O'Connell, Carleton College
Kathryn Sheriff, Mercer University
We investigated the influence of The NAGT Workshop for Early Career Geoscience Faculty: Teaching, Research, and Managing One's Career on past participants through a retrospective interview and survey study. The Early Career workshop has been offered annually since 1999 involving more than 1000 faculty members.

We conducted 27 interviews over video-conference drawn from a purposive heterogeneous sample stratified along four aspects: 1) workshop year 2) institutional type, 3) current appointment, and 4) demographic characteristics. The research questions for these 45 minute interviews centered on: What aspects of the workshop do faculty attribute to influencing their professional lives? How did participation in the workshop change their view of their own role in the geoscience community, if at all? And how have networks of colleagues gained through workshop participation persisted or influenced faculty professional lives in the years following the workshop?

Findings from these interviews characterized the lasting influence and degree of attribution to the workshop for outcomes including changes in teaching, strategies for balancing academic priorities, development of collegial networks, and early guidance on scholarly work. Additionally, the interviews informed the design of a retrospective survey that was administered to all past Early Career participants from 1999-2018 with current contact information. The survey centered on understanding: What do faculty attribute as the most valuable aspects of the Early Career workshop to their professional life? What role has the Early Career network played in their success as a faculty member? What workshop additions would have been professionally valuable as Early Career faculty member? In aggregate, survey responses helped generalize the interview findings to the larger participant sample, situate this professional development experience within their other training, and identify additional workshop topics to consider in the future such as navigating conflict with colleagues or strategies to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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