Results of the 2021/2022 GER Needs Assessment Survey: A Snapshot of the Community
The geoscience education research (GER) community began to coalesce as its own independent field in the 2000s, after significant groundwork done by early scholars in prior decades (NRC, 2012). By 2014, there were sufficient numbers of people interested in GER to develop a community of practice as a division within NAGT, called NAGT-GER (Lukes et al., 2015). In the last eight years, major efforts have helped amplify the work, growth and impact of GER, including the development of the Community Framework (St. John et al., 2020), the GER Toolbox, and a methodological and theoretical framework-based session at the GSA's Annual Meeting hosted by NAGT-GER. GER has also been improved by better representation in cross-DBER communities, and most recently, the inclusion of GER perspectives in AGU's efforts to promote integrated, coordinated, open and networked (ICON) science to advance the geosciences (Fortner et al., in review). As the community has rapidly grown in number and expanded to include a more diverse set of geoscience disciplines, the time had come for a needs assessment of the GER community to identify next steps for advancing the collective. We disseminated a survey to multiple geoscience listservs in December 2021 and January 2022 to identify current demographic patterns, disciplines and professional development needs. Preliminary results indicate that of the N=123 respondents who provided demographic information, 54.4% identified as female, and 73.17% identified as White. Respondents were employed primarily in higher education at four-year teaching-focused (n = 42) or research-focused (n = 41) institutions or at two-year colleges (n = 10), with another 17 reporting employment as graduate students. Comparisons with the history of other DBER communities and recommendations for next steps will be shared, as well as how professional development needs vary across demographics (e.g. graduate students, disciplinary groups).