Sharing Colorado Energy Resources with RRCC Students: Action Plan

Eleanor Camann, Geology, Red Rocks Community College

After attending this workshop, I have 3 main goals.

First, I will incorporate some of the data, examples, images, and websites shared in the presentations into my own teaching. They will be particularly useful for my Environmental Geology class – in which we discuss both fossil fuels and alternative energy. I will also share workshop resources with adjunct instructors who work in our department teaching courses that include these topics.

Second, I will add some of the web resources I learned about to the "Useful Links" part of the RRCC Geology website ( This will include links to sites with science-based information about energy resources, as well as sites with information about Colorado jobs in energy fields. I recommend this page and the links on it to all of my students and frequently make use of it during class to remind them about the wealth of information available through it.

Finally, I will use the workforce information I learned in order to more effectively directly advise my students about career resources related to energy fields. Current and former students often come to me with questions about the job market, and the more information I can give or refer them to the better. I will direct them to the web links mentioned above as well as talk to them.

Probably most usefully for some of my students, in the short term at least, was making contact with Scott Fast from the Colorado Workforce Development Council's Education and Training Committee and Cynthia Howell from the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). I spoke to them both one-on-one about how to better help students who are interested in working in the petroleum industry but either unable to find jobs right after earning their BS or concerned about that future possibility when they do finish their degrees. We talked about ways to help students broaden their knowledge base and learn transferable skills to make themselves more attractive to employers in a wider range of fields outside of the petroleum industry during downturns in the job market. From Cynthia, I also learned that CSM (the primary transfer school for my Physical Geology students) has begun to require students earning Petroleum Engineering degrees to also have a strong background (such as a double major or minor) in another discipline, such as Civil, Mechanical, Geological, or Mining Engineering. So, I will advise students to do that as well. We also talked about the unfortunate lack of internships available in these fields to help students gain valuable work experience and make them more competitive in the job market. Cynthia said she could potentially help place some current RRCC students as interns for a geothermal research project taking place at CSM. Scott let me know about the "Opportunity Youth" program that is part of the Workforce Opportunity and Investment Act, which helps to partner unemployed or underemployed 16-24-year olds with employers for paid internships. He suggested that I have highly-qualified former students who have recently finished their 4-year programs and been unsuccessful in seeking jobs send their resume to him. Hopefully he will be able to help them find suitable internships, leading to future long-term jobs.

Downloadable version of this essay - Sharing Colorado Energy Resources with RRCC Students: Action Plan (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 14kB Nov15 15)

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