Sustain Community Momentum
Once you've got the network built and engaged, the trick is to stay connected and sustain collaboration in the group.
To maintain strong communication among regional faculty, we suggest developing a strategy for intentional and regular interactions. The mechanism and frequency would likely depend upon a number of factors. An example is a listserv or discussion board that includes all interested geology faculty in the region. For such a tool to be useful, it must be consistently used by its administrator and others, the postings should be relevant and of high quality, and the frequency of messages should be just right.
These two teams took advantage of the SAGE 2YC project's infrastructure to create email lists for their respective regions as a way to continue to interact and engage with interested faculty even after the end of the program.
Usually one regional community spurs on a new idea for another community so you can connect your program to the pre-2YC, post-2YC, private, Non-Government Organization (NGO) & governmental sectors. Make plans to regularly convene your network group at preexisting meetings where members are going to go already. These less frequent face-to-face interactions are important for community cohesion and can help new network members get to know each other more rapidly.
Following a major reorganization of the 2YC landscape in their state, the Wisconsin has devoted several of their workshops to helping their network of geology and geography faculty stay connected and imagine how they can move forward together.
One outcome of the long participation of the North Carolina team in SAGE programming is that workshop participants have begun stepping forward as hosts to continue holding yearly workshops following the end of project funding.
Identify New Partners
Connecting with new partners helps to widen your community, brings in fresh ideas and new perspectives, and allows you to pool your resources.
The Florida team partnered with two non-profit organizations to create a community-wide event that included scientists, students and community members.
The Portland team partnered with the USGS to conduct professional workshops where all participants discussed a regional effort to promote the 40th anniversary of Mount St. Helen's eruption.