Participant Essays

You can download all the essays submitted for this workshop as a single PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 1.6MB Jul11 12) (updated 7/11/12).


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Big Changes and New Directions for a Small Program
Christine Witkowski, Murray State University
Middlesex Community College is one of the smallest of the twelve community colleges in Connecticut, with about 3000 credit students per semester (1700 FTE). The Science, Allied Health & Engineering Division offers many 3- and 4-credit science courses in support of the General Studies and Liberal Arts A.S. degrees...

Geospatial-Geoscience Connections
Mark Guizlo, Lakeland Community College
This is an exciting time for those involved in the geospatial field, with the rapid diffusion of technology and the growing awareness of the power of spatial problem solving across multiple sectors of government and business. Clearly, the geosciences have embraced the use of geospatial tools (Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), remotely sensed imagery analysis, and the integration of these technologies through visualization and web/mobile platforms).

How do we prepare the next generation of geoscientists in this technology-driven world? We need to attract them in the first place.
Suki Smaglik, Laramie County Community College
First of all, we need to have geoscience students in our classrooms in order to start to prepare them. Therefore, we need to start young. Kids love rocks; some collect rocks from the time they can crawl. The question we might ask is: Why does this interest stop rather than expand? Only a few of us who discovered our connection to Earth at a young age become geologists. We need to make it known that being a geoscientist is a good career. Geoscientists with an emphasis on environmental issues will always be employable, from field technicians to industry consultants. We have spent nearly two centuries despoiling North American resources. Problems related to resource extraction will take at least another century to set right. It is geoscientists who will be leading the way.

Education to dispel the misconception that Cape Cod is a big homogenous sandbox
catherine etter, Cape Cod Community College
Cape Cod Community College offers an A.A. with matriculation agreements for a seamless transfer to 4 year institutions, a technical A.S. in Environmental Technology, and a selection of environmental certificates. Our educational packages support a diverse group of learners from adult students (15 years and up) with no science background to professional scientists/engineers with years of education and work experience...

Engaging Students Through Research at a 2YC
I can honestly say that for the past six years of teaching full-time I have been excited about going to work every day. The prospect of having the opportunity to introduce something new to a group of students, or explain something that they take for "granite" everyday gives me as much excitement and contentment as my regular morning tall Starbuck House Blend coffee! I like to think that all college professors had that one instructor, professor, or advisor that made them want to go down the path of education and forgo the path of fame or fortune in the geosciences.

Strategic Advisement for Career and Transfer Success
Amanda Colosimo, Monroe Community College
While Monroe Community College (MCC), in Rochester, NY, has grown significantly in the past decade, it has also seen tremendous faculty turnover, as professors with 30 years tenure have been replaced by less experienced but enthusiastic new faculty. Administration has been largely supportive, frequently funding experimental projects and professional development opportunities for junior faculty members...

Interview with a scientist
Amber Kumpf, Muskegon Community College
Overarching goal of the activity: help students be more informed about (1) their possible career options and about (2) specific skills they can develop to best prepare themselves for the workforce.

Engaging Rural Alaskan Students in Geoscience
Todd Radenbaugh, University of Alaska Fairbanks
In rural Alaska, the teaching of university level geosciences at University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) has been limited to a few 100 and 200 level courses offered through the UAF's Collage of Rural and Community Development (CRCD). CRCD has 5 rural campuses across the state that traditionally has focused on English and math instruction, tribal management, and courses to meet community needs.

Creating and Promoting 2-Year Geoscience Degrees
Debra Woodall, Daytona College
I joined the faculty at Daytona State College (DSC) in 2008 as the first and only geoscience professor—which continues to be true. My initial responsibilities included teaching introductory courses in Oceanography and Geology—predominately to non-science majors. While teaching these courses, I quickly became aware of the immense opportunities to grow the geosciences; Daytona Beach is not only located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, but also lays at the front door of the most diverse ecosystem in North America—the Indian River Lagoon Estuary.

Hands-on Field Experience and Career Training in Oceanography
Allison Beauregard, Northwest Florida State College
One of the biggest challenges we face as community college instructors is preparing our students for careers; this is especially true in geoscience fields because people are generally not familiar with the discipline and they do not typically know anyone who is a geoscientist. Further, community colleges do not typically have research programs where students can gain exposure to geoscience research and/or field applications.