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American Geological Institute
Leadership Forum 2011

“The Importance of the Geosciences”

Monday, September 19, 2011
American Chemical Society
1155 16th. NW, Washington, DC

Conference Summary (to be posted soon as PDF)


Selected presentations are available below.

Monday, September 19th

I. Question 1: What value do you derive from the geosciences as an individual? Why did you choose a career in the geosciences or a related area and what benefits have you derived from your career?

Objective 1: Encourage young people to consider a career in the geosciences by understanding what value we place in the geosciences as individuals and why we chose to go into the geosciences.


Heather Houlton, AGI Workforce Program
Master’s Thesis and Additional Analyses of Reasons Students Major in the Geosciences

John Geissman, University of Texas, Dallas, President of Geological Society of America
Personal and Professional Perspectives

Sandra Carlson, University of California, Davis, Incoming President of Paleontological Society
Growing Up Outside

II. Question 2: What value does the science and engineering community derive from the geosciences? Why should universities have geosciences departments? Why should businesses employ geoscientists? Why should geosciences courses be part of elementary and secondary school science learning?

Objective 2: Develop or maintain geosciences curricula for elementary or secondary schools and to develop or maintain geosciences departments within institutions of higher education or within businesses.


Cathy Manduca, Carleton College, Executive Director of National Association of Geoscience Teachers
Fostering Geoscience Education Improvements

Richard Spruill, East Carolina University, President of National Association of State Boards of Geology
Demographics of Applicants Seeking Licensure as Professional Geologists

Sara Welna, Kraemer Mining and Materials, Inc., President of Association for Women Geoscientists
Personal and Professional Perspectives: A Geoscientist’s Life in Aggregate

III. Question 3: What value do local, state and federal governments derive from the geosciences? Why should government support the geosciences? How much of a priority is geosciences funding and how can it be most effective?

Objective 3: Detail and communicate the value of the geosciences to government officials and to explain why government support for geosciences is important.


Tim Killeen, Geosciences Directorate, National Science Foundation
Explaining the Value of Basic Research: GEO Vision, STAR METRICS and Other Tools

Wayne Pennington, Michigan Technological Univ; Incoming President of American Geological Institute
Earth Science in Diplomacy and Development: A viewpoint from a year spent with the US State Department and USAID

Jim Cobb, Kentucky State Geologist; Past President of Association of American State Geologists
Economic Value of Geologic Mapping

IV. Question 4: What value does the public gain from the geosciences?  Why should the public care about having some geosciences literacy and receiving information about geosciences discoveries and advances?

Objective 4: Inform the public of geosciences advances and understanding that help improve the quality of life and the environment.


Samuel Gowan, Alpha Geoscience, President of American Institute of Professional Geologists
Personal and Professional Perspectives

Rick Aster, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Past President of Seismological Society of America
Personal and Professional Perspectives

Denise Cox, Storm Energy, Representative for American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Personal and Professional Perspectives

Conference Summary (PDF)

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Posted on September 22, 2011.

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