Houlton (2010) used Critical Incident Methodology to identify reasons why students choose to pursue a geoscience major. Fourteen incidents were found within two pathway steps (see Currents 45-46): Pre-College and College. Currents #47 explains these reasons and how critical incidents act on behavior.Read more in Geoscience Currents #47.
Geoscience Currents #46 discusses the student populations found within Houlton’s (2010) ‘pathway model’ and illuminates similarities and differences between groups of students. Analysis of populations’ pathways allows for targeted recruitment and retention efforts. Read more in Geoscience Currents #46.
Geoscience Currents #45 discusses a newly developed ‘pathway model’ (Houlton, 2010) which examines the reasons students pursue the geosciences as a college major. Furthermore, the pathway model has strong implications for focusing recruitment and retention efforts in academia and industry. This is the first of four Geoscience Currents in the “Geoscience Academic Provenance” series. Read more in Geoscience Currents #45.
The majority of geoscientists in the workforce are within 15 years of retirement age, and data from federal sources, professional societies, and industry indicate a growing imbalance in the age of geoscientists in the profession. Over the past three years, marked shifts in the age demographics for geoscientists in academica and the federal government have been witnessed. Between 2008 and 2010, there was an overall expansion in the ranks of assistant professors and in professor emerti, and a concurrent decrease in the number of full professors. In the federal government, the percentage of geoscientists 50 years old or older has increased since 2007. Furthermore, the majority of geoscience occupations in the federal government show no marked increase in the percentage of early-career geoscientists under the age of 40. Read more in Geoscience Currents #42.
GeoConnection Webinar: A Secure Future for Energy, Environment and Hazard Mitigation: Retaining students through the Student-to-Professional Continuum in the Geosciences?May 25th, 2011
The geoscience profession is facing critical human resource issues as a result of its aging workforce and trickle of new graduates entering core geoscience occupations. Since the mid-1990’s the geoscience degree completion rates have hovered near 12 percent for undergraduates and near 20 percent for graduate students. Furthermore, data from the National Science Foundation’s 2006 statistical databases indicates that only 30 percent of geoscience graduates work in core geoscience occupations. The majority of the geoscience workforce will be retiring over the next decade and data from federal sources, professional societies, and industry indicate this growing imbalance in the profession’s age demographics. Over the past three years, the age demographics for geoscientists in academia and the federal government indicate an acceleration in the loss of senior geoscientists from the profession.
Because of increasing pressure to address issues such as energy supply, climate and other environmental concerns, and as seen with the Japan disaster, strengthening hazard mitigation, there is an expected 23 percent increase in geoscience jobs over the next decade on top of a wave of nearly 50 percent of existing geoscientists retiring during the same time. The U.S. is beginning to see the loss of fundamental technical skills in the geoscience workforce, both within academia and in the applied sectors. Across all fields, future geoscientists will need solid fundamental skills in both geoscience and mathematics that can be applied to different geoscience challenges including water resources, energy, minerals, hazards and climate issues. Given the current trends, many core and specialty geoscience sub-disciplines that are also economically critical are at risk of extinction. Without properly targeted investment in the retention geoscience university students and the successful transition of geoscience graduates into core geoscience occupations, the sustainability of U.S. geoscience academic infrastructure and pursuit of basic geoscience research is at risk.
This roundtable will be a live web-cast. The roundtable will commence with a brief presentation that highlights these main issues and will be followed by Skype chat-based discussion groups on the following topics.
Discussion group focus questions:
1. How do we successfully retain geoscience students in US university programs?
2. How do we successfully transition geoscience graduates into geoscience occupations?
Roundtable moderators will present their discussion group summaries at the end of the roundtable session. If you would like to serve as a roundtable moderator, please contact Leila Gonzales at lmg@agiweb.
YES Network - US National Chapter (http://yesnetworkusa.blogspot.com)
If your organization would like to co-sponsor this event, please contact Leila Gonzales at email@example.com. Sponsoring organizations promote this event to their membership and will be acknowledged in the above list and during the webinar.
We especially encourage geoscience students and early-career geoscientists to participate in this webinar. This webinar has been submitted to the Obama Administration’s “Roundtables with Young Americans” initiative, and we have also requested that a person from the Administration be in attendance during this session.
As part of this initiative we will be submitting the names and contact information for all participants who would like to be listed as attendees for the final report that is submitted to the Administration’s Youth Team. The Youth Team will read the results, and will be in touch with all the participants after the roundtable with White House conference calls, web chats, and other opportunities to talk with members of the Obama Administration on a number of important issues.
*Note: If you would like to have your contact information included in the final report submitted to the Obama Administration’s Youth Team, please make sure to fill in the name, address, and email fields on the registration page.
For more information on the Obama Administration’s roundtable initiative, visit:
The American Geological Institute (AGI) hosted the first Earth System Science (ESS) Education Summit in Houston, Texas, on February 8-11, 2010. Forty-two representatives of AGI member societies and key partners met to discuss and address key issues facing the K-12 geoscience education community. This Geoscience Currents summarizes the key issues identified by the K-12 geoscience education community as well as the big ideas put forward by the community and the actions that the group has committed to take to address these issues. Read more in Geoscience Currents #43.
April 21, 2001
1:00 - 2:00 PM (US Eastern time)
Join us to listen to the following speakers discuss geoscience careers in minerals exploration.
Professor Bill Chavez, New Mexico Technical University
David Groves, Newmont Mining
Steve Enders, President, Society of Economic Geologists
The speakers will discuss the following topics:
1 ) How to prepare yourself for a career in minerals exploration. Find out what type of academic background recruiters are looking for in geoscience graduates.
2) An overview of the minerals exploration industry including an explanation of what a junior exploration company does vs. an intermediate sized or major exploration / mining company. Find out what career paths exist in the different types of companies.
3) The future outlook for employment opportunities in the minerals exploration industry.
Participation in AGI’s GeoWebinars is FREE. For more information about this webinar, visit AGI’s GeoWebinar site: www.agiweb.org/workforce/webinars.html.
Geoscience Currents #44 examines premiliminary data from a survey of four-year institutions of higher learning regarding the acceptance of high school Earth science courses as part of the admissions process. As of May 8, 2011, 226 schools responded. The preliminary results indicate that 77.0% of the surveyed institutions accept high school Earth science courses, but there can be conditions on that acceptance. Almost 1/3 of those schools stating they accept an Earth science course for admission require that it must be “laboratory-based.” To date, only 5.8 percent of schools responding to the survey do not accept an Earth science course for college admission. Read more in Geoscience Currents #44.
The YES Network and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) will be hosting a townhall meeting at the 2011 European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria from 19:00-20:00 on April 5. This event will address some of the key factors in aligning graduate aspirations with employer needs. Event speakers will include representatives from geoscience early-career networks, geoscience employers, recent geoscience graduates, and current geoscience students.
The discussion will draw on experience and knowledge gleaned from the 2010-2011 responses to the YES Network Decision Points Survey. The meeting will identify aspirations and employment requirements as well as aims to improve graduate-industry communication.
For those not attending the EGU General Assembly, the townhall meeting will be live web-cast. Web-based participation is being provided for free by the American Geological Institute (AGI). Registration details are posted on the YES Network’s website: http://www.networkyes.org/index.php/meetings/egu_2011/ .
The YES Network (http://www.networkyes.org/) is a professional network for the support of early-career professionals and students in the geosciences. The YES Network not only encourages the active participation of early-career geoscientists and geoscience students, but also of those who are interested in supporting this global network. The YES Network was formed as a result of the International Year of Planet Earth in 2007. Its first international Congress was in Beijing, China in 2009 and focused on climate, environmental and geoscience challenges facing today’s society, as well as career and academic pathway challenges faced by early-career geoscientists. Since the conference, the YES Network has more than tripled its membership, and its members are involved a variety of geoscience projects and conferences around the world. The YES Network aims to establish an interdisciplinary global network of individuals committed to solving these challenges, and furthering the IYPE motto of “Earth Sciences for Society.” As the YES Network has developed as a self-organizing network, there are no membership fees or dues.
The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS – http://www.apecs.is/) is an international and interdisciplinary organization for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, early faculty members, educators and others with interests in Polar Regions and the wider cryosphere. Our aims are to stimulate interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, and develop effective future leaders in polar research, education and outreach.
If you ask someone involved in community remote sensing to define the emerging field, the most likely response will be a chuckle followed by “That’s a hard question to answer…” At its core, the movement is about remote sensing - collecting data from afar. Remote sensing has revolutionized science and Earth monitoring, but it fails to collect data at the hyper-local level. And that’s where the community comes in.
Learn how you can use handheld technologies such as smartphones, GPS devices and digital cameras to help scientists in the Trends column “The Rise of Community Remote Sensing” in the April issue of EARTH. And don’t miss our stories on topics such as how microbes survive for tens of thousands of years in salt crystals, how black carbon affects climate, and whether science education is passing or failing in the U.S. in the April issue. Also be sure to check out our story about discovering dinosaur tracks in a New Jersey housing development.
These stories and many more can be found in the April issue of EARTH, now available digitally (http://www.earthmagazine.org/digital/) or in print on your local newsstands.
For further information on the April featured article, go to http://www.earthmagazine.org/earth/article/429-7db-3-15 .
Keep up to date with the latest happenings in earth, energy and environment news with EARTH magazine, available on local newsstands or online at http://www.earthmagazine.org/. Published by the American Geological Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.