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.
Archive for the ‘Workforce’ Category
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?Wednesday, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Did you miss one of the recent GeoConnection Webinars? We just posted the “Geoscientists in the Finance Sector” and “Engaging Geoscience Alumni as Career Resources” webinars on AGI’s GeoWebinar site.
The percentage of all federal funding for research and development applied to the geosciences decreased from nearly 11% in 1996 to 6% in 2007, where it has held steady ever since. The total amount of federal research funding for geoscience research steadily increased between 1970 and 2004, peaking at $3.74 billion dollars. Since 2004, funding has steadily decreased, and in 2009 total federal research funding for geoscience research was $3.35 billion dollars. Total funding for geoscience research at universities peaked in 2004 at $1.1 billion dollars and decreased to $966 million dollars in 2007. Read more in Geoscience Currents #41.
GeoConnection Webinar:Â Engaging Geoscience Alumni as Career Resources
February 15, 2011 (1:00-2:00 pm US EST)
Join us to listen to faculty and alumni from the geoscience departments at St. Lawrence University and Georgia Southern University discuss strategies for reaching out and engaging geoscience department alumni as career resources. This webinar will focus on the steps these departments have taken to stay in touch with alumni and get them involved in providing career information for their students (e.g. providing talks in geoscience courses, participating in a Geoscience Career Day or Fair, interacting with students at a department open house day, actively mentoring students, etc.).
For more information, please visit AGI’s GeoWebinar webpage at www.agiweb.org/workforce/webinars.html.