2014 GeoCUR Award For Excellence in Student Research

For the first time in 2014, CUR’s Geoscience Division presented the GeoCUR Award for Excellence in Student Research.  Please review the citations from the nominators and join us in congratulating our first group of student awardees.

2014 GeoCUR Student Award


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Workshop announcement from SERC – Early Career Faculty

Early Career Geoscience Faculty Workshop: Teaching, Research, and Managing Your Career
June 22-26, 2014 with optional trip to NSF on Friday, June 27
at University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Application deadline: March 1, 2014

If you are in your first three years of a permanent academic position, please apply to join us for a multi-day workshop in a stimulating and resource-rich environment where you will participate in sessions on topics including effective teaching strategies, course design, establishing a research program in a new setting, working with research students, balancing professional and personal responsibilities, and time management. The workshop is offered by NAGT On the Cutting Edge professional development program for geoscience faculty with partial support from the National Science Foundation. Past participants give high praise for this workshop.  Here are a few quotes:

“This workshop is one of the best things I have done for my career!”

“… it is very helpful to form a network of colleagues at other institutions. I think I made some friendships that will last my career.”

“The workshop totally changed my view of teaching from teacher-oriented to student-oriented. It’s no more what I want to teach but what students need to learn or take away from the course. This is the essential point that I will keep in mind when I design course goals, syllabi, in-class activities, assignments, and exams.”

“I am heading back to my institution feeling that I am better equipped to be a more efficient and effective teacher, researcher, colleague, father, husband, and community member.”


*   Learn about setting course goals, strategies for active learning, and methods for assessment.
*   Share ideas and strategies for teaching courses.
*   Consider successful strategies for maintaining an active research program and advising/supervising undergraduate and/or graduate research students.
*   Discuss life as an early-career faculty member and explore ways to balance teaching, research, and service responsibilities.
*   Leave with examples of assignments and activities for various courses, strategies for balancing competing demands, a support network of other early career faculty, and a plan for managing your early career as an academic.

The workshop fee of $700 (or $650 for NAGT members) will cover most meals and double-occupancy rooms. Participants will pay for some meals, and participants or their home institutions must provide transportation to and from the workshop. In cases where the cost of attending this workshop would cause financial hardship, you can apply for a stipend to help defray these costs.

Our National Science Foundation grant provides funding for the remainder of the operational costs of the workshop. To be supported by these funds, a participant must be either a US citizen, a permanent resident, or in the employ of a US institution. If you don’t meet these requirements and are interested in participating in this workshop at your own expense, please contact Rachel Beane rbeane@bowdoin.edu<mailto:rbeane@bowdoin.edu>.

Workshop facilitators:
Rachel Beane, Department of Earth and Oceanographic Science, Bowdoin College
Tessa Hill, Bodega Marine Laboratory, University of California, Davis
Richard Yuretich, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Andrew Goodliffe, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Alabama
Chris Kim, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Chapman University
Karen Kortz, Department of Physics, Community College of Rhode Island
Sarah Penniston-Dorland, Department of Geology, University of Maryland
Cindy Shellito, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Northern Colorado

The workshop application and additional information are linked from the workshop website:

Posted in Announcements

AGU 2013 sessions and workshop

SESSION: ED23D. Models of Successful Undergraduate Research Programs in the Earth Sciences

With advances in technology, increased field access, changes in funding, increased interdisciplinary work, and global connections, undergraduate research mentoring and programs are varied in their structure and expectations. This session encourages submissions from mentors, departments, and/or institutions to describe models of working with individual students to describing department requirements and institution-wide practices. We encourage submissions that address how mentors and administrators are successfully addressing challenges of supporting students with resources beyond normal grant funding for student work. (3 posters)

*FOR STUDENTS ONLY* SESSION: ED33D. Undergraduate Geoscience Research and Outreach Posters

This poster session will bring together undergraduate student presenters with faculty co-authors to highlight Earth science, geoscience, space science, and geophysics research experiences and outreach efforts. Students from community colleges to research institutions, from the freshman through senior years are encouraged to disseminate their original ongoing and completed projects. The first author on the abstract must be an undergraduate student. This session is co-sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research-Geoscience Division, Society of Physics Students, the National Science Foundation- Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program, and the American Geophysical Union. (31 posters)

*FOR STUDENTS IN TWO-YEAR COLLEGES ONLY* SESSION: ED41C. Undergraduate Geoscience Research and Outreach Posters Virtual E-Poster Session Only)

This virtual poster session will bring together two-year college undergraduate student presenters with faculty co-authors to highlight Earth science, geoscience, space science, and geophysics research experiences and outreach efforts.  Students from community colleges are encouraged to disseminate their original ongoing and completed projects.  The first author on the abstract must be a two-year college student. Authors will participate in this session virtually; physical presence at the Fall Meeting is not required. Authors will receive more information on the logistics of their virtual participation once their abstract has been accepted. This session is co-sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research-Geoscience Division, Society of Physics Students, the National Science Foundation- Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program, and the American Geophysical Union. (4 posters)

Workshop – Getting Started with Undergraduate Research (*registration full)

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2013 Undergraduate Research Mentor Award

marysavinaThe third recipient of the GeoCUR Undergraduate Research Mentor Award is Mary Savina, from Carleton College. View the award citation (PDF file) and listen to an interview with the awardee (hit the “play” arrow below the image). 

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Councilor – Kim Hannula

GeoCUR Councilor Kim HannulaKim Hannula is a Professor of Geoscience, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Undergraduate Research Director at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She began serving as a GeoCUR Councilor in 2013, but also was also a councilor from 1999-2005.

“I think the goal of undergraduate education is to produce graduates who can think for themselves. There’s nothing like research to force students to struggle with their own ideas, to question their assumptions, to solve problems, and to be creative.”

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MentorTip: a list of topics for research collaboration

GeoCUR Council Dan Moore provides a tip for how to connect a student with a topic to begin a research collaboration.

“I use class projects to advertise the kinds of things I work on.  I typically allow students in classes to choose their own topic, but I also always provide them with a list of topics derived from the projects I am working on. They almost invariably choose one of the topics I have listed. Working on the project as part of a class gives them a feel for what it is like to work with me and gets them started on the project. Also, it gives me the opportunity to see their interest and ability. Near the end of the project, I’ll often invite the students to make the project their senior thesis.  This been a great way to initiate research collaborations with students.”

Do you provide a list to your students? Please add your comments and share your practices below in the “Leave a Reply” field!

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GSA 2013 – GeoCUR workshop and session

2013 GSA Annual Meeting & Exposition
“Celebrating Advances in Geoscience – GSA 125th Anniversary”
27-30 October 2013
Denver, Colorado USA  http://www.geosociety.org/meetings/2013/

GeoCUR-sponsored technical session. T114. Changes in the Undergraduate Research Experience over Time: Perspectives from Individual Mentors, Departments, and Institutions (Posters). View this link to see the session abstracts from the 11 posters presented.

Workshop #524. Getting Started in Undergraduate Research for New, Future and Current Faculty.
Sat., 26 Oct., 1–5 p.m.
US$35. Limit: 20. CEU: 0.4.
Instructors: Lydia Fox, University of the Pacific Cosponsor: Council on Undergraduate Research Geosciences Division

This workshop is for faculty and postdoctoral scientists/graduate students. Topics will focus on integrating research practices into the classroom, scaling projects for students, effective approaches to mentoring undergraduate researchers, identifying funding sources. Based on the demographics of our participants, we may also include information on how to get a job at an academic institution where undergraduate research is required/emphasized.

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