NC – GSA Annual Conference, Day 1

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November 3, 2012 by Dr. G

It’s that time of year… the most wonderful time of year… time for another annual Geological Society of America Conference!  To my students, this is a conference I have been attending and presenting at since my second year of graduate school.  I have great memories of attending my first conference when GSA was in Boston, and giving my first national conference presentation the following year at GSA in New Orleans.  I really look forward to this conference, as it provides me an opportunity to connect with my geology colleagues and friends – this is so important to me professionally and personally, as I am the only geologist at Penn State Brandywine, and GSA gives me a chance to connect/reconnect with my discipline.

Saturday is a slow day in terms of the conference, as the day is filled with short courses and field trips, with the technical sessions beginning on Sunday.  I joined fellow Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Councilors in co-leading a GSA Short Course, titled “Getting Started in Undergraduate Research for New and Future Faculty.”  Below is the course description:

  • 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.

My part of this half-day short course focused on discussing working with freshmen and sophomores on inquiry-based research projects – the successes as well as the challenges.  I talked about students doing work in Cumberland Cemetery, Tyler Arboretum, and Cape Henlopen State Park.  I enjoy not only sharing my experiences with up-and-coming faculty, but it is always rewarding to reflect upon some amazing undergraduate research I have had the opportunity to mentor.

But tomorrow will be a full day – beginning with co-chairing a technical session and giving my first conference presentation at 8:15AM.  Lots to report tomorrow – stay tuned!  But if you want to follow the action at the conference via Twitter, be sure to search for the hashtag #GEO2012

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Dr. Laura Guertin

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