July 26, 2012 by Dr. G
The year I started teaching was also the year I started mentoring undergraduate student researchers. I have always had a passion for providing students their own opportunities for inquiry-based experiences – not tagging on to my work, but designing and carrying out their own projects. Back when I was in graduate school, I took my first workshop offered by the Geoscience Division of CUR, the Council on Undergraduate Research. Little did I know what a significant impact this organization would have on me and my abilities/confidence to mentor students. In fact, I have served as the chair of the Geoscience Division, on the Executive Board, and I’m still serving as an elected councilor for “GeoCUR,” a position I have held since 2003.
Can you find me in the photo, with my fellow GeoCUR Councilors? (picture taken at The College of New Jersey, June 23, 2012)
Every two years, CUR holds a conference for faculty to discuss everything from beginning research with undergraduates to funding research programs to disseminating student research. The 2012 CUR Conference, “Leveraging Uncertainty: Toward a New Generation of Undergraduate Research,” was held at The College of New Jersey, June 23-26, 2012, with 564 attendees. I really look forward to the CUR conference, as it gives me a chance to reconnect with my fellow geology colleagues/friends, and an opportunity to learn new approaches and innovative ideas for working with students on undergraduate research projects.
At this conference, I also co-presented with Dr. Megan Pollock from the College of Wooster. Our presentation, titled “Social Media Tools for Networking, Collaborating, and Disseminating Undergraduate Research” was… well, just what the title says! Instead of showing a PowerPoint, we used the social bookmarking tool Diigo to capture all of our links to resources and references. I thoroughly enjoy working with Dr. Pollock, and we’ll be giving a similar presentation at the Geological Society of America meeting in November (blog post to come!).