November 5, 2012 by Dr. G
OK, I know some fellow bloggers are calling this Day 2 of the meeting, but since I started on Saturday with the CUR workshop, this is my third day of Geological Society of America activities. I bet my students would find it amusing that GSA has a blog roll and Twitter roll where everyone could pre-register and list their blog URLs and Twitter handles. Yes, students, social media has arrived and is going strong at geology conferences!
I spent the morning going through the Exhibit Hall, “more than 200 booths showcasing the latest in scientific instrumentation; field supplies and gear; computer software/hardware; geological publications; laboratory services; gems, minerals, and fossils; and information on earth science programs at various institutions.” I couldn’t resist purchasing a few books, including a book from the GSA Bookstore that is just released – that has a paper I have co-authored! The book is GSA Special Paper 492: Google Earth and Virtual Visualizations in Geoscience Education and Research. I co-authored a paper with TK Lee (from ETS at Penn State University Park) on creating the Penn State Amazing Race game in Google Earth to help increase student geographic literacy. It’s so exciting to see this work come out in print!
While in the exhibit hall, I also completed a survey on teaching students with disabilities for the Geocognition Research Lab at Michigan State, met up with Janice from the SWITCH Energy Project (we had a showing of the energy documentary at Penn State Brandywine last month), met up with geoscience faculty from other Penn State campuses, and picked up some valuable handouts and resources that I can share with the teachers I work with through the Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association (PAESTA). I also signed up for membership with the Association of Women Geoscientists (AWG). I have been a fan of this organization for a long time, and I think I can benefit alot, perhaps event contribute, to this community of female geoscientists.
I spent the afternoon in a very interesting session, titled “Fostering the Next Generation: Support for Pre-College Teachers and Students by Professional Societies, Institutions, and Federal Agencies.” The session titles and abstracts can be found online, but by attending the presentations, I was able to note down some really interesting facts and sites to visit, all sites appropriate for me to share with the teachers I work with. For example, I can’t wait to spend the time exploring the websites of the JOIDES Resolution, The Paleontology Portal, Palaeocast (a podcasting series), USGS Education, etc.
I finished the day attending a very different session. I was invited to a evening discussion by the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG)/NAGT/GSA titled, “Discussion of Issues Facing Women Chairs, Deans, and Other Academic Leaders.” The hour was spent discussing strategies for giving and receiving feedback. I feel this is an important topic that isn’t discussed enough, and it was great to hear some strategies to facilitate feedback. For example, if I were to bring someone into my office for an evaluation, I could start by asking that person to perform a self-reflection on what they feel is going well and what improvements could be made. I also learned that when providing positive and negative feedback to someone, phrase it as: ” this is good, AND this needs improvement,” instead of “this is good, BUT this needs improvement.” It is little points like this that I pick up at these conferences that I know will remain with me for a very long time.
For tomorrow, it is more sessions, meetings, and networking!