November 6, 2012 by Dr. G
This is a hard post to write up – too many distractions right now (if you look at the date of this post, you might recall this is Election Day for 2012, a close battle between Obama and Romney). Many of my geoscience colleagues said they would be out on the town or in their hotel rooms – but all would be watching election results. GSA is on top of the coverage and will have a session tomorrow, GSA Lunchtime Lecture #4: “What do the Election Results Mean for Science?” I really want to try to get to this session.
But back to today (Tuesday!). I started the morning by finishing off a podcast for the Council on Undergraduate Research’s Geoscience Division Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. Back in October, Dan Brabander (fellow GeoCUR councilor and faculty at Wellesley College in MA) and I had the pleasure of having a conference call with this year’s award winner, Tracey Holloway from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This is the second year I’ve helped do an interview with the award winner and create a podcast for the GeoCUR website. For anyone interested in hearing Tracey describe her first undergraduate research experience and her thoughts about mentoring students, please check out the podcast!
My morning was spent going through the Exhibit Hall again, making one last scan of the information in the booths and checking to see if I have gathered as many materials as I can. I did pick up one more book, a really exciting book that I could use for a future course on climate change, titled Reconstructing Earth’s Climate History. Books that use authentic scientific data I find extremely useful for demonstrating “real science” and not cookbook exercises to students.
Lunch today was the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) and GSA Geoscience Education Division Awards Program. This event is where NAGT and GSA-Education, as well as a new addition this year, GeoCUR, give out awards to faculty for outstanding teaching, service, and writing. For example, the James Shea Award was presented to Bill McKibbin, author of Eaarth and other books on climate change. I was thrilled to see friend and colleague Kathy Surpless from Trinity College (TX) win the Biggs Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching (it’s an award I won in 2009 with the citation and my response online, and I’m so proud of Kathy being selected this year). It is inspiring to hear what colleagues across the country are doing in their classrooms and wonderful to gather together to celebrate their accomplishments.
The afternoon was spent going through the poster session, walking up and down the aisles of posters as if I was mowing the lawn. I like seeing posters that aren’t even from my geoscience sub-discipline, as it is refreshing to keep in touch with the discipline, make a mental note of current research to share with my students, and check out effective (and yes, some ineffective) poster formatting. Before the end of the day, I helped with the GeoCUR booth in the exhibit hall, sharing information about what GeoCUR does as a faculty mentoring organization.
Tomorrow is the final day of the conference and my last presentation. Fingers crossed, I’ll make it home tomorrow evening (if the incoming nor’easter doesn’t shut down the Philadelphia Airport, that is….)