July 26, 2014 by Dr. G
From July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014, I was on sabbatical from teaching at Penn State Brandywine (students, you can read my initial post when I kicked off my sabbatical). It was an interesting journey, filled with opportunities and experiences – some were planned, but most were not. I was joking with a faculty colleague of mine at another university who was also on sabbatical this past year. You come up with this major plan, a giant “to do” list of what you will accomplish, and you think all this free time out of the classroom is like rainbows and unicorns – a perfect world to be really productive on the research front. But then, reality happens. Collaborations fall through, deadlines are not met by others, and then the most severe winter hits Philadelphia and changes your plans!
Although I wasn’t able to write up and submit as many papers for publication as I would have liked, I would not have traded the other education/research/outreach experiences I had. From attending three ScienceOnline conferences (Climate, Oceans, Together), to the NSF Ideas Lab to the Summit on the Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education, to trips to the Smithsonian and participating in a NASA Social (and let’s not forget the shark tagging trip in Florida and fossil collecting trip in Colorado!) – I’m so pleased I took advantage of the opportunity to spend some time focusing on my own professional development. I’ve even joined the AGU Blogosphere and am now blogging at GeoEd Trek, a blog focusing on geoscience education and educational technology! I can’t wait to get back in the classroom to share these experiences with students, and first up will be three sections of GEOSC 040 (The Sea Around Us) in the fall semester!
I have the opportunity to apply for another sabbatical in six years. I wonder what experiences await me down the road….
Here are some photos from the best moments of the sabbatical!