October 22, 2014 by Dr. G
(*NOTE – this is part of a series of blog posts from the 2014 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The intended audience for these posts are my students in my introductory-level courses, but anyone and everyone is more than welcome to read what I post! Please also check out my workshop/first day post, Monday AM post, Monday PM post, and Tuesday AM post.)
My Tuesday afternoon kicked off with one of the most inspiring events I annually attend at GSA, an awards luncheon organized by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT), Geological Society of America Geoscience Education Division (GSA GeoEd), and Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). This event recognizes individuals that have made significant contributions in geoscience teaching, publishing, service, and undergraduate research mentoring. I serve as co-chair of the GeoCUR committee for the Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, and I was honored to serve as the citationist for this year’s winner, Dr. Mary MacLaughlin, a geological engineer from Montana Tech. You can learn more about Dr. MacLaughlin in a podcast of an interview we did with her on her philosophy of student mentoring on the GeoCUR website. All awards and award winners can be viewed in this PDF file.
The afternoon was spent strolling around the Exhibit Hall and posters, with much time staring at and being drawn in to the NASA Wall and 3D digital printing of foraminifera. I worked with foraminifera in graduate school – I can’t tell you how many of them I “picked” under a microscope with a fine paintbrush. How much easier they would have been to see if they were this size in real life! (see Exhibit Hall images in my Tuesday AM post)
Then I headed off to a couple of evening receptions, contributing to one on undergraduate research with students in the first two years. I then attended my final reception on the InTeGrate project. At that reception, I learned about a new and exciting summer workshop taking place in Boulder, Colorado, called the Earth Educators’ Rendezvous (students – now you know where I’ll be in the middle of July 2015!). I also spoke with Dr. Tim Bralower, a faculty colleague in the Geoscience Department at the Penn State University Park campus. We spoke about several of the topics of the integrate project (energy, coastal geology, food, water, etc.), and how we (fingers-crossed!) will be offering some of these new and innovative courses at the Brandywine campus starting this summer.
Finally, it was time to say goodby to GSA and start heading back to the hotel to pack up for an early morning flight. Even though there is one more day of the GSA meeting, I knew it would take me a full day to fly back to Philadelphia, and I didn’t want to cancel classes on Thursday – I can’t wait to get in the classroom to share with my students all that I experienced so they can get a little bit of a glimpse in to the professional life of a faculty member.
Thanks, GSA, for another great meeting. Can’t wait for GSA 2015 in Baltimore – any students interested in joining me?