A professional development workshop for underrepresented minority, future and early-career faculty in the geosciences was held in April of 2012. Twenty seven participants traveled to the Washington DC metro area and attended this 2.5 day workshop. Participants’ career levels ranged from early PhD students to Assistant Professors, and they had research interests spanning atmospheric sciences, hydrology, solid earth geoscience and geoscience education. Race and ethnicity of the participants included primarily African American or Black individuals, as well as Hispanic, Native American, Native Pacific Islanders and Caucasians who work with underrepresented groups. The workshop consisted of three themed sessions led by prestigious faculty members within the geoscience community, who are also underrepresented minorities. These sessions included “Guidance from Professional Societies,” “Instructional Guidance” and “Campus Leadership Advice.” Each session lasted about 3 hours and included a mixture of presentational materials to provide context, hands-on activities and robust group discussions. Two additional sessions were devoted to learning about federal agencies. For the morning session, representatives from USGS and NOAA came to discuss opportunities within each agency and the importance of promoting geoscience literacy with our participants. The afternoon session gave the workshop attendees the fortunate opportunity to visit NSF headquarters. Participants were welcomed by NSF’s Assistant Director for Geosciences and took part in small group meetings with program officers within the Geosciences Directorate. Participants indicated having positive experiences during this workshop. In our post-workshop evaluation, the majority of participants revealed that they thought the sessions were valuable, with many finding the sessions extremely valuable. The effectiveness of each session had similar responses. Preliminary results from 17 paired sample t-tests show increased knowledge gained from each of our themed sessions, with “Familiarity with Federal Agencies” and “Success in Grant Applications” demonstrating statistically significant improvement.
- American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2012