Comparing "Geosciences" Across Borders and Cultures - How Seamless Can the Geosciences Move Globally

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The United States, based on prior IUGS estimates, currently has 50% of all working geoscientists resident and continues to educate about 50% of all new geosciences graduate degree recipients globally.   Demographic and cultural trends in the United States, like most western nations, point to both mid and long-term supply problems for the science and engineering workforce, and those economies will be increasingly dependent on talent from developing nations and an increasingly transnational workforce.    The geosciences is a broad discipline that is inherently interdisciplinary, and therefore

How Global Science has yet to Bridge Global Differences - A Status Report of the IUGS Taskforce on Global Geoscience Workforce

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The International Union of Geological Sciences, with endorsement by UNESCO, has established a taskforce on global geosciences workforce and has tasked the American Geological Institute to take a lead. Springing from a session on global geosciences at the IGC33 in Oslo, Norway, the taskforce is to address three issues on a global scale: define the geosciences, determine the producers and consumers of geoscientists, and frame the understandings to propose pathways towards improved global capacity building in the geosciences.

Social Technologies to Jump Start Geoscience Careers

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Collaborative and social technologies have been increasingly used to facilitate distributed data collection and observation in science.  However, “Web 2.0” and basic social media are seeing limited coordinated use in building student and early-career geoscientists knowledge and understanding of the profession and career for which they have undertaken.  The current generation of geology students and early career professionals are used to ready access to myriad of information and interaction opportunities, but they remain largely unaware about the geoscience profession, what the full scope of

Geology and Geography Departments: Complementary Assets for a Strong Geosciences Presence on Campus

Friday, April 16, 2010

The academic geoscience community has been agitated over recent high-profile geosciences department closures and near-closures.  In response to the clear challenges that the geosciences traditionally face – low enrollments of majors, high departmental operating costs, and poor articulation of the departments’ mission – many geosciences departments over the last 30 years have evolved in name and nature to survive.  One persistent phenomena since the decoupling of the resource industry and U.S.

Building a Geoscience Culture for Student Recruitment and Retention - The Geoscience Society and Department Nexus

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In many other science and engineering fields, the professional society is a key component of the student culture during their education.  Students in fields such as physics, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering are usually expected to be members and active participants in their respective professional society, which in turn is tightly integrated with the academic programs through student chapters or activities.   This phenomenon does not readily exist in the geosciences, and may be part of the reason for above average student attrition rates and subcompetitive recruitment over the

Assessing Undergraduate Curriculum through Student Exit Vectors

Monday, December 15, 2008

One aspect of assessing the undergraduate curriculum is recognizing that the exit vector of the student is a metric in the absence of a structured assessment program. Detailed knowledge across all geosciences departments regarding the disposition of their recent baccalaureate recipients has been at best inconsistent, and in the case of about half of geoscience programs, non-existent. However, through examining of multiple datasets, a pattern of disposition of geosciences BS recipients emerges, providing a snapshot of the system-wide response to the system-wide "average" program.

Attitudinal and Economic Realities in a Global Geoscience Workforce

Monday, September 22, 2008

The geosciences, like all technical fields in the developed world, are facing a critical talent shortage. The retirement of the Baby-Boomers is now playing out and the long feared brain-drain is underway.   At the same time, relative enrollments in technical fields is declining, and absolute enrollments are, at best, remaining steady in the geosciences. The current supply is orders of magnitude insufficient to meet the rising demand for new geosciences workers, and when evaluated for quality, the pool is even smaller.

Supply and Demand Vectors of the Next Generation of Geoscientists

Sunday, October 5, 2008

When discussing workforce issues, particularly in terms of the near and mid-term future, understanding the issue of supply dynamics and the immediate vectors into meeting demand are critical.   These are areas in which the American Geological Institute has tracked for over 50 years, and is currently expanding the scope and intensity of analysis.   The issue of supply dynamics in the geosciences is more complex than most of the community recognizes.  The field is naturally interdisciplinary and so too is the pool of entrants to the workforce and the viable and sustained source of new geoscie

Building a Picture of U.S. Geosciences Human Resources

Monday, September 1, 2008

At the end of 2007, AGI began the geosciences workforce data snapshots “Geoscience Currents.”  This publication series provides the community and the public focused views of a specific aspect of the geosciences profession – from human dynamics to economic variables.  These snapshots are done in response to rapidly rising questions which AGI has become aware or of new analyses available by AGI’s effort to develop a comprehensive analytical compendium of the geoscience profession.  The first edition of this compendium will be available in early 2009.


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