The American Geosciences Institute Workforce Program: Past, present, and future

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Workforce Program has been a part of the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) since 1952 and it is the key source for information about the condition of the geoscience workforce and the preparation of future geoscientists. The main objectives of the Workforce Program are to inform the geoscience community about workforce trends and make predictions for future workforce needs, as well as engage the next generation of geoscientists by supporting student recruitment at the collegiate level and by informing students, faculty, and parents with geoscience career information.

Pathways between geography and geoscience

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Although geography is traditionally classified as a social science, the sub-discipline of physical geography is unique in that it overlaps with geoscience disciplines. In the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), physical geographers are listed as “Other Social Scientists” whereas geoscientists have their own category. Despite this separation, the basic description of each occupation is very similar. Furthermore, GIS, which is commonly taught in geography departments, is listed as a recommended skill set for geoscientists in the OOH.

Outreach efforts geared toward increased involvement in and pursuit of geoscience careers

Saturday, October 1, 2011

AGI's GeoConnection Recruitment Packets provide geoscience departments with a tool to directly engage prospective geoscience majors in a discussion about the many career opportunities in the geosciences, and about the importance of participation in geoscience professional societies and conferences. Packets were distributed over 3 years, from 2009 to 2011 to participating institutions. In those three years, 2,279 packets were sent to 82 departments.

National Fossil Day: New directions in celebrating our fossil heritage

Friday, November 1, 2013

This year marks the fourth annual National Fossil Day celebration, which was held on October 16th, 2013. National Fossil Day is part of Earth Science Week, and is organized by the National Park Service collaborating closely with the American Geosciences Institute. It is a celebration that intends to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational values.

I have a degree in geosciences; now what? How to make a career out of science writing

Friday, November 1, 2013

Many geoscience students pursue their degrees thinking that they will remain in academia or will become researchers at other public or private ventures. By the time they graduate, however, some students have re-evaluated their initial career ideas and are looking for alternatives that meld their scientific backgrounds with other interests. When those interests include communicating the novelty, excitement and value of a wide scope of modern science to the public, science writing can be an extremely rewarding path for geoscience graduates. But how does one become a science writer?

Global science, global problems, local dependencies

Monday, October 10, 2011

Geoscience is clearly a global science and with increasing concerns about global issues such as climate change, sustainability, and energy, it would seem the geosciences are ideally poised to lead as a global professional community. However, regional and national differences over the priorities of geoscience, legal requirements, and the mobility of geoscientists--especially new graduates--make for a much more complex picture than most realize.

Geoscience at Community Colleges: Trends in departments, student participation, and diversity

Monday, November 1, 2010

For the past several decades, community college students have comprised approximately one-third of the total college student population enrolled in credit courses within the United States. In 2008, underrepresented minority students comprised 33 percent of total community college enrollments, and earned 26 percent of all associate degrees.

Geoscience at Community Colleges: Availability of Programs and Geoscience Student Pathways

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Community colleges served over 7.5 million students in 2009, and have a more diverse student population than four-year institutions. In 2008, 58% of community college students were women and 33% of students were underrepresented minorities. Community colleges provide a large diverse pool of untapped talent for the geosciences and for all science and engineering disciplines. The most recent data from NSF's 2006 NSCRG database indicate that within the physical sciences, 43% of Bachelor's, 31% of Master's and 28% of Doctoral recipients had attended community college.

Exploring Student-to-Workforce Transitions with the National Geoscience Exit Survey

Thursday, December 1, 2011

In 2011, the American Geological Institute (AGI) launched the first pilot of a National Geoscience Exit Survey in collaboration with 32 geoscience university departments. The survey collects data about demographics, high school and community college coursework, university degrees, financial aid, field and research experiences, internships, and when and why the student chose to pursue a geosciences degree.

Experiences in Improving Student Engagement in Professional Societies and Taking the Next Step

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The "Great Crew Change" in the geosciences workforce is already underway based on demographic and employment data for government agencies and academia, and for the resource industries, the great loss of existing professional experience will begin to "cut to the bone" within the next five years. In addition to this loss of professional experience, the profession's demographics do not allow for traditional mentoring and employee development programs to completely fill the gap.


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