Laurie Racca, PG, is a licensed Professional Geologist with 25+ years of experience specializing in complex environmental site investigations and leading multidisciplinary teams. Her experience includes working in private environmental and geotechnical consulting, providing regulatory agency oversight large military and civilian environmental cleanups for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and investigating fraud, waste and abuse as part of the Office of Enforcement at the California State Water Resources Control Board. She was appointed as the Senior Registrar for Geologists and Geophysicists by the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists (BPELSG) in June 2015. She also volunteers as the Examination Committee Chair for the National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG®).
Randy Kath has a Doctor of Philosophy in Geology from the Institute for the Study of Mineral Deposits at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and over 30 years’ experience in academic, consulting and industry practice. In addition to teaching engineering geology, structural geology, economic geology, field geology and geologic mapping, Dr. Kath is currently performing geologic mapping and structural interpretation at the 7.5-minute quadrangle scale in the Piedmont/Blue Ridge & Valley and Ridge provinces of northwest Georgia in support of the USGS State Map program. These geologic quadrangles are currently being used to identify mineral, aggregate, and groundwater resources by a variety of end users.
Dr. Kath also has extensive experience as an independent consultant performing structural and lithologic mapping, remote sensing analysis and developing three-dimensional geologic models for major infrastructure projects throughout the southeastern United States, specializing in complexly folded and faulted terrains. Prior to joining the University of West Georgia in 1995, Dr. Kath worked as a senior geologist for Golder Associates, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia, and before that, served as an exploration geologist for Goldstake Explorations Inc. in Spearfish, South Dakota, and a consulting geologist for Homestake Mining Co. in Lead, South Dakota, Beau Val Mines in Nevada, and Avatar Resources in Vancouver, British Columbia. Dr. Kath performed district-scale and detailed geologic mapping and structural interpretation for gold exploration programs in the northern and central Black Hills, South Dakota.
Dr. Kath has served as a subject matter expert on the council of examiners for the National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG®) since 2006, and ASBOG®’s president in 2015. Since 2008, ASBOG has been collecting demographic data on the test form that allows for detailed statistical analysis of the content domain data from the Fundamentals of Geology (FG) examination by university and graduation year. In 2012, Dr, Kath developed an assessment graphing application (CPAT) to streamline the statistical analysis and graphing of the FG examination data for assessing university curriculum performance relative to a national dataset. The graphing application is programmed around the Microsoft Access database engine and has a GUI interface. Data from the application is currently available for 217 universities.
Jack Warner received his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology in 1980 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During his early professional career, Jack served as Director of Examination Services in the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Registrations. He provided 25 licensing boards with expertise related to developing and validating their licensing examinations.
Jack is President of TEST, Inc. which he established after working in state government for several years. TEST, Inc. has provided ASBOG® with psychometric services since 1992. The services include developing test blueprints based on task analysis survey results, developing and updating the FG and PG Examinations, conducting test development workshops, analyzing the statistical properties of examinations items, grading examinations, establishing cut-off scores, and preparing summary reports that document the performance of the examinations.
College Course Participation: A faculty member can register on behalf of a course and/or group of their students to participate in the webinar. With this registration, the faculty member can submit up to 20 participating students for awarding of 0.15 CEUs to each of them by AIPG.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced a new direct hiring authority in various science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) positions in a memorandum issued by acting director Margaret Weichert to all federal agency heads on October 11. Federal agencies can use a direct-hire authority, which expedites the hiring process, to fill vacancies when a critical hiring need or severe shortage of candidates exists.
Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) introduced H.R. 7031, the Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act of 2018, on October 5. H.R. 7031 would expand research efforts to better understand the causes and consequences of sexual harassment affecting individuals in the scientific workforce, including students and trainees, and coordinate federal science agency efforts to reduce the prevalence and negative impacts of sexual harassment. Independent from Representative Johnson’s legislative proposal, several science agencies and organizations have announced new initiatives to combat sexual harassment in science in the last month.
On September 12, 2018, the House passed the Every Kid Outdoors Act (H.R. 3186) to provide fourth grade students and accompanying individuals with free access to federally managed public lands and waters, including historic sites such as national parks. Introduced by Representative Niki Tsongas (D-MA-3), H.R. 3186 codifies the already-existing “Every Kid in a Park” initiative launched in 2015 by President Barack Obama under the Department of the Interior.
The House Committee on Natural Resources held a field hearing, entitled “Energy and Education: What’s the Connection,” on August 29, 2018, in Roosevelt, Utah. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT-1) led the hearing, which considered testimony from two panels of local stakeholders and aimed to explore energy development on federal lands as a potential revenue source for public education.
On July 19, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order (E.O. 13845) establishing the President’s National Council for the American Worker. The council will develop recommendations for a national strategy to empower American workers. In late July, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353). The act amends and reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 until fiscal year 2023.
This course is designed to help faculty and non-academic professionals host career discussions with students. The course provides learners with specific career-related content, materials, and well-tested tools that will help in facilitating geoscience career discussions and presentations. The course will cover three main sections:
On June 25 and 26, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) hosted the 2018 State-Federal STEM Education Summit, bringing together education and science leaders from eighteen federal agencies along with more than two STEM leaders. Throughout the summit, stakeholder groups provided input for development of the upcoming Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan, which is required by the America COMPETES Act of 2010 (PL 11-358) to be updated every five years.
The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a report on the prevalence, nature, and impacts of sexual harassment of women in academic science, engineering, and medicine. The report concluded that organizational climate, including the degree of male-domination and tolerance for harassment, was the single most influential factor in the likelihood of sexual harassment occurring in an organization.
On January 30, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing to discuss the implementation of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA). The AICA reauthorized and updated policies at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and other federal science agencies.