Working Group 10 Day 3 Purpose: Roadmap going forward or action

Working Group 10 Day 3
Purpose: Roadmap going forward or action plan
Image problem: political level- seeing geologists as “miners” and the politicians don’t want to emphasize
this, so they don’t want to teach it in K-12. Math also poorly taught. Are we dealing with the fallout of
this mindset?
Retention problem: what is the magnitude? Larger than other science disciplines? What causes people
to choose and persist in the geosciences? Geology “weed out” class = mineralogy.
Increase footprint on campus, more majors.
But we want quality students as well.
Don’t want to play the balance game, but want to operate on the larger principle.
Really define your department. What it is.
Don’t need just people going into geosciences, but future business leaders, etc. should be
welcome as well.
Administration needs a way to quantify “success”. Budgetary implications. Tempting to “dumb
down” classes to keep students. Don’t want to be stuck in the numbers game.
Minority recruitment: speak a language other than English -> tremendous overseas geology
Math component for each geology discipline, not necessarily calculus (statistics for
paleontology). Combine in a geology class. How much flexibility fits into the program?
Learning community: cohort goes through the math and sciences together, then works for an
hour together with faculty. The faculty must work well together. Doesn’t work well in large
Maybe just create “clusters” of students, less formal. Easier for students if classes involve
cooperative learning.
Take the same approach as History and Philosophy Majors- springboard for other careers:
Here is a great way to think like a scientist, learn about the environment, city managers, get out in the
field. We’re the pipeline for other occupations. Make it socially acceptable to choose a career other than
geology. Direct pathway between what they learn and what they do? Professors can’t just replicate
-trust the students to take the courses they will need for their career
Geology as a method to think critically.
Early undergraduate research is key!
Gold Collar Degree = some who has at least a bachelor’s degree in math, science, or engineering AND a
major in business or science. They are the interface.