December 9, 2019

Dr. G’s #AGU19 Spotlight – Scientist Spotlights and Profiles Online

Posted by Laura Guertin

The construction has ended, and the Moscone Center is ready to welcome the AGU Fall Meeting back to San Francisco! Many, many AGU members came out for the 2019 Fall Meeting, with AGU President Robin Bell reporting that this meeting has 8,200 oral sessions, 17,000 posters and more!

I flew out on Saturday so I could attend a workshop on Inclusive and Effective College Science Classrooms. What attracted me the most to the workshop was the section on the Scientist Spotlight Initiative. I had previously seen the paper in CBE-Life Sciences Education by Schinske et al. (2017), yet I hadn’t taken the time or opportunity to follow through on the idea. What I learned and from brainstorming with fellow workshop participants, I look forward to being more intentional and to Develop Students’ Science Identity (from SAGE 2YC) so that when students are asked “what types of people do science?” they provide diverse identities, and perhaps include themselves in their answer.

The Scientist Spotlight is a weekly homework assignment where students are introduced to a non-stereotypical scientist and are asked to read a prepared bio, and article on the field/discipline of the scientist, and then answer four questions (from Schinske et al., 2017):

  • What was the most interesting or most confusing about the articles you read about Dr. x?
  • What can you learn about [insert area of specialty] from these articles?
  • What do these articles tell you about the types of people that do science?
  • What new questions do you have after reviewing these articles?

There was much excitement in the workshop around this assignment and the impact it could have with our student populations, but the main question that everyone had – where are the profiles of geoscientists online? (profiles that are not a standard bio, but share a journey/experience in science, and that include a diversity of individuals)

Below, I’m listing some places to explore that I’ve learned about here at the AGU Fall Meeting and from other sites I’m aware of. Please add in the Comments box any other resources you can share!

AGU has also been profiling scientists with their Paths Through Science initiative. Check out the recorded YouTube videos and the following profiles on AGU members:

Again, please forward along other profiles so that we can bring diverse science identities to our students!