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19 June 2014

“Scientists…speak up!”

If any of you were following all the Twitter chatter from the AGU Science Policy Conference in DC this week, you might recognize Representative Donna Edwards’ exhortation to scientists who are worried about the legislative threats to the NSF’s merit review process (and funding). Rep. Edwards was invited along with Rep. Jim Moran and Rep. Scott Peters about the future of science in Congress, and all three panelists made some very strong points about scientists’ role in the legislative process. But this was the most important one, because, as Rep. Peters pointed out, we are speaking up “less than you would expect”.

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2 June 2014

Where are the broader impacts?

After my post from last week about sharing the broader impacts of geoscience research, I was really encouraged by all the retweeting and favoriting I saw on Twitter. However, retweeting does not a submission make. In fact, I’ve only received one real submission in the comments or the Tumblr blog, and that one needs some work to refocus it before I can post it. One submission, folks. That’s pretty sad. So …

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23 May 2014

What are the broader impacts of YOUR research?

As a policy fellow for GSA, I spend a lot of time helping support funding for basic scientific research. When we write letters of support to Congress for sustained or increased funding, it’s really important not only to point out the value of basic research in general, but to demonstrate why it’s a good investment.

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19 June 2013

Core Skills in the Geosciences: A Follow-up

Last April, I had a discussion with some of my fellow graduate students in the geology department here at UB about teaching. One topic raised by those of us working with senior undergraduates was the skills our students would need to have by the time they left the department. We realized that many students take winding paths on the way to finishing a major for various reasons, including that they transferred from another school, they switched majors, or they are double-majoring and have time conflicts. A winding path isn’t necessarily detrimental as long as the students come out of the process with a solid geoscience skillset. But what should that skillset include?

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2 July 2012

Call for abstracts: Social media at AGU 2012

You may remember that at last year’s AGU Fall Meeting, I gave a talk about the challenges and rewards of science blogging. Well this year, I’m going to be co-convening a session with Simon Schneider of AGU’s Public Information Committee! Since joining AGU’s blogging network, I’ve been involved with various different facets of online science communication, although my Twitter use is admittedly a little sporadic. But the AGU geobloggers are just a small sampling of a growing group of science communicators, and we’re hoping at this year’s AGU to hear from you about your successes and advice. So why not submit an abstract to my session?

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4 April 2012

Talking with undergrads about ‘nontraditional’ careers in the geosciences

So for anyone who was interested, my careers talk back in March went pretty well. It was an intro class, so I’m assuming that getting any of them to ask questions right before lunch was a success! Because this was an intro class, I went in with the assumption that very few of the students had any real conception of what a geologist ends up doing aside from what they see in the movies (bad examples for the most part) and what they experience in classes (teachers they see a few times a week but don’t have time to connect with). I presented a very linear concept of a geological career: take classes, get a degree, go into government or industry work OR get another degree, teach or do one of the former two options. Then I showed them the list of everyone I could find who got creative with their geologic experience.

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10 March 2012

Learning moments in geology movies

Between digging into fluid dynamics papers, figuring out stability fields for alteration minerals and generally dealing with being a grad student, I haven’t had a lot of time to post lately. (Plus I had to do my taxes this weekend…) But I did get great comments on the “Survival Geology” post, especially about using movies and TV to teach science, and I thought I’d run with some thoughts on those. …

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