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30 September 2011

Back to school: Accretionary Wedge #38

Anne over at Highly Allocthonous wants to get us thinking back-to-school thoughts in this month’s Accretionary Wedge, and as a (grad) student, I’ll tackle the question aimed current geology students:

If you are a current or future student… what do you want to know about life and careers in the geosciences? Are there things you aren’t getting to learn or do in classes that you think are important? What sort of experiences do you want to get out of school and how do you think school can or should help you prepare for a career?

One of my biggest questions – and one that I think a lot of my peers share – concerns a deficiency that is built into the very academic system we “grow up” in. It’s our propensity for taking a graduate student, or someone with a newly-minted graduate degree, who up until this point may have been concentrating solely on learning geology, and plunking them into a classroom with little to no training on how to teach geology.


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7 March 2010

Close to home: The 2010 Ed Roy Award

Some great news from Geospectrum – the latest Ed Roy Award winner is Jason Pittman, the lead science resource teacher at Hollin Meadows Elementary School in Alexandria, VA. This has me completely excited, because Hollin Meadows was the first elementary school I attended, and it’s literally steps from home. It’s a math and science focus school, and it’s one of the first places I started getting excited about geology. (I …


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2 October 2009

Looking for something to do for Earth Science Week?

Even if you can’t give your time to sponsor an event for Earth Science Week this year, you can help people realize the importance of Earth science by giving a little bit of your money. (For instance, I’m swamped with coursework and research and totally unlikely to pull together any event bigger than a Facebook post, but at least this way I can help someone else with an Earth science …


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30 August 2009

A new semester

For me, this means some welcome changes. As a result of earning an NSF Graduate Fellowship, I don’t have to TA this year, so I actually have more time to sit down and work on my own research (instead of spending a lot of time – including whole weekends at one point – just keeping up with grading). This also means that my committee has been encouraging me to take …


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21 May 2009

It’s course evaluation time!*

And so far I’ve seen (paraphrased, of course): Labs/TA were horribleLabs/TA were okayLoved labLabs were informative and relatively harmless (I would have laughed even more if it had said ‘mostly harmless’ and referenced the HGTG)TA is elitist (Because I wouldn’t give this person a second make-up date for a quiz they missed, never mind that I didn’t have to give them a first one)TA is responsible and patientBoring lab material …


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21 February 2009

Using Google Earth to visualize volcanic and seismic activity

I haven’t been posting much lately (teaching labs and trying to wrap my head around volcano seismology is eating up my free time), but I have been trying to keep up with new developments. One really neat one is the release of the newest Google Earth and the Oceans layer. My last two labs have been oceanography and waves/tides/currents, so I’ve been leaning heavily on Google Earth to help my …


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28 January 2009

Best labs for introductory geology courses?

My department will be restructuring some of their introductory geology labs soon, and I was asked my opinion of the labs that I taught last semester. I was pretty brutal about some of them: they were difficult both to teach and to get the students to understand. When you’re spending most of your time apologizing for the shortcomings of a flow chart that the students are supposed to be using …


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26 October 2008

Don’t let them see you sweat

One of the students in my intro lab was chatting with me in class recently and mentioned that she was planning on applying to grad school, and wanted to know if I had any advice for being a TA. Now, I’m still working the bugs out of the process myself, since I’ve only been doing this for a few months, but it did get me thinking about what I should …


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