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May 25, 2016

The new and exciting face of

by Tom Gleeson I started a few years ago as my personal groundwater nerd blog with the odd guest post written by others. Since I love working with others, I thought it would be more fun, and more interesting for readers, to expand the number of voices regularly posting. So here is the new face of the blog… What is the new blog all about? Written by a global …


March 25, 2015

Making guidelines for graduate students

I strive for effective, compassionate supervision and I clarify my goals, approach and expectations in my guidelines for graduate students (available here, from McGill’s best practices in supervision). As I wrote, most students enter a relationship with a thesis advisor without a clear idea of what they can expect so I compiled this handout to give you some idea of what I expect of you as student and what you …


January 6, 2015

A social media dashboard for researchers – taming the digital anarchy for nerds

Is anyone else overwhelmed by updating their many webpages, blogs, streams etc? Jason Priem described the shift from a paper-native academia to a web-native academia, in an excellent article last year in Nature, a shift well beyond the traditional peer-reviewed journal to more diverse outlets of information, interaction and discussion. I am part of the first generation of researchers who are excited to use social media but we need more …


December 15, 2014

How to peer review: skill-building in a grad classes

I teach how to peer-review in graduate class because I think it is a core skill for any professional.  I first demystify peer-reviewing and academic journals, and answer questions that all students have about these topics that they have heard about but rarely learn about using this: I describe my personal experience as a manuscript submitter, reviewer and associate editor. And then I outline the structure and types of questions …


October 25, 2014

How I start good supervisory relationships with graduate students

Many professors are confused about why a certain graduate student is happy or unhappy, under performing or performing well. I am far from a perfect supervisor, but I try to avoid this confusion by getting to know my graduate students on a relatively deep but professional level as quickly as possible, by doing the following in our first meeting: sharing results of a personality test; discussing our biggest goals, hopes …


May 12, 2014

What busy profs would like to read in a blog post about active learning

During a great workshop today on active learning in engineering at McGill I asked two questions (using Socrative) , of the audience. Here is a summary of 24 answers I received: 1) I would like to read blog posts about: activities for large classes (18% of people) activities for small classes (30% of people) technology in active learning (22% of people) wacky or creative ideas for active learning(30% of people) …


March 25, 2014

Why read “Water Underground” blog? And for me, why write a blog?

My reason to blog is really quite simple: to share what doesn’t currently fit into peer-reviewed articles. I will write about groundwater as well as how I research, teach, supervise and collaborate. In short I hope to cover the whole kit and caboodle of academia, from the underground perspective of groundwater. Why read this blog? Time is precious so only read on if you are interested and/or passionate about… – …