A Personal Perspective on the Impact of Professional Development Workshops within the Geosciences

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Dax Christian Soule, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States
In June of 2014 I attended the Cutting Edge workshop “Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences,” designed to mentor graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and others who are interested in pursuing academic careers in the geosciences. Faculty members and administrators provided guidance and information that helped me become a stronger candidate for academic positions. Session topics focused on becoming both a successful teacher and researcher. In addition to the opportunity to network extensively with peers and academic leaders in the geosciences, I was helped to develop a plan for how to best use my final graduate school to optimize the transition to my next career stage.

I will present both qualitative descriptions and quantitative measures of the effect this experience has had on my activities both pre- and post-participation. I will discuss how the workshop has impacted my perceptions on the job search process and my teaching beliefs. I will support my qualitative perceptions with the results of my pre- and post-workshop questionnaire “Beliefs About Reformed Science Teaching and Learning” (BARSTL). I will discuss the ways in which this experience has given me take home ideas that will improve my teaching immediately, supports my successful transition from school to career, and provides some of the tools needed to succeed in academic jobs.