June 2014 IAGD Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends of the IAGD:

Welcome to the most recent news from the IAGD Community.

Topics of the current issue:

  1. Greetings from the IAGD Director
  2. Nominations Sought for the IAGD Executive Committee
  3. AGI Fall Leadership Forum
  4. Events and Activities at the 2014 GSA Annual Meeting
  5. The IAGD Foundation Update
  6. Instructional Accommodation Workshop
  7. IAGD Global Ambassadors
  8. IAGD Student Community
  9. IAGD Community Quick Hits
This newsletter is also available in pdf at:  http://www.theiagd.org/assets/June-2014.pdf 


1.   Greetings from the IAGD Director

IAGD Friends,

I am continually energized by the building momentum of our community development.  The IAGD is being recognized within the broader geoscience community as a valuable resource for improving access and accommodation within the membership of the many geoscience sub-disciplines.  Through the international expansion of our membership, this awareness will only grow.  However, we should all keep in mind that the strength of the IAGD as a resource is a result of the diverse perspectives of access and inclusion within our community.  The more diverse the IAGD network becomes, in ability, knowledge, and overall experience, the more valuable we become as a resource for our geoscience partners.  We have much more work to do.  We need to continue to build our resources to promote greater accessibility for the broader geoscience communities.

The Association has seen considerable impact on the geoscience community over the past two years, but we must keep moving forward in progress and innovation.  The two-year term of our first Executive Committee will conclude at this year’s annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.  It has been a pleasure to work with each of the current committee members and hope that they continue to advise and support the incoming committee.  I encourage each of you to take an active role in shaping our future directions through the governance of the Association; anyone can be nominated for the IAGD Executive Committee.

Please stay connected with us.  We hope to see you at the 2014 IAGD Annual Meeting on Sunday, October 19 in Vancouver, British Columbia.  If you are unable to attend the annual meeting, the IAGD Virtual Meeting will again be held via webcast at the end of the fall semester, in mid-December.  The exact date will be announced during the annual meeting.  Also, please inform us of any personal updates to your contact information, and let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions for improving the IAGD community.

I personally thank you all for your hard work and diligence in building the IAGD network and promoting the accessibility of our science.


Chris Atchison


2.   Nominations Sought for the IAGD Executive Committee

Nominations are now being accepted for the IAGD Executive Committee, with the ballot opening around August 1.  New Executive Committee members will be installed during the IAGD Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, on Sunday, October 19, 2014.

Open positions are:

  • Executive Director
  • Executive Secretary
  • Director of Marketing and Promotion
  • Director of Membership and Community Engagement
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Director of Foundations
  • Executive Counselor (2)

To nominate yourself, or someone who might be a perfect fit for any of these positions, please email their name, affiliation, and contact information to info@theiagd.org.

Roles and responsibilities of the IAGD Executive Committee can be found within the Association Constitution and Bylaws: http://www.theiagd.org/assets/IAGDConstitutionandBylaws.pdf.


3.   Access and Inclusion to Drive Upcoming AGI Forum

On September 15, 2014, the leadership from many of the major geoscience organizations and societies will be hosted by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) in Washington, D.C.  The topic of this year’s forum will focus on the issues of shortages in the geoscience workforce and the promotion of increased access and inclusion in geoscience training programs.  Included in these discussions will be the broadening participation in the geoscience workforce for individuals with disabilities.  Our Executive Director, Chris Atchison, has been invited to attend the AGI Leadership Forum and will be speaking on behalf of the IAGD.


4.   Events and Activities at the 2014 GSA Annual Meeting

IAGD Annual Meeting:

Don’t forget to attend the IAGD Annual Meeting on Sunday afternoon, October 19!  We pride ourselves in making sure that this meeting does not last longer than one hour!  The exact time and location of the meeting will be announced soon.


Accessible Field Trip:

The IAGD is pleased to offer a completely accessible field trip at the 2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  “Full Access to the Geology of the Sea to Sky Highway” will include 15 students with disabilities interested in earth science, and 15 current geoscience instructors who would like to learn more about leading trips for students with diverse physical abilities. Instructors and students will be paired and will navigate this accessible and interactive trip together.

Through awards from both the National Science Foundation and the Society for Exploration Geophysicists, we are very excited to be able to provide travel support to all student and faculty participants!

There are still student and faculty spaces available for this field trip, and we need your help to promote this opportunity.  Please share this information with any students and/or faculty who might be interested in attending.  For more information, please visit:  http://www.theiagd.org/2014-field-course/. You may also contact Brett Gilley at bgilley@eos.ubc.ca or Chris Atchison at catchison@gsu.edu for direct information and to express interest.


IAGD Booth in the Exhibit Hall:

This year, the IAGD can be found at Booth #319 in the Exhibit Hall.  Stop by, say hello, pick up a sticker for your name badge and learn about various events and activities being held during the meeting.


Diversity-related Sessions:

The two proposed sessions listed below address issues of diversity in the geosciences or workforce development. If you are attending GSA this year, please consider submitting abstracts to these sessions. The deadline to submit abstracts is July 29th and can be done at: http://community.geosociety.org/gsa2014/science/sessions

T52. Preparing Our Workforce (POW): Increasing Students’ Employability by Developing Practical Skills and Competencies

Convenors: Heather R. Houlton, Richard Spruill, Ann Johnson

Retirement of professionals is causing an increased demand for trained geoscientists in the private sector. To meet this demand, we need to effectively prepare students to enter the workforce by developing practical skills and competencies.

T58. Global Geoscience Education Research: Fostering Collaboration across Geographic and Cultural Borders

Convenors: Jacqueline Dohaney, Alison Jolley

This session aims to highlight geoscience education research themes and challenges across cultural, national, and geographic borders to unite a globally relevant but disjointed research community.

T62. Supporting Student Success in Colleges and Universities

Convenors: Robert H. Blodgett, Norlene R. Emerson, Bruce E. Herbert

Presentations can address working with underserved subpopulations (e.g. first generation students, students with disabilities), promoting self-reflection and metacognition, motivating students, improving study skills, reducing math/science/nature anxiety and stereotype threat, and other topics.

T78. Engaging the Next Generation of Geoscientists: Effective Educational Strategies That Broaden Participation and Prepare Diverse Learners for Advanced Study and Careers in the Earth Sciences

Convenors: Shondricka Burrell, LeAnne Teruya

This session focuses on effective educational practices, strategic course design, and methodologies that foster learning, demonstrate relevance, develop critical thinking/problem-solving skills, broaden participation, and engage communities historically underrepresented in STEM in the study of geology.

T148. Increasing Diversity in Geological Survey Workforce

Convenors: Harvey Thorleifson, Vicki S. McConnell, Jonathan G. Price, Marilyn J. Suiter

Diversity in leadership and workforce in (state) geologic surveys is important in establishing a talented worker pool and embracing diverse scientific ideas. This session shares strategies for innovative and successful programs.


5.   The IAGD Foundation Update

The development of the IAGD has proved to be a slow process, but we are making progress.  We are currently seeking advice from other similar associations to be sure we are the most prepared for the future of the foundation.  The establishment of this foundation will enable the IAGD to develop and provide a number of innovative opportunities for both students and researchers focusing on access, inclusion, and accommodation in the geosciences.  Possible initiatives to be supported through the IAGD Foundation include travel support for students to be involved in geoscience opportunities or to present their research at national and international conferences; seed grants to those interested in conducting research on accessibility in the geosciences; and grants for researchers to include students with disabilities in their geoscience studies.

We are seeking both corporate or individuals who are interested in sponsoring awards.  These “named” awards will include recognition and monetary prizes for both students and researchers who are doing exemplary work to promote access to the geosciences, either through access and accommodation research, or geoscience research that is inclusive of all students, regardless of physical ability.

Be sure to follow the development of the IAGD Foundation on the website at http://www.theiagd.org/foundation/.

If you have any questions or suggestions, or if you would like to assist in the planning and development of the IAGD Foundation, please contact us at foundation@theiagd.org.


6.   Instructional Accommodation Workshop

Bring one to your campus!

The Instructional Approaches to Access, Accommodation, and Inclusion for Students with Disabilities in the Geosciences workshop has now been presented in Charlotte, NC, San Francisco, CA, San Antonio, TX, and in Brisbane, Australia.  It has been presented in a variety of lengths from a full day workshop to as short as two hours and can be modified to fit the needs of your organization or department. It could even be offered as a two day session if needed.

Participants in this workshop learn the principles of Universal Design and how apply these principles to their own lessons, labs, and field trips to accommodate students with a variety of apparent and non-apparent disabilities. Workshop instructors include students who discuss first-hand perspectives of negotiating the rigor of a geoscience curriculum while managing their disabilities.  Key topics include: accommodation in the geosciences; barriers to access and inclusion; and personal and social challenges that students may face away from the classroom. Additionally, participants will be introduced to a wealth of resources that can be used to support student success.

Help expand the course offering!

The IAGD is looking to create instructional teams of members interested in presenting the course regionally with a focus on K-12 earth science teachers and community college faculty.  If you are interested in becoming an instructor on one of the short course teams, or regionally hosting this course at your campus, please contact info@theiagd.org.

Do you have a good idea for how to advertise this workshop? Or a conference we should take it to? Let us know!  If you are interested in hosting the workshop on your campus, please contact info@theiagd.org.


7.   IAGD Global Ambassadors

Are you interested in representing your country on the IAGD Network?

The IAGD global network is quickly expanding around the world.  As such, we are seeking international ambassadors to work collaboratively with the IAGD Executive Committee in future development of the network and to promote the mission and vision of the Association across the globe.  For more information about becoming an IAGD Global Ambassador, please contact us at info@theiagd.org.


8.   IAGD Student Community

Students are especially encouraged to join and help us continue to build the growing community of students with disabilities in the geosciences.  This community will begin to provide a network of academic resources and personal advice for students interested in pursuing geoscience degree programs. The IAGD Student Community is designed to help students navigate the barriers of higher education and workforce development.

Geoscience faculty and instructors:  Please encourage your students to join the IAGD network and share their personal perspectives of accessibility in the geosciences.  The IAGD network currently has student members who would be willing to speak with any prospective student member and offer mentoring with any barriers they may be facing.  Please email info@theiagd.org for more information.


9.   IAGD Community Quick Hits

The IAGD membership continues to expand!

The IAGD Network is growing exponentially.  IAGD members can be found in 16 countries, 42 US states, and the District of Columbia.  To view the entire membership list with a map of where they are located, please visit: http://www.theiagd.org/iagd-members/.

States still needing representation: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.

Please encourage your colleagues and students to join the network for broad coverage of resources that support inclusive geoscience instruction.  There are no membership fees to join the network!

Not a member of the IAGD network?  Join today! 

The IAGD is always looking to connect with new colleagues worldwide. Remember, there are no membership fees or annual dues to be a part of the IAGD network.  If you are aware of faculty who would be interested in sharing instructional resources with the IAGD network and promoting access to the geosciences; students who would benefit from a supportive community; instructors who could utilize the building resources and instructional workshops; or any other person who might benefit from being part of this community, please ask them to visit our website and click on the “Join Today” link: www.TheIAGD.org, or email: info@theiagd.org.

Are you working on research that will directly impact the inclusion of students with disabilities in the geosciences?

Please contact us to learn how you can promote your accessible projects and research through the IAGD.  Visit www.theiagd.org/category/community/ to view project information from current IAGD members.

Collaborate with the IAGD! 

Collaboration and partnerships being the strength of innovative initiates, we are always looking for new collaborative opportunities.  Do you have a project that you need assistance with?  Are you looking for a researchable project idea?  We have both ideas to share and people who are interested in working with you.  For more information regarding partnership opportunities, please contact us at info@theiagd.org.

Be social!

The impact of social media is based on the timeliness and relevance of the information being shared to a broad community.  Many updates and resources from the inclusive geoscience community are disseminated through social media.  However, those that are most important will also be shared via the IAGD website.  Find the most recent IAGD event information and community resources on geoscience accessibility on the IAGD Facebook page.  Please like us at www.facebook.com/TheIAGD.

Follow the IAGD on Twitter

The IAGD now has a twitter account.  Follow @AccessibleGEO to stay up to date with the most recent information.

IAGD community Google Group

Similar to a listserv, the IAGD Google Group is a place for you to access a community full of experience on the topic of access, inclusion, and science education.  Have a question or need resources for a student you are working with?   Post announcements, discuss issues of accommodation and inclusion, and share resources with the entire IAGD community.  Request access at: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/the-iagd

Have you been to the website lately? 

Development of the IAGD website is ongoing. Have a look at the latest updates at www.TheIAGD.org.  There is an active “news” page as well as advice for students on the “community” page.  If there is a specific resource or information that you are looking for, or an improvement that we should make (i.e. instructional resources, student resources, or information on current research), please send an email to:  info@theiagd.org.

Keep us updated!

Do you have a new title, have you moved to a new position, or are you using a new email address?  If so, please send your current information to info@theiagd.org so we can keep the membership list updated and to be certain you are not missing out on the network communications.

Help us promote the network!

Watch for IAGD members wearing (and distributing) the IAGD logo nametag stickers at upcoming geoscience, education, and disabilities research meetings.  If you are planning to attend an upcoming geoscience or science education conference and would like to distribute IAGD promotional materials, email us and we will be glad to send some for you to share.

Have news to share? 

News items can be uploaded in the Recent News section.  Access to post can also be granted: www.theiagd.org/category/recentnews/.   Contact us at info@theiagd.org for details.

If you know of anyone who would be interested in becoming a member or working with the IAGD, please forward this newsletter to them and encourage them to contact us to learn more.