Cordilleran Section - 97th Annual Meeting, and Pacific Section, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (April 9-11, 2001)

Paper No. 0
Presentation Time: 10:50 AM


DILEONARDO, Christopher G., Geology and Oceanography Departments and Earth Imaging and Digital Mapping Center, Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022,

Community colleges, nationwide, play a critical role in the education of pre-service K-12 teachers and in the recruitment of members of historically underrepresented groups to the sciences. Because of their role in general education in the sciences, community college geoscience departments are in a unique position to effect fundamentally important change with great societal impact. Although ongoing focus on the critical role of community colleges has changed the funding environment within federal agencies, few proposals are being generated by geoscience faculty at these institutions. Barriers to proposal submission include: faculty isolation and a lack of awareness of funding opportunities; faculty inexperience at proposal writing; poor institutional support for submitting proposals and administering grants; and typically high teaching-loads limiting time for researching funding opportunities and writing proposals.

The Earth Science Program at Foothill College, in the San Francisco Bay Area, has been successful over the last six years in securing federal, state, and college-wide funding for a variety of initiatives. These initiatives have varied from securing departmental instructional technology, to national curriculum projects, workshops, and participation in the building of the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE). The key to this success has been the two-fold approach of education about funding opportunities and grant writing and developing partnerships across a broad spectrum of groups and individuals. Two major steps towards education about funding programs and good proposal writing include participation in workshops that have a grant writing component and volunteering to review proposals in selected agency programs. Development of partnerships by the Earth Science Program at Foothill College has been immensely successful at overcoming many of the institutional barriers to funding. This strategy has allowed the program to leverage heavily the assets and experience of collaborating partners. The most important method for establishing partnerships, beyond the college, has been involvement in professional societies, presentations at national and regional meetings, and attending educational workshops.