2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
Paper No. 210-5
Presentation Time: 3:00 PM-3:15 PM

GAIN - WRITING RETREAT AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

O'CONNELL, Suzanne, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan University, 265 Church St, Middletown, CT 06459, soconnell@wesleyan.edu and HOLMES, Mary Anne, Geosciences, Univ of Nebraska-Lincoln, 214 Bessey Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0340

Writing without a deadline, “publish or perish,” may be one of the most difficult steps of the academic ladder. Since few geoscience departments have a majority of women faculty this contributes to a high demand on female faculty for service work in the form of student advising and serving on committees, and may contribute to a lack of retention of women in the sciences (Xie & Shauman, 2005). Especially when coupled with family demands (Holmes & OConnell, 2005). Geoscience Academics in the Northeast (GAIN) was established through an NSF ADVANCE-PAID grant. The primary objective is to build a community of academic geoscience women within a small geographic area, thus allowing participants to get together more frequently and with less expense. Supported activities are Writing Retreats, Skills Workshops, and Chair Workshops. We consider the Writing Retreats our most successful innovation and it has been adopted by ADVANCE-Nebraska. July 2009 was our 3rd annual writing retreat, lasting 5 nights and 4 1/2 days. Participants arrive Sunday and meet for an evening reception. Monday is focused on writing. Tuesday morning a writing coach discusses strategies and techniques for writing, using examples from the scientific literature. In the afternoon, participants work with her individually. Wednesday evening a skill session is offered such as “techniques for dealing with difficult people” or “generational characteristics and attitudes.” Meals serve as informal mentoring and discussions. Post-docs learn strategies for applying for jobs and professors discuss strategies for working with administrators and running departments. Modifications and adjustments to the program have been made each year. For example, one difficulty has been that parents with young children are not always able to be away for five nights in a row. In 2009 this was accommodated by allowing participants to attend only part of the retreat. The minimum stay was altered to the Sunday reception and stay through Wednesday lunch (3 nights and three days). In previous years non-northeast residents have participated only when working on a paper with someone within the geographic area. This year, participants from outside the original geographic area were welcomed, broadly expanding our geographic area. To learn more about the 2010 retreat, visit: http://www.geogain.org.

2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 210
Techniques and Tools for Effective Recruitment, Retention and Promotion of Women and Minorities in the Geosciences
Oregon Convention Center: B117/118/119
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 41, No. 7, p. 538

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