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Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 4:15 PM


FREDRICK, Kyle C.1, DOMAGALL, Abigail M.S.2, ANDERSON, Steven W.3, HARLAN, Amity C.2 and THOMAS, Kaitlin1, (1)Earth Sciences, California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Avenue, Campus Box 55, California, PA 15419, (2)Science, Black Hills State University, 1200 University Street, Unit 9107, Spearfish, SD 57799-9107, (3)MAST Institute and the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639,

The geology discipline has undergone steady growth over the last several years primarily as interest in the energy and environmental sectors increases. Nationally, there are geology program variants that prepare students for these fields. Some are large, relatively autonomous entities with dozens of faculty and staff supporting students of undergraduate as well as graduate levels. Others are small, serving just a few, select students as part of a broader science curriculum or small, standalone programs. In the latter group, some are led by a single faculty member, responsible for the teaching of all discipline-specific courses, curricular development, advising of students, and research. These “solitary geologists” must maintain the quality of their programs as well as sustain their own personal and professional development. For our purposes, a single-faculty program is defined as that with only one tenured or tenure-track faculty who teaches all or most of the geology-related courses on their campus. Our research intends to elucidate the challenges and benefits to single-faculty geology programs. In addition, we hope to identify specific programs, formats, or strategies that have enabled successful undergraduate research. The study is survey-based, via e-mail invites to faculty leaders of the aforementioned programs. A database was developed by undergraduate students of two such single-faculty programs through exhaustive web-searching by multiple methods. The survey is slated for launch with the onset of Fall 2010 classes and anticipates completion during Spring 2011. The focus of the survey is on job satisfaction, perceived advantages/disadvantages, time management, and research. Pressure for undergraduate programs to maintain active undergraduate research creates even greater stresses on single faculty. A part of our study aims to identify research types and specific projects appropriate for small, undergraduate programs. We are especially interested in collaborative projects that have been or can be completed across multiple campuses. In addition, our undergraduate collaborators are looking at the perspectives of other students of single-faculty programs and their opportunities for research.
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