• Harvey Thorleifson, Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • Carrie Jennings, Vice Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • David Bush, Technical Program Chair
    University of West Georgia
  • Jim Miller, Field Trip Chair
    University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Curtis M. Hudak, Sponsorship Chair
    Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC


Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 9:30 AM


GONZALES, Leila M.1, KEANE, Christopher M.2 and HOULTON, Heather R.2, (1)American Geological Institute, 4220 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302, (2)American Geosciences Institute, 4220 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302,

In 2011, the American Geological Institute (AGI) launched the first pilot of a standardized National Geoscience Exit Survey in collaboration with 32 geoscience university departments. The survey will be available to all U.S. geoscience programs at two- and four-year colleges and universities by the end of the 2011-2012 academic year, and will provide information about geoscience student academic and career trajectories. The survey will also establish a cohort of geosciences degree recipients that will participate in a longitudinal survey to develop a long-term robust mapping of geosciences student career trajectories.

The National Geoscience Exit Survey collects demographic information, high school Earth science course enrollments, community college attendance (including geosciences courses and degree conferral) to undergraduate and graduate degree types and disciplines. The survey also collects data on how degree recipients financed their education, when and why they chose to pursue a geoscience degree, and how they rate their field, research, and internship experiences. Additionally, degree recipients are asked to provide information about their future academic and/or career plans. Career trajectory information (e.g. industry, company, geographic location, salary and additional compensation, job search methods) is collected for degree recipients who are pursuing geoscience careers as well as graduates pursuing non-geoscience careers.

We explore the results for geoscience undergraduates as they pertain to their preparation for graduate school, and student career trajectories in academia and the workforce.. Preliminary results indicate that the majority participants have experience field work (e.g. field camp, field courses, or courses with a field component), research, and/or have participated in a faculty member’s research program. Nearly 25% of participants have presented their research either in a departmental setting or at a scientific conference. Only 32% of participants had an internship. Future academic and career trajectories for participants included graduate school (53%) and pursuit of a geoscience career (45%) with some overlap between those open to either graduate school or a career. Furthermore, 12% of participants already accepted job offers in geoscience occupations.

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