Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM
GEOSCIENCE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AT UNAVCO: EXPANDING ON THE SUCCESSES OF RESESS
Preparing the next generation of geoscientists extends beyond the development of research skills. Traditional research experiences for undergraduates primarily focus on research, however, well-prepared geoscientists develop professional savvy in addition to traditional academic skills. UNAVCO, Inc. is well situated to prepare undergraduate students for placement in both geoscience technical positions and advanced graduate study. UNAVCO, a university-governed consortium facilitating research and education in the geosciences, manages the NSF Geodesy Advancing Geosciences and EarthScope (GAGE) facility. The GAGE facility supports many facets of geoscience research including instrumentation and infrastructure, data analysis, cyberinfrastructure, and broader impacts. Over the past 9 years, UNAVCO has supported the Research Experiences in the Solid Earth Sciences for Students (RESESS), an NSF-funded multiyear geoscience research internship, community support, and professional development program. The primary goal of the RESESS program is to increase the number of historically underrepresented students entering graduate school in the geosciences. Most recently, UNAVCO has added the goal of intentionally developing interns’ professional acumen. Experience shows that while students successfully complete one year of the research internship, some interns realize that they prefer to work in industry rather than research. In an effort to provide a well-rounded experience, RESESS has added a professional component to the program. Interested students are required to submit their materials via the internet through UNAVCO’s hiring portal. Interns are hired as employees of UNAVCO, providing a professional work environment, and their conduct is expected to meet UNAVCO standards. This presentation will focus on the successes of the RESESS program, the results of including a deliberate professional development component to the summer research experience, and how this effort fits with broader workforce development efforts underway at UNAVCO.