2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 243-8
Presentation Time: 3:00 PM

GEOLEAD (GEOSCIENCE LEARNING, ENGAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT): A MULTI-STAKEHOLDER CONCEPT TO INCREASE THE SIZE AND DIVERSITY OF THE EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE TALENT POOL


ASHER, Pranoti M.1, ADAMEC, Bethany1, FURUKAWA, Harry1, KAPLAN, Marlene2, HAACKER-SANTOS, Rebecca3, LEWIS, Gary B.4, VELASCO, Elsa5 and MORRIS, Aisha R.6, (1)American Geophysical Union, 2000 Florida Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009-1277, (2)NOAA, Silver Spring, MD 20910, (3)Soars, UCAR, Boulder, CO 80301, (4)Education & Outreach, Geological Society of America, 3300 Penrose Place, Boulder, CO 80301, (5)Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK 74137, (6)Education and Community Engagement, UNAVCO, Inc, 6350 Nautilus Drive, Boulder, CO 80301, pasher@agu.org

Recent research highlights the fact that a robust Earth and space science (ESS) workforce is necessary to address such issues as natural hazards, energy and other resources, and mitigation of and adaptation to global climate change. This need is more critical given the projected shortfall resulting in an estimated 135,000 unfilled positions by the end of this decade (according to the American Geosciences Institute). Professional societies, along with federal agencies, national research centers, academic institutions, and private industry, play a key role in educating the next generation of Earth and space scientists by offering programs and opportunities that attract students to the field, support them through formal education, and provide training for a career in the Earth and space sciences [based on recent National Research Council reports from 2011 and 2013]. To further this goal, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) is convening a coalition of organizations to co-design and implement a concept called Geoscience Learning, Engagement And Development (GeoLEAD).

GeoLEAD will provide a platform as well as a collaborative infrastructure to help engage, retain, and prepare two- and four-year-college undergraduate ESS students (including STEM students with an interest in ESS) for the workforce. It will centralize access to the vast array of already existing programs and services that are currently scattered across multiple organizations (e.g. professional societies, federal agencies) and simplify the search process by recommending bundles of programs and services based on the students’ profiles and interests. GeoLEAD will help the coalition of professional societies and organizations identify and fill gaps in the type of programs or services being offered, and assist employers in engaging with and building effective talent pipelines. A first but critical step in the development of GeoLEAD has been the conversation and face to face meetings with key partners (professional societies, academic institutions, federal agencies, private sector employers, and other organizations) to increase our collective impact in this effort. This paper will report on some of the early outcomes of these partner conversations as well as provide an update on the status of the platform.