Northeastern Section - 53rd Annual Meeting - 2018

Paper No. 45-4
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


AURAND, Harold W., Penn State-Schuylkill Campus, 200 University Drive, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972 and VICE, Daniel H., Science, Penn State Lehigh Valley, 2809 Saucon Valley Road, Center Valley, PA 18034

Earth scientists work in many academic settings. Some are at colleges and universities that offer earth science degrees. They have strong peer groups and dedicated lab space to encourage research. Some teach in K-12 programs, and while they usually do not have research expectations, there are many programs to keep them involved in the field. Based on a review of the literature, the group that is most ignored is the faculty at smaller schools and community colleges that do not offer earth science degrees. They may teach nothing but general education courses and have no lab facilities, but still face pressure to do research to advance. Unlike K-12 teachers, there are few programs or research done on how to help them remain engaged.

Based on case studies from a 2009 GSA session, and the authors own experiences as one-man departments, academic "Lone Rangers", we identify three factors important to being a successful isolated researcher. The first is to find colleagues, which can be in related disciplines, or at nearby institutions, or through professional organizations. A second factor is to find and accept research projects you can actually do. A third factor is to build on success.