ENCOURAGING SCIENCE IDENTITY THROUGH GEOSCIENCE CAREER EXPOSURE
The goal of the presented research was to examine whether a single assignment focused on geoscience career options could create positive, short-term shifts in students’ science identities and knowledge and perception of geoscience careers. Seventy students across five sections of physical geology courses completed a scientist spotlight assignment at the midpoint in the semester. The assignment included a review of diverse geoscientists sharing their career path and current research via video and written interviews, and an exploration of AGI resources on geoscience careers and salary data. Pre- and post-assignment surveys revealed positive shifts in student responses. Data show students have a better understanding of geoscience starting salaries. Student perception of geology’s prestige increases, despite geology being more challenging than originally thought. Student assignment comments noted relatable experiences from the scientist profiles, including starting their studies at community colleges. All students, including racial minorities and women, show positive shifts in their ability to imagine themselves as a scientist. A single scientist spotlight assignment can be one of multiple interventions used in a course to lead to improved science identity and geoscience career awareness.