Initial Publication Date: December 31, 2021
Volume 10, Issue 3 | Winter 2021



In this Issue:

From the President

Catching My Breath

by Karen Layou, Reynolds Community College, VA

As my Fall 2021 semester begins to wind down, I have had a few brief moments to reflect on these past few months. While the majority of my teaching was still online this fall, I had one in-person physical geology lab each week. Despite my own trepidation of returning to the classroom amidst the continuing swirl of pandemic impacts, that weekly meeting has been my saving grace. It has been wonderful to reconnect with students; to see those light bulb moments as they compare rhyolite, andesite, and basalt; to watch their creative ideas to mitigate erosion in the stream table yield unexpected results; to have those impromptu conversations about food and family and holidays and their futures that strengthen relationships and a sense of belonging in our academic environment. Many students have said they are glad to be back and are enjoying the camaraderie, but still struggle with motivation and focus. I would love to hear from our membership about your pandemic experiences during this academic year so far—what has your teaching experience been like? Are you glad to be back in the classroom? How are your students faring?

This also plays into another area where I have been spending time. We know that the pandemic has not affected all communities equally, and I am contemplating those consequences in the context of the larger conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and specifically, the geosciences. Last spring, I participated in the URGE program with a pod of two-year college faculty, and we developed a wonderful resource document that was highlighted in the last issue of Foundations. You can also read about our continued efforts elsewhere in this newsletter. This semester, I am participating in a book club on my campus, reading Black Minds Matter by J. Luke Wood. This text has been a fascinating read with a focus on identifying various examples of systemic racism toward Black males in the U.S. education system from K-12 through graduate studies. Wood encourages his readers to bring more compassion and embed love in education to address these deeply ingrained biases. I also listened to Season 2 "Seeing White" of the podcast Scene on the Radio during recent hours logged on the interstate. Recommended by our Geo2YC colleague, Kristie Bradford, I cannot emphasize how well this work lays out the argument for identifying racism as a purely social construct. Based on these experiences, I am thinking of changes I will affect to my classes next semester, primarily via more embedded one-on-one interactions with my students. Again, I would love to hear from our membership—how are you addressing DEI efforts in your geoscience classes or departments? Did you participate in URGE and if so, what was your experience like?

Please email any comments or ideas you would like to share to me at I hope that we will be able to share some of your responses in future issues of the newsletter.

Wishing all a lovely winter season, and you'll hear from Geo2YC in the New Year!

Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award

Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award Summer 2021 Honoree: Alan Capelle of Madison College

by Joy Branlund, Southwestern Illinois College, and Michelle Selvans, Clovis Community College and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

The OAFA Committee is excited to recognize Alan Capelle of Madison College as our latest quarterly award winner.  

Alan has been teaching general geology and earth science at Madison since 2016. Although this is only the latest in a line of teaching (and career) adventures (Alan called it the "twilight of his career"), Alan still strives to improve by utilizing new teaching materials and techniques. Alan makes time for professional development events, like NAGT's Earth Educators' Rendezvous, shares what he learns with other faculty at Madison, and even voluntarily demonstrates his teaching for the college's Center for Academic Teaching and Learning Effectiveness. He stresses how active learning and utilizing real data in the classroom (such as materials from the Yellowstone National Park Super Volcano Research Unit, and the Mt. St. Helens Research Unit) help engage and motivate his geoscience students.

According to Alan's department chair Dr. Matthew Lazzarra, Alan "goes above and beyond what is expected of most adjunct faculty: he is involved directly with our full-time Earth Science/Geology faculty in the execution of our Earth Science and Geology courses. He has provided teaching resources to the Department, especially in the last year or two in both the spirit of an active faculty member but also providing a helping hand during the pandemic. Alan is a member of our shared governance – participating in the Institutional Effectiveness Council... All of these efforts bring Alan's interest in Earth Sciences/Geology to our department and to our students...I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award."

Alan, thank you for all you do for your students, your institution, and the two-year college (and NAGT) community!  We are pleased to support Alan with a one-year complimentary membership to NAGT and the Geo2YC Division, and he will be entered into the pool of honorees under consideration for the Annual Outstanding Faculty Award, which is sponsored by a professional development stipend of up to $750 from Pearson Publishing.

If you know a two-year college adjunct who does great work, then tell us about them! Your nominee might win one of the three quarterly awards coming up in 2022. Please complete an Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award nomination today: 

Geo2YC Pencil Photo

Community Announcements

NAGT Webinar Series by and for 2YC Instructors

We are pleased to announce a NAGT Webinar Series led by 2YC instructors. The series will be the first Friday of each month from 12:00-1:00 pm Eastern, starting in February 2022. The dates are February 4, March 4, April 1, and May 6. Currently, we are seeking volunteers who would like to lead one of the webinars. The first thing we will need is which date you could possibly lead, a preliminary title and description. Once we can get people signed up for those dates, we will be back in touch to let you know what additional information we will need to advertise. Once we begin advertising, we hope that everyone will share the information with as many 2YC instructors as possible.

Please contact Adrianne Leinbach at if you are willing to lead one of the webinars or have any questions.

Early Career Geoscience Faculty Workshop opportunity

The Early Career Geoscience Faculty workshop is for faculty in their first three years of a tenure-track or equivalent position, with priority given to applicants entering their second or third years in their position. Participants must have a faculty position at a two-year or four-year college or a university at the time of the workshop, and must be in their first three years of teaching or starting a position in the Fall. See for details.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The website states that participants must have a full-time position; however, the conveners understand that many two-year college faculty hold adjunct positions, and they encourage those adjuncts to apply for the workshop.

Join us for a multi-day workshop in a stimulating and resource-rich environment where you will participate in sessions on topics including effective teaching strategies, course design, establishing a research program in a new setting, working with research students, balancing professional and personal responsibilities, and time management.

Date: June 20-24, 2022, with an optional virtual visit to NSF in Summer 2022

Location: University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Apply by March 1, 2022

Geo2YC Faculty Development Grants 

Next application deadline:  December April 1, 2021

Have you participated in virtual professional development, or are you planning to attend regional or national conferences this fall or winter (face-to-face or online)? How about organizing a virtual or face-to-face workshop, field trip, or other activity? We'd like to help! The Geo2YC Division would like to support your efforts to promote geoscience education in two-year colleges. Please consider applying for:

  • Mini grants up to $500 to support an activity (workshop, field trip, etc.) which benefits faculty from multiple institutions.
  • Travel grants of $100 to help an individual attend a professional development activity (please note: this can support virtual professional development!)

Geo2YC Faculty Development Grants - apply here

Opportunities for Students

Please share these upcoming opportunities for 2YC (and beyond) students!


Geo-Launchpad is a paid internship program for community college students attending college in Colorado, New Mexico, and now expanding to Wyoming. In addition to a technical project, the students participate in a suite of professional development activities, including science communication, resume/cv workshops, scientific poster creation and presentation, field trips, and become part of a cohort of students from all over the U.S. who are participating in UNAVCO's other internship programs.

This internship also encourages faculty mentoring program, Whole Student Mentoring. The internship program requires that students apply with a faculty mentor from their home institution who agrees to support them before, during, and after the internship. The faculty participate in the Whole Student Mentoring program that provides information and resources to improve their mentoring interactions with students. Faculty will encourage students to apply for STEM internship opportunities, and ideally to transfer to a four-year program in geosciences.

For more information, contact Kelsey Russo-Nixon at


Please share STEMSEAS (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Student Experiences Aboard Ships) information and application link with interested students.

Application deadline for 2022 cruises: February 6, 2022.

STEMSEAS aims to provide ship-based, 6-10 day exploratory experiences for undergraduates from diverse backgrounds aboard NSF-funded research vessels. Students will sail with experienced faculty mentors and engage in geoscience and oceanography activities (while also having fun)! First generation college students, 2YC students, and members of historically minoritized groups in STEM are especially encouraged to apply (and STEM major is not required!)

Program link:

Student application link:


GeoCorps™️ America

GeoCorps™ America offers paid short-term geoscience opportunities in some of the most beautiful natural areas in the world. Topic areas include geology, hydrology, paleontology, mapping and GIS, minerals, soils, glaciology, geohazards, karst, education, and interpretation. Position requirements vary; many require an undergraduate degree but others are appropriate for current 2YC students.

Application deadline: February 3, 2022

Program link:

Position listing and application link:


NPS Scientists in Parks

National Parks Service (NPS) Scientists in Parks Program provides immersive, science-related, career-building internship experiences in partnership with the National Park Service for current students or recently graduated individuals. Position requirements vary; many require an undergraduate degree but others are appropriate for current 2YC students.

Application deadline: January 23, 2022

Program link:

Position listing and application link:


Future Newsletter Deadlines

We are pleased to announce a new form for contributors to submit articles, images and items of interest to the newsletter.


Questions about the submission form? Please contact Bridget James:

Questions about the newsletter? Please contact Andrea Bair:

Deadline for submission to next issue of the newsletter:

  • March 1, 2022 (Spring issue)