Initial Publication Date: April 1, 2024

Volume 13, Issue 1| Winter 2024



In this Issue:

  • President's Column
  • Geo2YC Fireside Chats - come talk teaching with us
  • Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award
  • Stitch Your Science 2024
  • Spring break in Costa Rica
  • NAGT updates
  • April 15 deadlines for funding opportunities for 2YC faculty and students
  • Upcoming meetings
  • Field Notes
  • Geo2YC pencils

President's Column

Cheryl Resnick, Illinois Central College

Happy Spring! The trees are budding, the plants are growing, the temperatures are warming. All signs that tell us it's time to go outside with our students before our outcrops are covered in plant growth. No matter where you teach, there are opportunities (both urban and natural) to encourage our students to apply what they're learning in class to the "real world." Prepare your students for success with one of our NAGT Geo2YC Division pencils to use for scale. Don't forget to take photos and share them with us for the next issue of "Where in the World are NAGT Geo2YC pencils?" You don't have any pencils to give to students? Email me at and I will send you some!

In the last issue of our newsletter, I encouraged Geo2YC members to join us as we launched our inaugural monthly "Fireside Chats" to share challenges, solutions, and ideas on topics we all face in teaching. I am encouraged by members' participation in the first three meetings. Geo2YC members from across the country have Zoomed in to discuss topics ranging from the first week of classes, the pros and cons of AI use by both students and faculty, and incorporating field trips into our courses.  See the information in the article below for our April "Fireside Chat." I look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting even more of our talented group of educators. We have so much to share!

Looking forward, there are many upcoming events besides the April "Fireside Chat".  The Earth Educators' Rendezvous in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is on July 15-19 and the annual GSA meeting in Anaheim, California is on September 22-25. As with the "Fireside Chats", these meetings provide opportunities to meet geoscience educators, build connections, and network. We have a Geo2YC Faculty Development Grant that can help with travel. The spring application deadline is April 15 so there is still time to apply. As always, please consider nominating an adjunct faculty member for the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award. 

As the clocks have already done, let's spring forward towards the end of our terms with a sense of accomplishment, no matter how large or small. Maybe you tried a new teaching technique this term. Maybe you connected with a colleague to share ideas or provide support. Maybe you saw the "light bulb" go on with a student. You do important work. Let's keep the momentum going. 

Continuing through Spring 2024: Geo2YC Fireside Chats 

For the last few months, the Geo2YC Division Executive Committee has been hosting a series of "fireside" chats on Zoom. These sessions are open to Geo2YC members, as well as anyone you want to bring along - invite your colleagues to attend. We've been having some wonderful, lively discussions around first day of class activities, AI, and fieldwork, but all centered on teaching. We laugh, commiserate, share ideas, and simply connect. Join us for the final spring session!

  • Monday, April 15 - 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific - Post-pandemic experiences: how have you and your students changed?
  • Zoom link to connect to chat

Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award 

Annual Winner 2023: Leslie Simon Davis, Austin Community College

Recall the Geo2YC Division's OAFA award honors three adjunct faculty annually, who are making a difference in their classrooms, departments, and communities. From these three faculty, one is selected via voting among the Division membership as the annual winner of a $1000 stipend from McGraw Hill Publishing to be used toward their professional development and innovative teaching needs.

A big congratulations from the Division Executive Committee goes out to Leslie Simon Davis as the 2023 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty! As voted by the Geo2YC Division membership, Leslie has made amazing contributions to her student's science experiences through her oceanography classes bringing ocean science to life via field trips to the International Ocean Discovery Program core repository and citizen science projects. Read about Leslie's initial recognition here. Leslie stated her stipend "...would be used to accompany students to professional conferences to present their research and get exposed to careers.  Austin Community College does not provide funding for this and 2YC students do not have institutional support for this. Through the NSF CoPe EAGER grant, in 2023 we funded four students from the internship with the opportunity to present their research at GSA and have a heightened exposure to careers. This was a unique experience for our 2YC students.  And they were smiling the entire time. I would like to further these possibilities for our students."

Winter 2024 Honoree: Elizabeth "Beth" Doyle 

Michelle Cauley, Dakota College at Bottineau

The OAFA Committee is excited to recognize Elizabeth "Beth" Doyle of Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) as our Winter 2024 Honoree. Beth has taught Physical Geology and Historical Geology at NVCC and Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia over the past three decades. She has gone above and beyond, bringing hands-on learning experiences directly to her students. She also has maintained an active role in the geoscience community and is a role model for other instructors in the field.

Beth was nominated by Laura Guertin, an Onboard Outreach Officer on the scientific research vessel JOIDES Resolution, whom she met through a Ship-to-Shore Connection. After learning about the program and several communications later, Beth applied for and was accepted as an Onboard Outreach Officer to sail on Expedition 400, off the coast of Northwest Greenland. In preparation for this opportunity, Beth visited Greenland at her own expense to connect with local educators, museums, and community leaders to promote the upcoming expedition. Laura writes, "While on the ship for two months, Beth wrote blog posts, posted on social media, and gave virtual tours" to students around the world.  Beth continued her work by co-writing a mini grant to author an open access book on the process of science at sea and has written for the NAGT Newsletter and spoken at local colleges and high schools about her Greenland expedition experiences to inspire other educators.

Beth has been involved in the Geological Society of Washington as the Meeting Secretary and now as Council Secretary. Since she assumed the additional position as chair of social media in 2024, the Society has seen a 20% increase in followers.

Beth has routinely been involved in geoscience education at the national and international level, while continuing to develop field experiences for her local geology programs at home. Her students have experienced being led on trips to Gettysburg, Harpers Ferry, and Washington, D.C., where geology guides human history.  As Laura writes, "she is providing many opportunities for her students to learn about geology locally and globally."

Beth, we appreciate all you do for your students!  We are pleased to support Beth with a one-year complimentary membership to the NAGT Geo2YC Division, and she 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 $1000 from McGraw Hill Publishing.

To our readership—tell us about yourself or your adjunct colleagues!  What wonderful ideas and strategies are you bringing to your corners of the geoscience world?  Note, these colleagues DO NOT have to be current members of NAGT or the Geo2YC Division to be recognized. Please complete an Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award nomination today.

Stitch Your Science 2024: Making the Unseen, Seen 

Laura Guertin, Penn State Brandywine

I'm sharing a unique virtual opportunity for "stitchers" of all ages and abilities. This is the fourth year that geoscientist Betsy Wilkening and I are organizing Stitch Your Science, where we invite anyone to generate a stitched item (knit, crochet, quilt, felting, weaving, etc.) along this year's theme of Making the Unseen, Seen. This theme encourages you to call attention to items in science that don't have a visual representation, and/or items that are not acknowledged. We encourage you to think of microscopic organisms, geophysical measurements, atmospheric gases, forces, climate justice, worlds far away, and more. 

You may submit photos of up to two stitched items by November 15, 2024. We'll have a Zoom celebration and virtual gallery in December 2024, as well as an in-person gathering at the AGU Fall Meeting in Washington DC. Visit our website for details to view this year's event and images from prior years:

Community groups and classes have participated in Stitch Your Science as well. From elementary school kids to a coastal oceanography course at Penn State Brandywine last year that made two quilts about coastal climate solutions, we welcome solo creations as well as group projects. You can join the #2024-projects in our Slack Channel to connect with our community of stitchers. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Feel free to share the announcement with others, and we hope to see your stitched creation in our virtual gallery.

Field Notes: Livin' the Vida Pura 

by Callan Bentley, Piedmont Virginia Community College

Over spring break, I took a group of students to Costa Rica. The trip was the centerpiece of a 4-credit science course in Environmental Geology. The course meets weekly during the semester, before and after the trip. In these 1.5 hour meetings, we explore different aspects of the relationship between humans and their planet. These topics include geologic hazards, pollution, and geologic resources. When I teach Environmental Geology, I have students read basic factual texts covering these issues, but I also assign deeper, more literary works that explore some aspect of the topic. I use the three parts of John McPhee's class The Control of Nature, and also selections from books by Elizabeth Kolbert and Oliver Morton, and essays from Hakai Magazine. Class discussions are richer when these nonfiction articles get stirred into the mix.

To give our learning a focus, we need a place to consider, a place in which to be, and survive. Costa Rica is an ideal destination to explore the relationship between people and the Earth, being located on an active tectonic margin in a tropical climate. Volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, floods? Costa Rica has them in spades. Mineral extraction, climate change, endangered species, polluted rivers, unsustainable agriculture? Costa Rica has it.

Costa Ricans celebrate living well among all this diverse geology when they say "Pura vida." Translated literally as "pure living," or "pure life," the phrase is uttered in the same sort of contexts as Hawaiians use "aloha." It's a greeting, a farewell, an acknowledgement of the richness of existence.

Intrigued?  Read on for more of Piedmont Virginia's Costa Rican adventures, as Callan shares a few comments first about the logistics of a trip like this, and then dives into a detailed travelogue, and concludes with a few reflections on the experience.

Grow your NAGT experience 

NAGT Webinar Committee is looking for webinar hosts
NAGT offers a wide range of webinars each month to bring the latest in geoscience and pedagogy to our members. The NAGT Webinar Committee is looking for members who would be willing to host a webinar this coming academic year.  Consider sharing a fun teaching technique, resources you've used in your classroom, or collaborate with colleagues to tell us more about what's been going on in your professional world. If you have some ideas, please reach out to the current chair, Adrianne Leinbach (

Funding opportunities this spring via NAGT

Apply for a Geo2YC Faculty Development Grant! Next deadline is April 15.
Open to members of the Geo2YC Division of NAGT, the Geo2YC Faculty Development Grant offers mini-grants up to $500 to support an activity (workshop, field trip, etc.) which benefits faculty from multiple institutions and travel grants of $100 to support attending professional development activities. If you plan on attending the Earth Educators Rendezvous this summer, this is a chance to get a bit of support!  Rolling deadlines annually on April 15 and September 15.  Apply here.

Plan ahead for next year - 2YC faculty, K-12 teachers, and 2YC students: please consider applying for the Dorothy Stout Grant! Annual deadline is April 15.
In honor of Dottie Stout, the first female president of NAGT, awards are made annually in three categories: Community College Faculty, Community College Student, and K-12 Educator. The awards support participation in Earth science classes or workshops; attendance at professional meetings; participation in Earth science field trips; and/or purchase of Earth science materials for classroom use. In addition to the $750 award, each winner receives a one-year membership to NAGT. Apply here.

Connect with your colleagues!

NAGT Webinar Series 
Check out the schedule for the NAGT Webinar Series!  Lots of great opportunities for learning and discussion through these events, and even if you cannot attend, you can register so the link to the recording is sent straight to your inbox. An archive of prior webinars is also available.

AGU Chapman Conferences 
Keep AGU Chapman Conferences on your radar for in-depth meetings on key topics that impact the geosciences. See the Chapman Conference website for 2023-24 offerings.

Early Career Geoscience Faculty Workshop, Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN June 23-27, 2024
The Early Career Geoscience Faculty Workshop is an opportunity to connect with other early career geoscience colleagues from across higher education institutions. Topics include effective teaching in multiple courses, work-life balance, research agendas, and more. Please share widely, particularly with new colleagues.  Applications are due March 3, 2024.

Earth Educators' Rendezvous, Philadelphia, PA July 15-19, 2024
The Earth Educators' Rendezvous will return next summer before it moves to an every-other-year format.  Keep an eye out for abstract and working group proposals for workshops.  Visit their website for more details and to participate in this fantastic event that brings Earth educators together.

Send us your Field Notes

We want to hear about and see what you are doing with your students in the field.  Please share pictures of students in the field and a brief description of what they are doing. If anyone is doing an activity with your students or on campus for the Solar Eclipse on April 8, take photos as we'd love to feature them in the next newsletter!

To the right: Oceanography students from Virginia Peninsula Community College ahead of a sampling trip to measure oysters and collect water quality data on a project in coordination with Emily Rivest at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.  Submitted by their instructor, Lynsey Lemay.





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