Collaboration and Growth Award

This award was updated in 2023.

The Collaboration and Growth Award is linked to the mid-career stage, associated with the expansion of one's research area through collaborations and growth. Such collaboration and growth lead to advances in one or more research areas. This award emphasizes interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. There are two eligibility options for this award.

In the first eligibility option, a nominee must be an active member of the NAGT-GER Division and it is recommended (but not required) that the nominee be seven to 15 years into their GER career. This award honors mid-career colleagues who have made and continue to make outstanding contributions to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary GER, GER's applications to geoscience education, and capacity building within the GER community that are commensurate with a mid-career stage.

In the second eligibility option, a nominee must be a non-GER colleague (e.g., geophysicists, educational psychologists, education researchers, etc.) who infused the GER community with new approaches to GER. In this option, the nominator must be an active member of the NAGT-GER Division.

Examples of outstanding contributions to GER, GER's applications to geoscience education, discipline-specific research contributions to geoscience education, and capacity building within the GER community commensurate with a mid-career stage and with non-GER scholars' contributions to GER may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Engage in original research that carries GER in new directions
  • Introduce existing research approaches and theories from other fields to GER
  • Present in GER and/or STEM education conference sessions
  • Publish in GER and/or STEM education journals
  • Create opportunities to publish GER beyond GEOS
  • Present at GEOS and/or non-GEOS conferences
  • Improve BAJEDI in geoscience (will define)
  • Apply GER and/or STEM ed research to one's course and curriculum development activities
  • Apply GER and/or STEM education research to one's teaching
  • Engage in productive collaborations that apply methodologies and/or theoretical frameworks new to GER
  • Build capacity within the GER community
  • Mentor a diversity of scholars (GER and non-GER)
  • Share research expertise with the GER community

The Collaboration and Growth Award recipient will receive (1) a complimentary one-year membership to NAGT and its GER Division and (2) a complimentary ticket to the NAGT luncheon at GSA, where the awardee will be recognized. Awardees will also be profiled in the GER Division's newsletter and included in the NAGT newsletter.

Nomination Process

Potential awardees can be identified through independent nominations and/or self-nominations. The GER Division particularly encourages nominations of BIPOC scholars and individuals from other groups that have been historically marginalized in or excluded from the geosciences. Nomination packages will be accepted through the online nomination form.

Nomination packets should be compiled into a single PDF document and must include:

  • A current CV with the publication record of the nominee
  • A nominee-prepared statement that addresses how the nominee (1) conceptualizes their GER program at their current career stage, (2) disseminates their GER, (3) applies their GER and/or other STEM education research to their course and curriculum development and their teaching, (4) benefits from collaborations, and (5) engages in GER capacity-building efforts
  • Two letters of support from two different individuals (not the nominee) that discuss the nominee's scholarly contributions to the field of GER, application of GER, research collaborations, and GER capacity-building efforts. At least one letter must be from a current member of the GER Division.

Final awards decisions will be made by the NAGT-GER Awards Committee with input from external reviewers. The NAGT-GER Awards Committee comprises the Past President, Vice President, and Secretary. External reviewers will be active NAGT-GER Division members and GER scholars at the post-doctoral career stage or more advanced career stage. Nominations for this award will be kept under consideration for 3 years.

Collaboration Award Nominations

Award Timeline

Nomination period opens: April 1

Nominations due: June 1

Award committee decision: by August 15

Past Awardees

2018 Collaboration Award Winner: Tim Shipley.

Thomas (Tim) F. Shipley is the 2018 NAGT-GER Division Collaboration Awardee. Tim is a cognitive psychologist at Temple University who studies spatial cognition and learning. As a core investigator on the NSF-funded Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC), Tim led the effort to investigate the intriguing spatial thinking challenges associated with the geosciences. In the decade since SILC was first funded, Tim's work is an example of true transdisciplinary research. As one nomination letter describes, "rather than stay in the comfortable confines of his own discipline, he pushed into the unknown territory of interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary research. Effectively, he trained himself as a geologist in order to understand the problems in cognitive science that the geologists were facing."

Tim has collaborated with and mentored several geoscientists and GER researchers, yielding numerous publications in geoscience-related venues (e.g. Journal of Geoscience Education (9 publications!), Aeolian Research, Nature: Climate Change, Journal of Astronomy and Earth Science Education, Journal of Structural Geology) and highly-regarded psychology journals. This demonstrates to the psychology community the complexity of discipline-based tasks, and raises the value of geoscience education research (GER). Tim's colleagues describe the qualities that make Tim an ideal collaborator. "Tim creates an environment where one is open to say anything", "he gives so generously of his knowledge", and "we co-create knowledge together, knowledge that neither of us could create on our own." "He is always genuinely interested to hear and listen to ideas and concerns. I think this is also why his publications are easily understood in both the psychology and geology domains." The consequence of Tim's collaborations is a shift in how geoscientists and GERs view the discipline. "Dr. Shipley has fundamentally changed the way I think about the world, which includes how I do geoscience research."