Filling the Expectation Gap: Paleontologists as Teaching Professors

Professional Development for Paleontologists Working Outside of Research-Intensive Positions

Monday, October 12, 2020, 1:00PM - 3:00 PM EDT in conjunction with the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting with three additional follow-on meetings after the conference.

Workshop Description

Most graduate students in vertebrate paleontology are trained to be employed in museums or as tenure-track faculty at research-intensive universities. However, because these positions are rare in the best of times, paleontologists often work in teaching-intensive positions, and the realities of those positions do not necessarily match personal expectations and formal training in graduate school. The goal of this workshop is to identify the variety of challenges encountered by paleontologists at institutions other than "R1s" and provide resources, strategies, and support for successfully navigating those challenges. Even if job openings would be few this cycle, this workshop is oriented toward things that aspiring professors can be doing now—integrated course design (with an increased emphasis on online teaching) as well as developing the elements of self-image, professionalism, and work-life balance at teaching-intensive institutions.  

This workshop will take place across four online sessions, one during SVP and the rest in the weeks following, based on participant scheduling.

Workshop Conveners

Andrea Bair, Delta College (Geoscience)
Allison Beck, Black Hawk College (Biology)
Eric Dewar, Suffolk University (Biology)


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