NSF geosciences education grant is raising the profile of careers in geoscience

Geoscientists monitor water quality.

Two professors in the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics not only want students to become geoscientists, they also research the best ways to recruit and retain those who choose to major in the field.

Backed by a nearly $350,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Joel Moore, assistant professor, and Ron Hermann, associate professor, are promoting TU’s three majors—geology, environmental science-geology and earth-space science—and acknowledging the wealth of jobs that await geoscience graduates in areas from climate change, minerals and environmental remediation.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth in the geosciences to be 50 percent higher than average along with a shortfall of 135,000 geoscience graduates by 2022.

The recruiting efforts of Hermann and Moore include expanding partnerships with area high schools and community colleges, and raising awareness of the field in grades K -12. Their menu of retention methods involves improving introductory geoscience courses to
incorporate more hands-on, active learning practices, altering advising procedures, and increasing networking opportunities among students and the geoscience community.