NAGT > Divisions > Geoscience Education Research Division > GER Awards

Geoscience Education Research (GER) Division Awards

NAGT's GER Division is pleased to announce two new division awards beginning in 2018.

Transformation Award

The Geoscience Education Research (GER) community is committed to the promotion of high quality, scholarly research in geoscience education. To honor colleagues who have made significant contributions to the development of and capacity for geoscience education research, the NAGT GER Division recognizes an individual with the GER Transformation Award.

The Transformation Award recognizes this person for their outstanding contributions to GER. Contributions may include, but are not limited to, leading capacity-building GER activities, developing collaborations that produce fruitful new lines of GER research, or providing expanded opportunities to publish GER literature.

The Transformation Awardee will receive a complimentary one-year membership to NAGT and the GER Division, and a ticket to the NAGT luncheon at GSA. Awardees will be profiled in the division's newsletter. Nominations for this award will be accepted through an online form. Awardees will be selected by a committee composed of the NAGT-GER Division Past President and Vice President, and 2 division members. Nominations for these awards will be kept under consideration for 3 years in the event that multiple people are nominated.

2018 Transformation Award Winner: Julie Libarkin.

Read more about why Dr. Libarkin's contributions to the GER community.

Julie Libarkin is the 2018 NAGT-GER Division Collaboration Awardee. Julie is a geocognition researcher at Michigan State University who studies how people perceive, understand, and make decisions about the Earth. Julie has transformed the geoscience education research community in three main ways: 1) through her research productivity that cross-cuts disciplines, bringing new methodologies and approaches to GER; 2) leading the GER community in increased rigor in the both the execution of research and publication of findings and 3) her work as a researcher, mentor, colleague has supported and provided new findings in diversity in the geosciences. She is an esteemed researcher that is nationally and internationally known and she has worked across disciplines has been an important change maker in GER establishing the foundation for the respected research community that we in GER now enjoy. She had been Chairman of the Geoscience Education Division of the Geological Society of America and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Geoscience Education and she was elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2016 in recognition for her distinguished contributions to the geoscience community.

Since her graduate student years, Julie saw that there was a need in GER to conduct more rigorous qualitative and quantitative research. She worked to learn from other related fields studying their techniques and methodologies to approach social science research and then went a step further to share what she found with others in the geoscience education community through series of JGE articles and conference workshops. She went on to eventually become Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Geoscience Education (JGE). It is in this capacity that she continued to move the needle forward in GER where she established distinctions between "Research" and "Curriculum & Instruction" submissions where she also created new metrics for both types of submissions, increasing the quality of submission for both types of manuscripts while highlighting the importance of both contributions to advance the state of the field.

Julie been PI or Co-PI on numerous federally funded research projects with over $10M in secured grants and she has published over 60 peer-reviewed research articles in a range of publication outlets including: Journal of Geoscience Education, Science, Climatic Change, Journal of Geophysical Research, Journal of College Science Teaching, Tectonophysics, GSA Today, Computers and Geosciences, Astronomy Education Reviews, the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, CBE-Life Sciences, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, International Journal of Science Education, Geosphere, Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, Journal of Engineering Education, among many others. Julie's funding and publishing accomplishments illustrate her ability to work across disciplinary fields as well as her ability to disseminate her research to a broad range of communities.

Finally, Julie has been an advocate and supporter of women, as well as those from diverse and marginalized communities working to not only improve their situations in the geosciences, and academia more broadly, but to improve the geosciences by having them be an essential part of the community.

In summary, Julie's work has been described as "promoting the importance of enhancing access and inclusion in the geoscience disciplines for students from underrepresented groups in order to foster more diverse and innovative perspectives of scientific process." And it has been stated that she has "substantially changed the research culture in GER from qualitative case studies and action research (research centering on a single classroom) to quantitative and semi-quantitative studies using valid and reliable assessment instrument. She has been described as "a pioneer in investigating students' conceptions and in developing assessments that are still widely used today." In all, she has transformed the geoscience education research culture as "work conducted by geoscience educators today is much different than it was in 2000. Today, it is not possible to page through journals that publish geoscience education research without noticing the abundance of quantitative and semi-quantitative studies that were not present 15 years ago. There is no other researcher in our community who has done so much to guide us towards a new model for research as Julie has."


Transformation Award Nominations

Collaboration Award

The Geoscience Education Research (GER) community is committed to the promotion of high quality, scholarly research in geoscience education. New research methodologies and programs of research propel GER forward and have widespread impacts to the teaching and learning of the geosciences. To honor non-GER colleagues (e.g. geophysicists, educational psychologists, education researchers, etc.) who infused the GER community with new approaches to GER, the NAGT GER Division recognizes an individual with the GER Collaboration Award.

The spirit of this award is to recognize the contribution of non-GER collaborators and acknowledge that the effort of interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary research requires a commitment that is not always recognized within one's home discipline or institution. Contributions may include, but are not limited to, engaging in original research or fruitful collaborations that apply new methodologies and/or theoretical frameworks to GER, creating expanded opportunities to publish GER literature beyond the geosciences, present GER research at conferences not typically attended by the GER community, and/or building capacity within the GER community.

The Collaboration Awardee will receive a complimentary one-year membership to NAGT and the GER Division, and a ticket to the NAGT luncheon at GSA. Awardees will be profiled in the division's newsletter. To be eligible for this award, a person must not identify as a geoscience education researcher. It is at the discretion of the award committee to determine if the candidate fits the spirit of this award as we acknowledge that GER colleagues may have a variety of roles (e.g. geology faculty, college of education faculty, psychologists, faculty development specialists). Nominations for this award will be accepted through an online form. Awardees will be selected each year by a committee composed of the NAGT-GER Division Past President and Vice President, and 2 division members. Nominations for these awards will be kept under consideration for 3 years in the event that multiple people are nominated.

Collaboration Award Nominations

2018 Collaboration Award Winner: Tim Shipley.

Read more about why Dr. Shipley's contributions to the GER community.

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."


Nomination Process

Nominations for both awards will be accepted through the online nomination forms and have the same requirements.

Letters of support should include:

  • At least one letter from a current member of the GER Division
  • 2-4 additional letters from the nominee's collaborators
  • Letters should describe specific activities that demonstrate how the nominee has met the spirit of the award (e.g. led capacity-building GER activities, infused the GER community with new approaches, etc.). We encourage nominators to consider how letter writers might represent the diversity of people the nominee has worked with (e.g. other faculty, grad students, people at different institutions).
  • A current CV for the nominee.

Award Timeline

Special 2018 Award Timeline:

Nomination period opens: July 1

Nominations due: September 15

Award committee decision: October 1

Future Award Timeline:

Nomination period opens: January 1

Nominations due May 15

Award committee decision: June 15

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