Cultivate Your Intrinsic Motivation
Most career advice is centered on extrinsic rewards - achieving tenure, or publishing in "the best" journals. But it is clear that intrinsic rewards are even more important in the long run to staying motivated and happy in one's career. Figure out what rewards matter to you and then shape or find an environment that will provide those.
The following are quotes from geoscience education researchers on professional activities that bring them joy, the need for patience when initiating change, and the value community in their GER career. These quotes are just a glimpse of the wealth of advice and career reflection that can be found in the Idea Papers submitted by participants in the 2016 GER workshop.
Find professional activities that feed your soul
You're the one who gets to plot your professional path. Pursue the activities that give you the most satisfaction and a sense of mission.
Cultivate Partnerships to Build Your GER Career, Sharon Locke (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville)
Traveling in Multiple Worlds: Geoscience, Education, and Research, Nievita Bueno Watts (Oregon Health and Science University)
Integration and Collaboration are Keys to a Productive and Joyful GER Career, Kristen Ellen Kudless St. John, (James Madison University)
Virtual Brownbags to Expand a Community of Practice, Katherine Ryker, (Eastern Michigan University)
Remember Rome wasn't built in a day
Success in GER, as in many research fields, typically requires a long-term perspective. Time and resources are perpetually in short supply, so it's important to focus on what can be done right now to build on what has come before and lead to what will come next.
Research into Practice: Always Something You Can Do, Steven Semken (Arizona State University)
Closing the Gap: Geoscience Education and Education Research to Bring Together Science and Society, Juliette Rooney-Varga (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Spreading evidence-based practices through paired teaching, Sara Harris (University of British Columbia)
Bringing InTeGrate Modules into the Community College Classroom, Elizabeth Nagy-Shadman (Pasadena City College)
Metamorphosis: Transitioning into GER, Stefany Sit (University of Illinois Chicago)
Seek out friends and colleagues in GER
Lone practitioners of any discipline face challenges it can be difficult to overcome alone. Having to "do everything yourself" and feelings of isolation make success harder to achieve. So connect with like-minded colleagues; in GER, in education, in geoscience. Beyond mentoring relationships, the social support of a community is an important factor in both quality of life and career success.
An Alternate Path into GER, Kim Cheek (University of North Florida)
My non-linear path to a GER career, Scott Clark (University of Wisconsin Eau Claire)
Earth Science Teacher to Geoscience Researcher, Daniel Dickerson (East Carolina University)
GER at a teaching-focused university, Heather Lehto (Angelo State University)