December 24, 2011

Dear Members and Friends of the International Advisory for Geoscience Diversity:

We have had a busy year of expanding within the IAGD community. I am writing to provide a brief update on where the advisory stands with respect to research and outreach, as well as community development.

Key collaborations are actively being proposed that will enhance our international reach. Several new members have been added to our community, both in research and instruction, as well as students who are actively seeking degrees in the geosciences. With this increased advisory community, more information is reaching the public about our efforts to improve access and inclusion to the geosciences for everyone, regardless of ability.

We are excited to announce that the IAGD is currently planning an instructional short course, to be presented by members of the IAGD at several upcoming geoscience meetings. This course is designed to assist geoscience faculty in universally designing instruction, planning to accommodate these students, and developing alternative activities for lessons, labs, and field trips. Additionally, student members of the IAGD will offer examples of best instructional practices for accommodation and inclusion. These students will share insights on what barriers they have encountered and what has helped them overcome these barriers in the pursuit of degrees in the geosciences. Discussions are currently underway with members of the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) and the new Project InTeGrate to ensure an approach to faculty development that compliments their efforts as well.

Finally, if you haven’t been back to the website, please visit www.TheIAGD.org to see the new updates. We are constantly aiming to improve the site to make it a highly useable research and resource-based community. Your constructive comments are very welcome as we move forward. Please keep us informed if you know of any additional resources or instructional
materials inclusive of students with disabilities in the geosciences. Happy holidays to each of you, and wishing you the happiest of new years.

Sincerely,
Chris Atchison
Director, The International Advisory for Geoscience Diversity

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Disclaimer: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0939645. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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