Brett Gilley awarded UBC Killam Teaching Prize

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Brett Gilley


Brett Gilley (IAGD Director of Membership and Community Engagement) has been awarded a University of British Columbia, Faculty of Sciences, 2016-2017 UBC Killam Teaching Prize. The Killam Teaching Prize is awarded annually to faculty nominated by students, colleagues, and alumni in recognition of excellence in teaching.

Top Geoscience Papers of 2016

At the end of 2016, the Geological Society of America asked their science editors to pick notable papers that stood out a particularly significant contributions to the literature

Our own Executive Director Christopher Atchison co-authored one of those papers:

Professionally held perceptions about the accessibility of the geosciences
Christopher L. Atchison and Julie C. Libarkin. Geosphere (2016) 12 (4): 1154-1165.

“Geosphere is encouraging the geoeducation community to consider GSA journals as their home. This paper is an important effort to increase our understanding of the major barriers to access, equity, and inclusion in the geosciences. If we are interested in broadening participation, we need to be reading such works.” Shan de Silva, Geosphere.

2017 Class of AGU Fellows Announced

Dr. Bob Stern


Congratulations to Professor Robert J. Stern, University of Texas at Dallas and IAGD Executive Counselor on being elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Inclusivity in STEM in the UK: a new collaborative project

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) recently announced that it has awarded funding of £480,000 to a collaborative project between the Open University, the Universities of Leeds and Plymouth, UK, including current and past members of the IAGD’s executive committee Jacqueline Houghton and Alison Stokes. The Open University will be taking the lead on the project titled ‘Embedding and sustaining inclusive STEM practices’.
Embedding and sustaining inclusive STEM practices’ aims to share and promote inclusive educational practices in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) disciplines across universities in the UK.
The project will focus on enabling UK Higher Education Institutes to:

  • Embed inclusive resources, module and curriculum design practices.
  • Sustain inclusive module and curriculum deliver practices.
  • Develop inclusive career pathways for students and graduates.

For more information see

Virtual Landscapes team wins UK national award

Virtual Landscape

The Virtual Landscapes ( project team led by current IAGD member Trevor Collins (Open University) and Executive Councilors Jacqueline Houghton (University of Leeds, UK) and Alison Stokes (Plymouth University) won the Times Higher Education Award for Best Digital Innovation in Teaching or Research, 2016. The Virtual Landscapes project uses video game software to create screen-based virtual reality resources for use in geoscience education, including creating accessible alternative field experiences for students unable to go into the field.



Atchison to Serve on National Diversity Board

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research’s National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR/NCAR) is a federally funded organization with staff, programs, and projects on all seven continents. They recently reached out to IAGD’s Chris Atchison, an Associate Professor in the School of Education and Department of Geology at the University of Cincinnati, to join the new Diversity and Inclusion External Advisory Committee.
This committee was established by UCAR/NCAR under their new Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Atchison will work with the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer who reports directly to the UCAR president providing oversight to the process of diversifying the workforce of UCAR/NCAR. The overall goal of the committee is to promote diversity in the workplace, create more welcoming and inclusive environments for staff and visitors, and integrate diversity and inclusivity into their research, education, and outreach.

IAGD at Earth Educators Rendezvous 2017

The third annual Earth Educators’ Rendezvous (EER) was hosted by the University of New Mexico at the main Albuquerque campus during 15 – 22 July 2017 (, offering a wide range of pre-/post-Saturday field trips, weekday multi-day morning sessions, and afternoons offering 2.5 hour mini-workshops, poster/oral presentations, and extended teaching demonstrations. The IAGD-sponsored a Wednesday afternoon mini-workshop facilitated by members Wendi J. W. Williams and Gretchen L. Miller entitled “Inclusion in the Geosciences-Instructional Approaches to Access and Accommodation.” Please visit As in previous years, mini-workshops are not pre-registered events. However, a large turnout of 16 participants representing high school through University R1 faculty and post-docs, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, participated in mixed mode presentations, active learning small group work and discussions. Two EER inclusion/learning strategies posters from Wednesday and Friday sessions were also highlighted during the workshop. New undergraduate member Luke Baker regarding “A View of InTeGrate Materials through the Lens of a Community College Student Tutor” (  Graduate student Ivan Carabajal (with faculty Dr. Chris Atchison) regarding “Access and inclusion from the perspective of current departmental practice” ( Notably, concurrent to the workshop, Dr.

Kent Ratajeski from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Kentucky presented “Examples of tactile aids for teaching introductory Geology students with visual disabilites” during the Wednesday afternoon poster session (  It was the consensus of participants and current facilitators that a future multi-morning workshop would be a welcomed event at next year’s EER which will be hosted by the University of Kansas in Lawrence (Hold the Date: July 16 – 20). Please contact Wendi Williams at if you would like to discuss this opportunity proposal, as she will submit this idea to the EER organizing committee by 31 August.

During the week, the IAGD was also afforded meeting space on Tuesday and Thursday for an IAGD Working Group. This year’s group was focused upon building synergy, using the two lunch time opportunities for brown bag discussions and meeting of current and newly interested persons. We had upwards of 35 participants, building upon the initial ~15 that had contacted Wendi J. W. Williams in advance. Having one of the meetings the day following a successful mini-workshop about inclusive teaching practices helped increase interest in the group. We hope to continue having an IAGD Working Group presence at future EER events.

Ivan Carabajal






Dr. Kent Ratajeski

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©2024 IAGD. The IAGD is a 501c3, volunteer-driven, non-profit organization.

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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