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IODP staff scientists engage more in college’s research and teaching

Sep 30, 2015 - Kate Miller

Overview: The College has developed a program to involve IODP staff scientists more closely in our research and education mission.

The College and the University have long been committed to the principle that Texas A&M University will be internationally renowned both for its effective and efficient operations of the science services for the NSF’s International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and for its contributions to drilling science and education. In 2014 the university provided new funding for 1 FTE to be split among 4 IODP staff scientists to broaden their research portfolio and instructional skills, while simultaneously promoting significant opportunities for intellectual exchange amongst staff scientists, undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty.  

Last year, during the pilot program, IODP staff scientists taught 29 students in First-Year Seminars (FYS) in the fall, and then engaged students from FYS in undergraduate research in the spring and summer. This year, IODP staff scientists will undertake these activities again. IODP scientists who are participating this fall include Drs. Leah Levay, Carlos Zarikian and Kara Bogus. In addition, there are plans for an IODP scientist to teach one section of the GEOS 405 capstone class using core materials in the spring.  

I encourage faculty members in the College to engage these staff scientists in your teaching and research.  This fall semester the my office will be setting up opportunities for faculty and graduate students to meet IODP staff scientists and share research interests. We also hope that students will regularly invite the IODP staff scientists to participate on thesis and dissertation committees as appropriate.

The program is being overseen by a steering committee: Kate Miller, dean, Chris Houser, associate dean for undergraduate and faculty affairs, Eric Riggs, associate dean for graduate affairs and diversity, Mike Pope, Geology and Geophysics department head, Debbie Thomas, Oceanography department head, Brad Clement, IODP director, and one other scientist, and research scientist. 

We envision this program as a model for how “big science” can directly impact both the education of students and the future scientific leaders of the field.

For additional information, contact Chris Houser.  

 

Kate Miller

Dean

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