The journal of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists interviewed me a few months back on the essay on integrative innovation in the geosciences I wrote for Agile Geoscience’s 52 Things You Should Know About Geophysics. The essay and interview are now out in electronic form for public consumption.
The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) Women’s Network’s article about the participation of women in SEG was just published in the Full Spectrum column of The Leading Edge. “Women are becoming a more important part of the technical workforce at a global scale. The geophysical community has been educating and training women at ever-increasing rates over the past few decades. As a profession, an industry and a society, we have much invested in this tremendous resource. Are these resources being used to their fullest potential?”
A small step forward is invariably met with two giant steps back.
Wired | Congress’s Attack On Geosciences Is A Dangerous Game “It is geoscientists who research how to find the metals, energy sources and water that we will need to continue to prosper as a nation … as resource use increases, we need more ways to make sure the supply lines for resources are open and it is Geosciences that allows this.” The irony is that the Texas Three – Lamar Smith (R-TX), John Culberson (R-TX) in the House and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the Senate – line their pockets with oil wealth generated by the very science they have defunded.
Wisconsin State Journal | UW System Regents committee rejects proposal to fight controversial tenure changes by Legislature Let’s get something straight: this isn’t about academic tenure. First, tenure at the world-class educational and research institution that is Wisconsin is not easy to get. Second, even if it can be and is abused a bit, tenure gives liberties, academic freedoms that are the foundation of an engaging and well-rounded education. And, finally, everyone knows a modern professor’s worth, tenured or not, lies in their ability to bring in funding. What is now happening in Wisconsin, thanks to Walker and his hand-picked regents, is the continued erosion of the state university system in service of eventual privatization, using the straw man of tenure abuse.
The reality is that high-quality faculty candidates do not take offers from universities if eventual tenure is not a possibility. Along with the ever-decreasing budget, how can the University of Wisconsin even begin to stay competitive nationally and globally? For the sake of political and their own financial gain, Walker and the Wisconsin state legislature have systematically dismantled a great place of higher learning, the Wisconsin universities system and The Wisconsin Idea, the notion that the university belongs to the taxpayers who make it possible, that “the university should improve people’s lives beyond the classroom.”
This is Professor Bob Dott, a great geology researcher and instructor from whom I learned a lot about the history and philosophy of geology through discourse and debate, tools employed well only with the professor’s and student’s ability to speak without fear of dismissal. Among other accomplishments, Dott has won multiple awards for a distinguished career in geoscience, wrote The Roadside Geology of Wisconsin and is one of those responsible for turning a key geological outcrop into a State Historic Site. I placed that picture up there as a reminder that faculty like him and his work for the science and state are what we stand to lose.
The future demands the technical innovations and human resources highlighted at the start of the post. I don’t see these happening without a federal commitment to geoscience funding combined with strong state university systems that made so many of us who work towards these goals.