Now accepting nominations for the 2018 GeoCUR Undergraduate Research Mentor Award

The Geosciences Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (GeoCUR) is now accepting nominations for its annual award that highlights the importance of mentoring undergraduate research activities. The award annually recognizes an individual who serves as a role model for productive and transformative student-faculty mentoring relationships and for maintaining a sustained and innovative approach to the enterprise of undergraduate research.

Visit the GeoCUR website for application information, as well as audio interviews with past recipients.

The application deadline is June 1, 2018. Completed nomination packs must be emailed to Inquiries and questions may be sent to Erin Kraal ( or Dan Brabander (

Posted in GeoCUR Bytes

AGU Virtual Poster Showcase

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) Virtual Poster Showcase is an affordable and accessible opportunity that allows undergraduate (pursuing Bachelor’s, Bachelor’s Honors, or Associate’s) and graduate (pursuing Master’s or Ph.D.) students to present their research virtually, alleviating any need to travel. Watch the video below to learn about how students can share research from anywhere! Presenting their research to an international audience is only four steps away for students, and the VPS takes place multiple times during the year. Visit the AGU website to learn more:

*Note the video highlights GeoCUR Council Laura Guertin and one of our 2016 GeoCUR Award for Excellence in Student Research awardees, Judy Smith.


Posted in GeoCUR Bytes

Sarah Fortner wins CUR’s 2016 Volunteer Award

Geoscience Councilor Sarah Fortner was recognized at the Annual Business Meeting of the Council on Undergraduate Research as the organization’s Volunteer of the Year. Congratulations, Sarah!


Sarah Fortner after receiving the CUR Volunteer of the Year Award. Photo taken by Robert Shuster.

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Sarah Fortner (left) pictured with CUR Executive Officer Beth Ambos. Photo taken by Claire McLeod.


Posted in Announcements

2015 Undergraduate Research Mentor Award – Mark Wilson

Mark A. WilsonThe fifth recipient of the GeoCUR Undergraduate Research Mentor Award is Mark Wilson, Lewis M. and Marian Senter Nixon Professor of Natural Sciences and Geology at The College of Wooster. Listen to an interview with the awardee (hit the “play” arrow below the image).

Read the press release from the College of Wooster.

The photos below were taken by Krista Herbstrith (NAGT) at the NAGT/GSA GeoEd/CUR Awards Luncheon at the GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, November 3, 2015. The group photo has pictured (left to right) Laura Guertin, co-chair of Mentor Award Committee, Mark Wilson, Lee Phillips, chair of GeoCUR Division.

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Posted in Mentor Award

2016 GeoCUR Award for Excellence in Student Research

For the third time in 2016, CUR’s Geosciences Division presented the GeoCUR Award for Excellence in Student Research.  Please review the citations from the nominators (PDF) and join us in congratulating our third group of student awardees.

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Media coverage for student award winners (*will be posted as announcements by universities are published)


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Posted in Student Award

AGU Signs Agreement with Council on Undergraduate Research

From AGU website (January 7, 2016)  —  In furtherance of their shared goals to build and sustain the global science talent pool,the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU outlines the organizations’ commitment to promoting undergraduate research opportunities, enhancing diversity in the geosciences, and supporting the geoscience talent pool.

“From helping us to understand how and why natural hazards threaten our families and homes, to adaptation and mitigation strategies for the growing impacts of climate change, we know that Earth and space science research plays an important role in public health and well being and the competitiveness of our economy,” said AGU executive director/CEO Christine McEntee. “That’s why it’s so important that we develop and support a steady and diverse pipeline of creative and knowledgeable students who are well-prepared to meet society’s demands for scientific knowledge. It’s also why AGU is so pleased to be able to partner with a respected and knowledgeable organization like CUR as we work to advance this important goal.”

“The initiative is in line with the strategic goals of CUR, not only to expand and retain undergraduate research opportunities, but to do so in a way that diversity is sought and achieved,” said Elizabeth Ambos, CUR’s Executive Officer.  “I am thrilled about the opportunities that this relationship will represent to the members of the two organizations.”

“We are excited about partnering with the AGU to promote undergraduate education in the geosciences through engagement in research skills development and applied research opportunities. Our combined efforts will help promote the offerings of each organization, which should broaden the pathways to careers in the geoscience community,” stated Lee Phillips, CUR Geoscience Division Chair. “The AGU’s virtual poster showcase will, no doubt, help broaden participation in research by providing many more students the opportunity to present the results of their inquiry without the added expense of travel.  As we all know, presentation of one’s research has tremendous potential to be an incredibly transformative experience for aspiring scholars.”

The collaboration will focus on developing and growing programs and initiatives designed to strengthen research opportunities in the Earth and space sciences at the undergraduate level, as well as expanding such research opportunities at two-year colleges. This will include a particular focus on enhancing diversity in the undergraduate geoscience talent pool, as well as creating opportunities for these students to present their work to the broader scientific community, and beyond.


See also EOS article, “AGU Signs Agreement with Council on Undergraduate Research

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Posted in Announcements

AGU Town Hall on Discovery-Based Research Experiences

Members of the Geoscience Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) are leading a Town Hall session at the upcoming American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco titled National Academy of Sciences Convocation Report: Integrating Discovery-Based Research Experiences into the Undergraduate STEM Curriculum.

Integrating Discovery Based Research convocation report coverNew possibilities and challenges to providing and scaling up opportunities for large numbers of undergraduates to engage in discovery-based research and related activities reflect the evidence base and current systemic infrastructure of higher education. The National Research Council hosted a Convocation in May 2015 on this very topic, inspired by the 2012 PCAST report “Engage to Excel,” which urged the STEM education community and funding agencies to “advocate and provide support for replacing standard laboratory courses with discovery-based research courses.” Panelists Laura Guertin (member of Convocation organizing committee and GeoCUR Council), Jeffrey Ryan (GeoCUR Council and Convocation participant), and Pranoti Asher (Geo CUR member and Convocation participant, representing AGU) will speak to the Convocation report and explore critical issues on student benefits, required institutional changes, and managing costs/benefits.

Copies of the Convocation report will be available at the Town Hall for attendees. In addition, the report can be ordered online or downloaded for free from:

The Town Hall is being held on Wednesday, December 16, 2015, from 12:30PM to 1:30PM, in Moscone West 2009. Questions about the report and session may be directed to Laura Guertin (guertin “at”

For those unable to attend the Town Hall, a poster on the same topic will be presented on Monday morning (8AM to Noon), December 14, in Moscone South Poster Hall, Booth 851. The poster can be viewed online.

Posted in GeoCUR Bytes

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