GeoCUR signs on to AGI’s Disability Consensus Statement

Disability Consensus Statement

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) statement on access and inclusion of geoscientists living with disabilities, written as a community document in 2015, serves to increase awareness of the challenges we face and the responsibilities we have as a community, and provides examples of ethical practices toward this group of individuals.  A list of AGI’s membership societies who have agreed to formally support this statement is provided and includes the Geoscience Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (GeoCUR).  A downloadable PDF is available online. This is the first step, of many, on our collective journey to providing full access and promoting inclusion of geoscientists with disabilities into our academic programs and workforce.

To read the full statement online, visit:

Posted in Announcements

Councilor – Jennifer Wenner

jenwennerJennifer Wenner is a Professor of Geology at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with expertise in igneous petrology/geochemistry and geoscience education.  She has been a councilor since 2013.

“Undergraduate research is one of the most important and rewarding parts of my job.  I have mentored more than 2 dozen students in the 15 years I have been at Oshkosh.  There is nothing more satisfying than watching a student blossom during the pursuit of a research project. I love to watch the evolution of an idea, through the development of a project and into fruition of presenting results and conclusions. I gain so much from the work I do with undergraduate students, not just the science but they keep me young and excited about the work I do.  My experience as an undergraduate researcher has informed my work with undergraduates, but the way I deal with research has evolved – I try very hard to help students learn what it means to be a researcher in the geosciences and meet them where they are at the moment. Many of them develop into autonomous researchers – procuring funding and learning analytical skills. I can’t imagine my job without the amazing time I spend mentoring students.”

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2015 GeoCUR Award for Excellence in Student Research

For the second time in 2015, CUR’s Geosciences Division presented the GeoCUR Award for Excellence in Student Research.  Please review the citations from the nominators and join us in congratulating our second group of student awardees.


Media coverage for student award winners

  • Darren Seidel, Angelo State University: Seidel Wins Student Research Award (Angelo State University News, March 20, 2015) [Darren was presented his award at the department spring picnic]
  • Angela Boney, Daytona State College: DSC Environmental Science student earns prestigious research award (Daytona State College Press Releases, April 6, 2015); Daytona State student wins national honors for beach study (The Daytona Beach News-Journal, April 13, 2015)
  • David McLennan, Indiana State University: Indiana State undergrad researcher honored with national recognition (Indiana University State Newsroom, May 5, 2015)
  • Kimberly Bowen, Penn State Brandywine: Penn State Brandywine student receives national recognition for citizen science (Penn State News, June 1, 2015)
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2014 Undergraduate Research Mentor Award

maclaughlinThe fourth recipient of the GeoCUR Undergraduate Research Mentor Award is Mary MacLaughlin, from Montana Tech of The University of Montana. View the award citation (PDF file coming soon) and listen to an interview with the awardee (hit the “play” arrow below the image).

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AGU 2014 – Student poster sessions and faculty workshop

The following sessions were co-sponsored by GeoCUR for undergraduate student presenters:

Workshop: Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR): Getting Started in Undergraduate Research Workshop for New, Future, and Current Faculty (description)

GeoCUR co-sponsor for session: Undergraduate Research With Students at Two-Year Colleges (description)


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GSA 2014 – GeoCUR workshop

2014 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting & Exposition
19-22 October 2014
Vancouver, BC, Canada


Workshop #523. Getting Started in Undergraduate Research for New, Future and Current Faculty.
Sat., 18 Oct., 1–5 p.m.
US$40. Limit: 20. CEU: 0.4.
Instructors: Lydia Fox, University of the Pacific Cosponsor: Council on Undergraduate Research Geosciences Division

This workshop is for faculty and postdoctoral scientists/graduate students. Topics will focus on integrating research practices into the classroom, scaling projects for students, effective approaches to mentoring undergraduate researchers, identifying funding sources. Based on the demographics of our participants, we may also include information on how to get a job at an academic institution where undergraduate research is required/emphasized.


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Councilor – Liz Johnson

lizjohnsonLiz Johnson is an associate professor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Science at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. She began serving as a GeoCUR councilor in 2014.


“I am pleased and honored to serve as a councilor in the geosciences. My passion for research at the undergraduate level originated with my own research experiences in high school and college. These projects were invaluable in focusing my career interests and helped me to learn science by doing science. To me, the greatest joy as an undergraduate research mentor is witnessing the development of students’ scientific creativity, ownership of the project, and confidence to move into their future careers. I have personally mentored more than 25 student projects so far in my career, but I wish to help as many students as possible benefit from the experience of undergraduate research. I am excited to be a part of CUR and I look forward to being a part of its mission to promote and support undergraduate research.”

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