GeoLearning Forum 2023

GeoLearning Forum
Nov 6, 2023 11:00

Our annual gathering, the GeoLearning Forum, has established itself as a unique meeting place for students and staff to engage in conversation, receive inspiration and to share ideas regarding teaching and learning. Similar to last year's event in Bergen, we had more than 100 participants from across the consortium and beyond, half of which were students.

Professor and centre leader Jostein Bakke informing us about the situation with the SFU program and how its been left out of the state budget. Read more here

This years theme was: "Sustainability and inclusivity in Earth Science Education". The goal was to explore these important and timely topics outlined in keynotes, talks, and hands-on-workshops.

The first day started with centre leader Prof. Jostein Bakke wishing us all welcome, and informing us about the situation regarding SFUs and the state budget. It has been confirmed in the state budget approximately 2 weeks ago that the SFU arrangement will be phased out, and iEarth will not get another 5 years (2025-2030). Head of department at UiO, Bernd Etzelmüller followed afterwards and stated the importance of SFUs to drive educatonal innovation and development.

Professor and head of department at UiO Bernd Etelmüller welcoming everyone to Oslo

Our first keynote speaker was Prof. Susan Kaspari from Central Washington University in the US. She outlined a roadmap on creating a sustainable future via the geosciences, highlightning how integral Earth Science is to achieving sustainable development goals "Creating a Sustainable future through the geosciences" with keynote Susan Kaspari.

"What is sustainability?" Professor Susan Kaspari discussing this word and how different people understand it differently

Our second keynote, Prof. Katja Enberg from UiB, shared how to educate future sustainability experts. She presented her approach to employing active learning in her courses, using a head-heart-hands concept. Following the two keynotes, Kjersti Birkeland Daae from UiB and Kirsty Dunnett from UiO presented their concept of the activity bingo, which was subsequently employed by participants throughout the rest of the GeoLearning Forum. "Educating future sustainability experts" with keynote Katja Enberg.

Professor Katja Enbergs keynote on educating future sustainability experts

Fortified by coffee and snacks, Tone Gadmar and Heidi Konestabo from the Science Library at UiO inspired us to use science fiction in the promotion of student learning, outlining their experience with courses at UiO - using films and books such as The Martian and The Hunger Games. The first day finished with poster presentations and discussions, where 10 posters were presented from across the iEarth community - by both students and teachers.

Showcasing posters and geogames during GLFs poster session

The evening programme started with aperitives, then continued with a tasty three-course dinner with a well-received dinner speech by our national student leader Elena Victoria Brattebø from UiB. Finally, fruitful discussions over a drink at the bar closed the first day for GLF23.

Cheers! Skål! Jostein thanking Ivar Nordmo for his efforts within iEarth and wishing him well. Ivar is retiring from his position as associate professor at the Institute for Pedagogy UiB

On the second day, senior lecturer in geology and keynote Dr. Steven Rogers from Keele University in the UK, got us off to a great start with the keynote and workshop "You just look at rocks and have beards". In a recent survey, Steven and colleagues examined how the public in the UK thinks of geoscientists, and geologists in particular. The picture that emerged was not flattering: in the eyes of many non-geoscientists we are old fashioned, boring, and our work harms the environment. The practitioners are " male, stale and pale". No wonder it's hard to recruit more students!

In order to combat these stereotypes, Steve emphasized the importance of connecting geoscience to societal needs and concerns. It's up to us to show why geoscience is exciting and important! We don't "just look at rocks" for no particular reason; understanding geoscience changes the way you look at and understand the world around you, and is key to a sustainable future. However, if we want to appeal to a broader range of students, we must also demonstrate to the public that diversity is welcome in the geosciences, and practice inclusivity at our departments.

Dr. Steven Rogers keynote presentation

In the second workshop, led by Elena Victoria Brattebø and Mattias Anders Lundmark, we focused on diversity and inclusivity without our own departments. Exclusion can take many forms, from coversations involving you being held in a language you don't understand, to not being welcome in research projects because of your gender or name. In an anonymous Menti, nearly 20 % of the respondents had experienced exclusionary practices often or daily at their home department. We have work to do! Our experiences are shaped by privileges and disadvantages that some of us are not even aware of. Part of growing up with privilege is that it can become invisible, it's just the way things are. For example, research has identified that chances of success in academia are affected by gender, parents' educational background, immigration background, poverty and disabilities.

Elena and Mattias workshop raising awareness with their inclusivity activity

To promote awareness, workshop participants scored themselves on privilege and disadvantage on these factors (there are of course many others aswell) in an anonymous Menti. To those who scored high on privilege the results may be an eye-opener. To others, the results may come as less of a surprise; 3/4 of the participants who identififed as not male reported either some or a distinct disadvantage due to gender biases. Sadly, our departments are not immune to the challenges facing society. The last part of the workshop was used to discuss challenges students may face in higher education, and how we can help address them.

At the end of the day, we may think diversity and inclusivity is important for different reasons. Because it will make academia more enjoyable for us who are already here. Because a diverse student and staff body will make education and research better by adding more perspectives, ideas and experiences, and increase the best staff. Because it is only fair and just. But to increase diversity and inclusivity, we must first become aware of our own practices, and then address the issues we identify. We believe that the GeoLearning Forum 2023 experience was a step in the right direction, soon to be followed by more!

We'd like to thank all participants and wish to welcome you all back next year for GeoLearning Forum 2024 which will be held on 7-8th november in Tromsø.

Save the date!

Keynote presentations:

"Creating a Sustainable future through the geosciences" with keynote Susan Kaspari.

"Educating future sustainability experts" with keynote Katja Enberg.

"You just look at rocks, and beards" Perceptions of geology, diversity, and inclusive practice, with keynote Steven Rogers.

Viktige datoer

September 15: Registration deadline

November 6-7: GeoLearning Forum 2023


November 6

09:00-11:00 - Registration

09:00-10:00 Coffee

11:30-1200 - Lunch

12:00-12:15 - Introduction to GeoLearning Forum 2023

12:15-13:15 - "Creating a Sustainable future through the geosciences" with keynote Susan Kaspari

13:15-13:30 - Coffee

13:30-14:30 - "Educating future sustainability experts" with keynote Katja Enberg

14:30-15:00 - Coffee

15:00-15:15 - Activity Bingo

15:15-16:15 - Workshop: From Science Fiction to Science Fact

16:15- 16:30 - Coffee

16:30-17:30 - Seed Fund and poster session

18:00-19:00 Aperitif

19:00: Conference Dinner

November 7

08:00-09:00 - Morning Coffee

09:00-09:45 - Keynote Steve Rogers: "You just look at rocks, and beards" Perceptions of geology, diversity, and inclusive practice.

09:45-10:00 - Coffee

10:00-11:10 - Workshop with Steve Rogers

11:10-11:30 - Student lead session

11:30-12:30 - Lunch

12:30-13:00 - Team up for tomorrow - Recruiting students and staff partners in research: Gerald Decelles, Catherine Bovill and Mattias Lundmark

13:15- 14:30 - Workshop: Embracing differences: Mattias Lundmark and Elena Brattebø

14:30-14:45 - Coffee

14:45-15:25 - Activity bingo and C-SoTL with Kjersti, Kirsty and Carly

15:25-15:35 - Guiliana recruiting - SEED project

15:35-15:50 - Reflection and feedback with Elena

15:50-16:00 - Closing remarks by Jostein

Praktisk informasjon
Anna Pieńkowski

Anna Pienkowski

Anders Mattias Lundmark

Thomas Hagen Thuesen

Elena Victoria Brattebø

Nov 6, 2023 11:00
Nov 7, 2023 16:00
September 15, 2023
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