Closing the Gap on the Coming Shortfall of Geoscientists in the Workforce: Partnerships for Recruiting into the Geosciences through Field Immersion and Academic Year Support

Document Type

Conference Paper


AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts

Publication Date


Date Added



Workforce projections in geoscience related fields expect a shortage of well-trained geoscientists for the coming decade given the anticipated 120,000 full-time equivalent geoscientist positions [1]. CLOSES-GAP (Collaborative Links to Ocean Science and Earth Science Graduate Academic Programs) is focused on enhancing mechanisms for recruiting underrepresented minority (URM) students into the geosciences. Based on the foundation of a partnership between three Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) (Rutgers University Newark, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Delaware State University) and The University of New Hampshire, this three-year program focuses on recruiting students during their junior year and providing them research training and mentoring during the following summer and throughout their subsequent academic year to support underrepresented students in successfully applying to graduate programs. For this first year of the program nine students participated in gaining field, laboratory and data analysis experience by focusing on research questions surrounding carbon and contaminants in the Great Bay Estuary, NH, USA. Students began preparing for the summer program by attending four webinars where program mentors led discussions on data management practices, ethics in research and relevant background information for carrying out research in the Great Bay Estuary. Over the four weeks of the summer program students developed research questions by working closely with research mentors and were exposed to a variety of field sampling techniques, laboratory methods focused on carbon and mercury cycling in estuaries. Students also received training in R programming, Q GIS and in synthesizing and communicating results. Students also participated in seminars geared towards resume building, graduate school admission and fellowship application as well as social events for encouraging networking opportunities.


Economic Advancement, Climate, Education


Environmental Sciences

Comments/Extra Notes

Additional authors: Hale, Stephen R; Lippmann, Thomas Charles; Ozbay, Gulnihal; Slater, Lee D; Varner, Ruth K


American Geophysical Union