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Opening Access to Results of the National Geoscience Faculty Survey
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  • Anne Egger,
  • Karen Viskupic,
  • Ellen Iverson,
  • Cathryn Manduca
Anne Egger
Central Washington University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Karen Viskupic
Boise State University
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Ellen Iverson
Carleton College
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Cathryn Manduca
Carleton College
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The National Geoscience Faculty Survey (NGFS) was designed to probe how faculty teach in undergraduate geoscience courses, learn about pedagogy and instructional content, and participate in the geoscience education and research communities. The survey has been administered four times in 2004 (n = 2207), 2009 (n = 2874), 2012 (n = 2466), and 2016 (n = 2615). The original survey was developed as part of On the Cutting Edge, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded professional development program for geoscience faculty sponsored by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT). The 2016 survey was developed by a research team involving leadership of On the Cutting Edge, InTeGrate, and SAGE 2YC, with support from their NSF grants. The NGFS dataset is a unique and valuable longitudinal resource. One of our strategies for providing access to NGFS data is to publish a free-to-download report with response frequencies for all questions in order to make aggregate, baseline data available to the community and to place the NGFS in the context of other national datasets. The report consists of five chapters: 1) An introduction to the survey, including how it was designed and administered; 2) A description of survey respondents, including demographic data, the type and amount of teaching they do, and how they engage with the geoscience education and research communities; 3) The characteristics and topics of courses taught; 4) The teaching strategies used in introductory geoscience courses and courses for geoscience majors; and 5) How and why instructors learn about and change their teaching practices. Our demographic data suggest that the 2016 survey respondents represent about 25% of the population of college-level geoscience instructors in the US. The 2012 and 2016 respondents are a representative sample of the range of disciplines, institution types, and geographic locations of the larger population, but slightly overrepresent more senior faculty (professors and associate professors). Our analyses highlight differences in the nature of teaching and classroom practices between introductory and majors-level geoscience courses, and differences in participation in the geoscience community between instructors at different institution types (two-year vs. four-year).