Update from iEarth – May/June
Finally, June the 1st has passed and iEarth is officially a “Centre for excellence in education” (SFU)! Unfortunately, there is no possibilities for a large-scale celebration and we have to save it for the fall.
We have been working hard over the last month to get people in all positions in the centre and we are finalizing it step by step. Most of the adjunct professor positions are filled and the persons who will be “education chairs” are in place. For the positions as education chair, we have funds from DIKU to buy people out of their positions. The mandate for these positions states that they will be a resource person who will support the implementation of iEarth’s visions at each individual institution. For example, the sub-projects we carry out for the various development areas in the consortium will be communicated and implemented at each individual institution under the leadership of the education chair. The education chair will also have a key role in contributing to the cultural development around teaching and they will also participate in the development of skills through collaboration internally and with DIKU. Furthermore, the education chair will have a special focus on ensuring good communication internally in the iEarth consortium. That means, among other things, that they will attend our weekly meetings at Zoom where we discuss day to day business related to the implementation of the iEarth action plan. Now you’re probably wondering who these people are and here’s the list; Bjarte Hannisdal (GEO, UiB), Kjersti Daae (GFI, UiB), Anders Mattias Lundmark (UiO), Karianne Staalesen Lilleøren (UiO), Anders Schomacker (UiT), Lena Håkansson (AG, UNIS), Maria Jensen (AG, UNIS) and Marius Jonassen (AGF, UNIS).
PhD and Postdoctoral projects
We are also close to defining the various PhD and Postdoctoral projects that will be launched under the iEarth umbrella. For those of you suggested project earlier this winter you can expect a final decision very soon. Our goal is to announce the positions during the summer with application deadline in August / September.
Most of what we do in iEarth does not have any physical footprint. Except that we have funding to equip an iEarth meeting room at each institution. This will be a designated meeting room especially for iEarth activities armed with well-functioning video conference facilities. The goal is to make the collaboration in the consortium smooth for both students and staff.
One important event for the iEarth consortium is the annual “Geolearning forum”. This year, it will be held in Tromsø, on Sommerøy, October 13 and 14. Keep the dates if you want to attend. Anders Schomacker and Iver Martens at UiT constitute the program committee and if you have suggestions for content or theme, you should send them an email. The meeting is just before “Geofaredagen”, which this year will be arranged in Tromsø, so if you have thought about attending there, you should consider both events.
iEarth Digital Learning Forum
We have had many exciting “iEarth digital learning forum” sessions this past month. Between 40 and 50 people participated, and we have had good discussions after each session. This week, Robert Gray from the Department of Education, UiB review blended learning strategies and how to get engaged students. Blended learning strategies is very relevant for the fall semester, where we most likely have to offer students a mix of different forms of teaching activities, some on campus and some digital. The transition to more student active learning methods, which is a key goal in iEarth, seems to have got a kick start with the corona pandemic. It takes time to prepare for flipped classroom and it is time to start planning the fall. If you missed Rob’s lecture there is a recording of it on the iEarth website here. The last “digital learning forum” this semester will happen in week 25 where Kim Senger will present Svalbox.no, a digital resource that presents Svalbard’s geology. More information can be found under events.
Hope you will take your time to check out this month news in iEarth and keep yourself updated on iEarth activities. If you have any suggestions for activities in iEarth, please contact us.
Jostein and Åse