Centre Leader Jostein Bakke

Words from the center leader

The autumn is well underway and the optimism of a normal semester seems to be getting further and further away. Back to the home office and back to digital teaching was probably not what we all had hoped for! It is difficult to run a professional environment under such conditions and it is clear that the unformal meetings with colleagues over a coffee or in the corridor has a great value. This is even worse for our students, who miss out on social life, and the unformal guidance that takes place all the time in an academic environment. We just have to make the best of it and take with us the experiences we can from the digital revolution we are standing in.

In iEarth, we are close to realizing the announcement of the five PhD positions that will form the iEarth science educational academy together with the five adjunct professor positions. We have tried to announce them at the same time across the consortium at JobbNorge and I hope all of you can help us to find good candidates. From the start, we will strive to build a research group with good practices for collaboration through digital meeting places and communication with colleagues around these projects.

This week there is a deadline on the first call where all of you can get funding for teaching relevant projects. We hope that the process of forming these projects have been inspiring and a way to start communicating around teaching. Small grants will hopefully  further develop a constructive culture around teaching and teaching practice and may also lead to larger project proposals.

Geolearning Forum, which was planned to take place in Tromsø this year, will be a hybrid event with digital keynote lectures and local workshops. The theme for the meeting is student active learning and industry collaboration. The program is available on our web page and I hope you find time to take part. It is a nice way to get some social interaction as there will be lunch and dinner arrangements. Hope to see you on October 13-14 either on screen or present at a local event.

Finally, I would like to welcome Anne Stensland back after maternity leave and at the same time I would like to thank Åse Hestnes for the remarkable effort you have made as a network coordinator for iEarth this last year. You have really driven us all where we are today with both efficient organization and good human insight and ingenuity in different situations. I am glad you still are around and I am sure you will be active in iEarth also in the years to come!