Words from the Centre leader

Autumn is upon us and so is corona! In Bergen, we have been told by the city council leader that it will be a hefty autumn and winter, so it is just a matter of steeling yourself! Then it is good to be able to enjoy all the exciting things that are happening under the iEarth umbrella! Two weeks ago, we had the first hybrid Geolearning Forum with focus on student active learning and industry collaboration. Despite some technical problems on the first day, the event was completed with style! We were about 75 participants in total, which is good; however, there is room for more. We had several very nice lectures and exciting workshops. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that we are missing the most important thing and that we experienced last year in Oslo – the energy that arises in gatherings between colleagues from the various iEarth institutions. Therefore, we are already looking forward to next year’s Geolearning Forum, which we hope can take place on Svalbard. Thanks a lot to the program committee; Iver and Anders, and for organizing everything; Anne and Iselin.

This week, Anne has sent out answers to everyone who applied for project funding and we have distributed the entire pot of about 700,000 NOK. It has been an exciting process to read and evaluate these projects, which in various ways will help on our journey towards new teaching practices and not least closer involvement of students in the development of our teaching environment and curriculum. It is also nice to see that we have up and running parallel student organizations that now have their first funds for covering operating costs. This is an important step towards the goal of student co-creation! The leader of the national iEarth student organisation, Serianna Kvarøy, will be in charge of coordinating the students across the consortium. One example on activities that now will take place at all institutions are the GeoOracel and the Career day as two examples, but I am sure that our creative students will come up with more.

We are in the process of establishing iEarth Educational Science Academy and one important milestone is that we now have announced five PhD positions that will contribute with research projects in iEarth on the various milestones we have defined in the years to come. At application deadline, we had many applications and on closer inspection, we can conclude that we have several well qualified for each position. Now the committees are starting their work of finding the best person for each project.

Even though the semester is over in its last half, we still have several exciting digital learning forums on the calendar. We will be presented for our two new professors 2`s, Anders Alhberg and Torgny Roxå. Further, Henrik Svendsen will present the new introductory course in Earth system science at UiO. Definitely a lot to look forward to; please reserve the timeslot between 12:15 – 13 on Thursdays ahead.

Then we have an exciting workshop that will take place on November 16 with Catherine Bovill who will be appointed as Professor 2 at GEO UiB. The main question for the workshop is; How can higher education become better at helping students grow as learners and persons? There are still vacancies here, so all you have to do is contact Anne for registration.

With this, it is only to congratulate everyone who has received money for their projects under iEarth, I look forward to seeing the process and the outcome of the projects! Next week we will have a constituent iEarth board meeting where we will discuss the Advisory Board. When it is in place, the whole iEarth organization is up and running!


Best regards Jostein