Email Print Share


This page and its listings are intended to give you an overview of the activities that you will be reviewing during the COV meeting. Descriptions of the programs through which GEO provides focused support for education and human-resource-development activities are organized below. Each section addresses the nature of the activity and how they are administered in the GEO divisions. The details of each program are reached by clicking on the section title.

Quick-links to the sections below:

advance | career | cosee | dlese | geo-ed | gk-12 | globe | igert | oedg | reu-sites


Because the programs in GEO dealing with education are so varied, GEO manages the portfolio via a team.

The GEO Education Team (GET) is responsible for oversight, coordination and management of GEO education–related programs and activities. Further, the GET serves as the principal focal point for assuring, where appropriate and essential, the integration of GEO education efforts across the range of GEO programs and activities. The main functions, inter alia, include:

  • Serving as the principal focal point and oversight body for all education-related programs and activities of the Directorate for Geosciences;
  • Oversight, coordination, and management, in cooperation with and through the Divisions of the Directorate, of all education-related programs, activities and competitions which are initiated by the Directorate for Geosciences or where the Directorate plays a role in co-sponsoring programs with other partners.
  • Oversight, coordination and management in cooperation with and through the Divisions of the Directorate, of GEO activities to encourage support of the NSF and GEO education goals for minority programs;
  • Developing and implementing workshops and other vehicles to assist GEO in developing education-related programs, activities and competitions, including the development and preparation of program announcements and solicitations;
  • Coordinating with other education-related programs and activities of the NSF or other Directorates or Offices, for example;
    • NSF-wide programs such as IGERT,
    • NSF-wide programs managed by the GEO Divisions such as CAREER, REU sites and Post Doctoral competitions,
  • Coordination planning development and integration of the education-related elements of the GEO long-range planning activities, e.g. GEO 2000;
  • Serving as the interface for education-related issues with the AC/GEO Education Subcommittee.
  • Serving as the focal point for GEO outreach and informal education activities.
  • Fulfilling and responding to education-related issues assigned to it either by the GEO management team or the GEO Assistant Director.

The membership of the GET includes one representative and one alternate form each GEO Division and representatives from the Office of the Assistant Director. A representative for the Office of Polar Programs and representatives from the appropriate offices of the EHR Directorate are liaison members of GET.

Current GET members are:

  • ATM: Bruce Doddridge and Cliff Jacobs
  • EAR: Mike Mayhew and David Fountain
  • OCE: Susan Cook and Lisa Rom
  • OAD: Paul Filmer, Melissa Lane, Will Smith
  • EHR: Jeffrey Ryan
  • OPP: vacant

There are in addition several cross-Directorate task forces for other programs which coordinate when necessary with the GEO Education Team:

  • ADVANCE: Sonia Esperança
  • CAREER Coordinating Committee: Sue Cook and Stephen Reid
  • GK-12 Working Group: Lisa Rom
  • IGERT: Peter Milne
  • Math Science Coordinating Partnership Committeee: Sue Cook
  • NSF Director's Awards for Distinguished Teaching Scholars: Mike Mayhew
  • REU Activites Coordinators: Mike Mayhew, Bruce Doddridge, Lisa Rom
  • Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI)/Research Opportunity Awards (ROA): vacant
  • Science of Learning Centers Implementation Group: Mike Mayhew

The GEO Education website is one of the principal outreach mechanisms used to disseminate information about opportunities, however individual Divisions have webpages referring to their specific efforts:

  • ATM Education Listing (look for the 'E' icon denoting Educational Opportunities)
  • EAR Other Opportunities
    • EAR's Education and Human Resources Program (E&HR, Program Announcement) facilitates highly innovative educational activities in the earth sciences, including efforts to increase the diversity of participants and involve leading researchers in education. Activities at all levels are supported, including: 1) graduate and postdoctoral education outside the framework of normal NSF research grants; 2) undergraduate education, including the NSF-wide Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program; 3) elementary and secondary education; and 4) education outside of the classroom. E&HR also manages support of the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) on behalf of the Directorate for Geosciences.
  • OCE Education Website
    • In addition to it's participation in cross-Directorate programs, OCE's COSEE program has a separate section on this website

ADVANCE Fellowships

ADVANCE is a new program that began funding proposals in FY02.

ADVANCE Fellowships are highly competitive three-year awards that allow the Principal Investigators to develop and advance their independent research careers. The goal of the ADVANCE program is to increase the participation of women in the scientific and engineering workforce through the increased representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers. To meet this goal, the ADVANCE program provides award opportunities for both individuals and organizations: Fellows Awards, Institutional Transformation Awards, and Leadership Awards. With each of the three types of ADVANCE awards, NSF seeks to support new approaches to improving the climate for women in U.S. academic institutions and to facilitate women's advancement to the highest ranks of academic leadership. Creative approaches to realize the goal of this program are sought from men and women. Members of underrepresented minority groups and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Program Officer: Sonia Esperança

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER)

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards for new faculty members. The CAREER program recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. CAREER awardees are selected on the basis of creative, career-development plans that effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their institution. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from new faculty at all CAREER eligible institutions. Such plans should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of integrated contributions to research and education.

Management and oversight for the NSF-wide implementation of the CAREER program is provided by the CAREER Coordinating Committee with representatives from each Directorate. GEO has 2 program officers on the CCC: Susan Cook (OCE) and Stephen Reid (ATM). In 2002, eligibility guidelines for CAREER were revised and simplified. A faculty member at a degree-granting college or university must 1) have earned a doctorate degree in a field in which NSF makes awards, 2) be untenured in a tenure-track position with the rank of assistant professor and 3) not have 'competed' more than two times previously in the CAREER program. Individuals with tenure-track-equivalent appointments at academic institutions or continuing appointments with significant educational components at non-profit museums, observatories or research laboratories are also eligible. In 2001, the use of qualifying dates for receipt of degree and first appointment was dropped in recognition of the fact that early-career faculty should be able to develop their careers at whatever rate is appropriate given individual personal and professional choices. The CCC's role also includes outreach (i.e. to faculty at minority-serving institutions) and inreach (to program officers at NSF). A mentoring workshop for CAREER program PIs is planned for 2004.

Program Officers: Sue Cook, Stephen Reid

Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE)

The Division of Ocean Sciences has initiated a new program to establish a network of coordinated centers that facilitates collaborations and communications between ocean science researchers and educators. These Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE) foster the integration of ocean research into high quality educational materials, allow ocean researchers to gain a better understanding of educational organizations and pedagogy, provide educators with an enhanced capacity to understand and deliver high-quality educational programs in the ocean sciences, and provide material to the public that will promote a deeper understanding of the ocean and its influence on each person's quality of life and our national prosperity.

Program Officers: Sue Cook, Lisa Rom

Digital Library for Earth Science Education (DLESE)

The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) is a grassroots community effort involving educators, students, and scientists working together to improve the quality, quantity, and efficiency of teaching and learning about the Earth system at all levels.

DLESE supports Earth system science education by providing:

  • Access to high-quality collections of educational resources
  • Access to Earth data sets and imagery, including the tools and interfaces that enable their effective use in educational settings
  • Support services to help educators and learners effectively create, use, and share educational resources
  • Communication networks to facilitate interactions and collaborations across all dimensions of Earth system education

DLESE resources include electronic materials for both teachers and learners, such as lesson plans, maps, images, data sets, visualizations, assessment activities, curriculum, online courses, and much more. DLESE is being designed, built, and governed by community members from around the country.

Program Officer: Mike Mayhew

Geo Education

The GeoEd Program has evolved over a period of five years, starting from a series of recommendations from the 1997 workshop report of the Geoscience Education Working Group, Geoscience Education: A Recommended Strategy (NSF 97-171), that resulted in the "Awards to Facilitate Geoscience Education" (AFGE) program in 1998.

In 1999, AFGE was amplified with the addition of a “track” to support Digital Library activities – however, note that DLESE is now covered under a separate section of this website.

Awards under GeoEd have always stressed the integration of geoscience research and education and the initiation or piloting of highly innovative educational activities when support was not otherwise be available. Awards are intended to provide start-up or proof of concept funding to enable projects to reach a level of maturity to compete for long-term funding from other sources. Awards are expected to complement, but not replicate, awards provided by NSF's Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

Initial program development and management of competitions was carried out by Jewel Prendeville, Staff Associate in the Office of the Assistant Director for Geosciences. Upon Ms. Prendeville's retirement in March 2003, Paul Filmer was assigned to manage the program on an interim basis. In late September 2003, Jacqueline Huntoon from Michigan Technological University will assume program responsibilities.

Program Officer: Paul Filmer

Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12)

This program supports fellowships and associated training that will enable graduate students and advanced undergraduates in the sciences, mathematics, engineering, and technology to serve as resources in K-12 schools. Academic institutions apply for awards to support fellowship activities, and are responsible for selecting Fellows. The Fellows serve as resources for teachers in science and mathematics instruction. Expected outcomes include improved communication and teaching skills for the Fellows, enriched learning by K-12 students, professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers, and strengthened partnerships between institutions of higher education and local school districts.

GK-12 is managed by the Directorate for Education and Human Resources and supports the training of students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines covered by NSF's Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Engineering (ENG), Geosciences (GEO), Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE); and the Office of Polar Programs (OPP).

The primary objective of the program is to provide fellowships to highly qualified STEM graduate and advanced undergraduate students in STEM disciplines to serve directly as STEM resources in the Nation's K-12 schools. GK-12 fellows, selected by awardee institutions, will work directly with teachers to, for example:

  • demonstrate key concepts,
  • connect elementary and secondary learning to the habits and skills required for future study in STEM disciplines,
  • provide role models for future STEM professionals,
  • enhance teachers' content knowledge and understanding of principles of science and mathematics, and
  • assist in science and mathematics instruction.

Program Officers: Sue Cook, Lisa Rom

The Globe Program

Globe is a science and education program in which students, teachers, and scientists work in partnership to improve understanding of the global environment, student achievement in science and mathematics, and community environmental awareness. The Globe program funds a set of competitively selected science and education grants. Under these grants, scientists develop the measurement protocols and use the student-collected data in their research.

Through the Globe program, students around the world are taking scientifically useful measurements of air, water, soil, and land cover data, and are submitting these data over the Internet to the Globe Student Data Server, and receive visualizations of their measurements along with those from all other Globe schools. Teachers attend training workshops and learn how to perform measurements in strict accordance with the Globe science protocols as well as how to take advantage of Globe capabilities provided on the World Wide Web and learning activities provided in the Globe Teacher’s Guide.

The program has been in operation since Earth Day 1995. Currently, 104 countries are participating, over 23,000 teachers have been trained and over 13,000 schools have reported data. Globe data has resulted in many peer-reviewed publications by the science teams, as well as having been used by several different communities for assessing a range of issues from stream water pollution levels to regional soil mapping.

  • Globe trains teachers to help K-12 students improve their achievement in science and math, and in the use of computer and network technology.
  • Globe helps teachers and students better achieve state and local education goals and standards.
  • Globe increases student awareness of the environment from a scientific viewpoint, without advocacy relative to issues.
  • Globe student data are used by scientists in their research.
  • Globe helps expand the pipeline of potential future scientists and researchers for industry, academia, and in support of Government programs.
  • Globe improves student understanding of science because it involves them in performing real science – taking measurements, analyzing data, and participating in research in collaboration with scientists.

Program Officer: Paul Filmer

Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT)

The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, initiated in 1997 and now comprising approximately 100 award sites, continues into its sixth annual competition. The IGERT program has been developed to meet the challenges of educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists, engineers, and educators with the interdisciplinary backgrounds, deep knowledge in chosen disciplines, and technical, professional, and personal skills to become in their own careers the leaders and creative agents for change. The program is intended to catalyze a cultural change in graduate education, for students, faculty, and institutions, by establishing innovative new models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. It is also intended to facilitate greater diversity in student participation and preparation, and to contribute to the development of a diverse, globally-engaged science and engineering workforce.

IGERT is an NSF-wide endeavor involving the Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Education and Human Resources (EHR), Engineering (ENG), Geosciences (GEO), Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE), the Office of Polar Programs (OPP), and the Office of International Science and Engineering (INT).

Program Officer: Peter Milne

Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG)

The Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG) program addresses the problem of underrepresentation of certain groups across the geosciences as compared to their proportion of the general population. The primary goal of the OEDG program is to increase the participation in geoscience education and research by students from these groups. This competition focuses on increasing participation and/or opportunities for African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans (American Indians and Alaskan Natives), Native Pacific Islanders (Polynesians or Micronesians) and persons with disabilities. A secondary goal of the program is to strengthen the understanding of the geosciences and their contribution to modern society by a broad and diverse segment of the population. The OEDG program supports activities that strengthen geoscience teaching and learning in ways that improve access to and retention in the geosciences of these underrepresented groups. Typical project strategies include enhanced research experiences for students, strengthening of infrastructure at institutions that serve underrepresented groups, and supporting collaborations between minority serving institutions and established research programs at colleges and universities or centers. Collaborations between community colleges and research institutions represent another strategy that may be supported.

The OEDG program was developed in response to recommendations from community experts participating in the Geosciences Diversity Workshop (August 2000), recommendations by the Advisory Committee for Geosciences(AC/GEO)and a commitment by leaders of the Directorate for Geosciences(GEO). The initiative is targeted at broadening participation in the geosciences by traditionally underrepresented groups including minorities and persons with disabilities. Gender issues are not addressed since NSF has established a cross-directorate program, ADVANCE, with a focus on gender equity. NSF document 01-53 (Strategy to Increase Diversity in the Geosciences) provides the framework within which the OEDG Program Announcement was developed.

Initial program development and management of the first and second biennial competitions was carried out by Jewel Prendeville, Staff Associate in the Office of the Assistant Director for Geosciences. Don Elthon served as a program consultant during the summer of 2000. Upon Ms. Prendeville's retirement in March 2003, Susan Cook (Associate Program Director for Ocean Education) was assigned to manage the program on an interim basis. In late September 2003, Jacqueline Huntoon from Michigan Technological University will assume program responsibilities.

Program management activities also include a contract to American Institutes for Research to provide evaluation services and expertise to NSF program staff and PIs. Dr. Paul Filmer is the interim cognizant official for this. In the fall of 2002 (in FY2003), a workshop for PIs was held at the AIR offices in Washington DC with a workshop report submitted by AIR in July 2003. In addition to submitting monthly contract reports, AIR designed a supplemental information form that most PIs from the 01 OEDG cohort have completed and returned. AIR staff are currently compiling and analyzing responses from this questionaire as well as from the annual reports submitted to NSF via FastLane. Outreach activities by NSF staff have included setting up an NSF-GEO exhibit and literature table at conferences such as the SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) annual meeting.

Program Officer: Sue Cook

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specially designed for the purpose. This program features two mechanisms for support of student research: REU Supplements and REU Sites.

REU Supplements. Requests can be submitted at any time directly to disciplinary program officers. They provide genuine research experience for the students, while providing field or lab assistance to the PIs. They often are vehicles for attracting good students from other disciplines. They cost little and are popular with program officers.

Because supplements are reviewed by Committees of Visitors for each program, they will not be reviewed by this COV, but they are described for a complete picture of GEO's educational portfolio.

REU Sites. These are formal programs, usually conducted during the summer, which allow groups of students to work collectively on a focused research project. There is an annual September deadline for submission of Site proposals.

ATM: REU Site proposals are handled by each program based on the REU program announcement. A review is conducted by mail. Several criteria are used in making an assessment, including the quality of the research to be undertaken, the educational plan, the nature of the educational environment, the recruitment of underrepresented minorities, and the extent of institutional commitments. REU supplement requests can be submitted at any time directly to the disciplinary program officer funding the ongoing grant. The program officer makes the decision on whether to fund the request.

EAR: REU Sites are reviewed within and funded by the Education and Human Resources Program (E&HR). Review is by panel, supplemented by ad hoc mail reviews, once per year. Panelists write individual reviews, and one panelist writes a summary of discussion on behalf of the panel. The panel ranks proposals in priority order by consensus, which forms the basis for program manager recommendations.

OCE: REU Site proposals are handled by the OCE Division coordinator. Review is by a specially-convened REU panel, consisting of approximately five members. Each panelist prepares a written review of the proposal before the panel meeting and one panelist prepares a written summary of the panel discussion. Several criteria are used in making this assessment, including the quality of the research to be undertaken, the educational plan, the nature of the educational environment, the recruitment of underrepresented minorities, and the extent of institutional commitments.

Program Officers: Mike Mayhew, Bruce Doddridge, Lisa Rom

| Back to COV HOME |