Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-27-2020


Traditionally, a limited percentage of undergraduate geology students have the opportunity to explore the geology profession in private, non-private industry, city and federal agencies, while a relatively larger number of graduating students pursue higher education to ultimately find a career in academia, city and federal agencies. For the past three semesters, a pilot study that provided more exposure to the geology profession was conducted at the Earth and Physical Sciences Department of the City University of New York. This adaptive teaching approach designated 20% of each upper level geology gateway courses (Structural, Mineralogy, Petrology, Soil Mechanics, and Sedimentation) to the analysis and evaluation of active geological and geotechnical project in New York City (NYC) and adjoining areas. Particularly, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP)-supported active Green Infrastructure Project became the base of students learning skills concerning project management and assessment aspects. Lectures and online discussions included the project’s cost analysis, participating stakeholders’ priorities, community involvement, feasibility evaluation, scheduled timeline with deliverables, and intended outcomes. Utilizing public information obtained primarily from open access online sources, students explored the benefit of the NYCDEP Green Infrastructure Initiative with emphasis on the successful implementation of integrated water management of urban systems focusing on synergies between drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater management. The product of this teaching approach yielded two unique results. First, more students took interest in seeking a career in field or exploration geology as opposed to academia; secondly, others narrowed the target of their higher education goal to integrate field geology with urban sustainability to achieve maximum effectiveness. Based on a recent GeoSummit (2019), hosted by the Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, it became quite apparent that many geoscience practioners felt the urgent need to allow students to acquire some training and learning skills involving business management with basic accounting knowledge. Many potential geoscience employers are encouraging students to be familiar with soft skills (social), basic accounting, and training in faculty-led summer research or internships.


This work was originally presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, GSA Connects Online.



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