With the Status of the Geoscience Workforce 2016 publication due out shortly, AGI is sharing a change to their interpretation of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data in order to estimate the size of the geoscience workforce in the United States. The updated count of geoscientists in the workforce in 2014 includes the BLS counts of atmospheric sciences, earth sciences, marine sciences, space sciences, environmental sciences, and geography postsecondary teachers. AGI is projecting a 10% increase in the number of employed geoscientists over the next decade.
From AGI -- In Geoscience Currents #110, we examine the current state of gender diversity in U.S. geoscience programs. Female participation rates in geoscience programs have been slightly declining to steady over the last decade, but when coupled with the strong enrollment growth, the actual number of women in geoscience programs has continued to grow briskly. These trends have generally continued in 2015, except for a sharper decline in the percentage of women being conferred graduate degrees.
From AGI -- In Geoscience Currents #109, we take a look at the latest reported enrollments and degrees granted in U.S. Geoscience Programs. Overall, geoscience enrollments remain robust, growing 7% for undergraduate enrollments. Graduate enrollments remained flat between 2014 and 2015. Noticable within the reported data is the growth of wholly online geoscience degree programs, which account for more than all of the recognized enrollment growth of undergraduate majors in 2015.
According to AGI's Geoscience Student Exit Survey, 48% of geoscience graduates choose to major in the geosciences at some point during their fi rst two years as an undergraduate. This supports the importance of the introductory geoscience courses as recruitment tools into the major. AGI is conducting a brief survey to see the subject focus of these introductory courses, as well as the supplementary activities, such as fi eld and research experiences, that can develop interest in the geosciences, for universities in the United States and Canada.
From AGI, 09/23/2015 -- Dr. Sharon Mosher, Dean of the Jackson School at the University of Texas at Austin, guest authored Currents #106 displaying the list of skills and competencies considered critical for success of undergraduate geoscience majors. The data are part of a NSF-funded project, the Summit on the Future of Geoscience Undergraduate Education.
From AGI, 08/13/2015 -- Concerns have been raised that geoscience programs tend to attract students from middle and upper class families, possibly due to either parents familiarity with the geosciences or because of extra costs for co-curricular activities such as field camp. In an attempt to begin investigating the socioeconomic status of geoscience students, discussions within AGI's Workforce Program have focuses around using parent's highest education level as a proxy for inferring a student's socioeconimic status.