Value of Recurring Intradisciplinary Meetings for Preventing Stagnation in Natural Resources EducationConference on University Education in Natural Resources
Start Date15-3-2008 10:30 AM
End Date15-3-2008 11:00 AM
DescriptionMost of the forces in academia work to develop highly specialized individuals. Training comes primarily from a single person, the dissertation advisor. Detailed field study of various forest types or physiographic provinces is often limited to where we trained and where we work (sometime both are in the same location or region). Even within our discipline we specialize, carving out a niche so that we are more competitive for grants and publication. Few opportunities exist that allow us to expand our focus. Our departments typically can justify only a single faculty member within a discipline so cross pollination of ideas can be difficult. Time is limited so our literature searches are often focused on our current research. Yet, as the subject matter expert, we teach the only course within our discipline that undergraduate students will be exposed to during their degree program. We spend our time looking through a microscope, but are expected to describe the entire landscape of our discipline to students. Given all of the circumstances working to constrain our efforts, is it any wonder that we become provincial in our outlook and classroom presentation? One way to prevent this inward focus and to ensure that we expose our students to the broad array of tools, approaches, and philosophies within our respective disciplines is to gather regularly with other subject matter experts from around the country. An excellent example of such a meeting is the Silviculture Instructors Field Tour, held annually in advance of the Society of American Foresters national convention. The location is rarely the same, and the local silviculturist is asked to develop a field tour to showcase the area’s forest ecosystems, silvicultural practices, and research. This meeting requires annual allocation of time and travel funds, but the main beneficiaries of such expense are our students.
Citation InformationEdward F Loewenstein, Brian Roy Lockhart, James N Long and Andrew W Ezell. "Value of Recurring Intradisciplinary Meetings for Preventing Stagnation in Natural Resources Education" (2008)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jameslong/126/