National Association of Geoscience Teachers
Southeastern Section Newsletter
Email Edition - Summer / Fall 2004
     
The President's Thoughts    


The summer of 2004 will likely be remembered as the season of the hurricane. Hurricane Ivan closed down my institution and delayed the writing of this President’s report by more than a week. Mobile was largely spared, but we have been in catch-up mode ever since and my writing time has just vanished. Areas to the east of us were much more seriously impacted. Poor Florida. Four powerful storms so far this year and we haven’t even come to the end of Hurricane season.

I will remember the Summer of 2004 for another reason besides hurricanes. It was the first time since I have been associated with the SENAGT that Alabama actually selected a state OEST award winner. And we were alone. This year, there were 4 state OEST winners in the southeastern region. The overall regional OEST competition was very competitive this year. Ms. Tina King from Tennessee was judged the winner, but it was neck and neck between TN, GA, AL and SC. I am very pleased to see that we are getting more OEST nominees from the southeastern states, but I will not be satisfied until we have one winner from each of our service area states. I know how difficult it is for the state reps to organize an OEST competition each year. There is only so much time in the day that is available for SENAGT business. To spread the work out a bit, and to also increase SENAGT exposure across the states, I am trying to organize two official reps per state. New reps have been added for Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina. With these additions, AL, GA, MS, and TN each have two reps. We will work on getting additional reps for the remaining states in our service area (FL, SC, NC, LA).

Alabama: Doug Wymer (University of West Alabama, Livingston); joins David Kopaska-Merkel (Geological Survey of Alabama, Tuscaloosa)

Mississippi: David Dockery (Mississippi Office of Geology, Jackson); joins Gail Russell (University of Southern Mississippi; Hattiesburg)

North Carolina: Randy Bechtel (North Carolina Geological Survey, Raleigh); replaces Mary Watson who left the survey a while ago.

I am also pleased to announce that Nancy Huebner (GA) has agreed to serve as our Vice President. We kind of got behind schedule this year and failed to officially send ballots to our members in the spring when elections are normally held. Given how late it is in the year, Nancy will serve as Acting VP for the remainder of the year. In the Spring of 2005, she will officially be a nominee for VP. With Nancy’s participation, and the help of the state reps, we are in pretty good shape as far as administration is concerned. Now might be the time to start seeking increases in our overall membership. We are a relatively small group and when one considers the importance of geoscience education to our region, we shouldn’t be. One of the best ways to improve membership numbers is to get the word out about the NAGT and in particular, the SENAGT. The OEST awards do this, as does our sponsorship of key events at geological meetings. The SENAGT will be well represented at the 2005 SEGSA meeting in Biloxi (March 17-18, 2005). Mississippi state rep Gail Russell is one of the primary organizers and through her encouragement (some might say arm-twisting!) the SENAGT has agreed to run an afternoon field trip and a geoscience education oral/poster theme session. The following is from the preliminary announcement and was drawn from the University of Southern Mississippi website (http://www.usm.edu/geology/SEGSA2005.htm):

Field trip. On the Beach – Geology and Ecology of a Barrier Island System. Sponsored by the Southeastern Section, National Association of Geology Teachers.

Theme Session. K-16 Earth Science Education: Teaching Geology in a Shifting Socio-environmental Environment. Sponsored by the Southeastern Section, National Association of Geoscience Teachers.

As I scrolled through the rest of the preliminary announcement, I noticed that Michael Gibson (TN state rep) was also co-chairing a symposium:

Exceptional Biotas and Fossil Preservation in the Southeast. Sponsored by the Southeastern Section, Paleontological Society. Michael A. Gibson, The University of Tennessee – Martin, mgibson@utm.edu; David Schwimmer, Columbus State University, schwimmer_david@colstate.edu.

And David Dockery (MS state rep) was also running a field trip:

Classic Eocene and Oligocene Marine Localities in Central Mississippi. Sponsored by the Southeastern Section, Paleontological Society. David T. Dockery III, Mississippi Office of Geology, David_Dockery@deq.state.ms.us.

So all in all, there will be a great opportunity to chat up the importance of the SENAGT to our colleagues in Biloxi. Plan now to attend the meeting and don’t forget to submit an abstract for the geoscience education theme session.

Submitted Sept 26, 2004
Doug Haywick
Mobile, AL

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