Published: Feb. 1, 2010

Registration has begun for the 2010 Workshop of the Geography Faculty Development Alliance (GFDA). It will be held 13-19 at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Registration is available through the website of the Association of American Geographers. A minimum of 25 participants are needed to meet the costs of the workshop. If fewer are enrolled as of May 2, the workshop may be cancelled and all funds returned to participants.

This workshop is for advanced graduate students and faculty who are just beginning their careers in higher education. The one-week program focuses on topics which are frequently the source of the greatest stress in the first years of a college or university appointment, including:

  • Career planning
  • Time management
  • Getting the most out of meeting participation
  • Ethics in research and teaching
  • Nuts-and-bolts issues about writing and publishing
  • Preparing a CV, personal web site, job search and interviewing
  • Collegiality and service
  • Thinking ahead to prepare for the tenure process
  • Balancing personal and professional life

The workshop touches on issues of teaching and learning, particularly those revolving around designing effective courses, issues of diversity and inclusion, and active pedagogy. The goal of the workshop is to help participants balance the many responsibilities of academic life and to understand how their teaching, research, service, outreach, and personal lives intersect and interconnect.

The Geography Faculty Development Alliance is a long-term, broad-based project to improve the learning and teaching of geography in higher education. The aim is to provide early career faculty and advanced doctoral students with the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to excel in the lecture hall, seminar room, and laboratory. Key objectives of the project are to foster a culture of support and success for early career faculty, to help them understand the fundamental interconnections between their teaching and research, and to advance the scholarship of teaching and learning across the entire discipline.

This project involves several components: summer workshops, follow-up seminars, panel discussions, and paper sessions at the annual meetings of the Association of American Geographers and the National Council for Geographic Education. There is also a longitudinal evaluation and research component to consider the value of the training to early career faculty during the tenure review process. A final component involves publishing the workshop materials as a stand-alone course for use in graduate geography programs.

The Alliance is based in the Geography Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Its Directors are Kenneth E. Foote and J.W. Harrington, Jr.