Following on the success of the first Marine Geoscience Leadership Symposium (MGLS), the Consortium for Ocean Leadership proposes to organize an additional symposium focusing on professional development training for early career marine geoscientists. The five-day symposium will create a network of peers among the next generation of geoscientists and provide them with lessons in early career development to strengthen their leadership skills. The symposium will help prepare scientists by providing training in an array of skills they will need to become leaders, including knowledge of U.S. science agencies and effective techniques to approach decision makers and legislators. We aim to attract scientists from multiple disciplines within or related to marine geology and marine geophysics, including researchers that use scientific ocean drilling as a tool. The proposed activities will include presentations of cutting-edge research, small group discussions, proposal writing workshops, and meetings with funding agencies, media representatives, and policy makers in the Washington, D.C. area. Intellectual Merit Ocean Leadership proposes a symposium aimed at providing leadership skills that will lead to success in the academic field and that will create a cohort of early career scientists capable of participating in collaborative research and science planning. Important elements of the symposium will include formal presentations, group discussion, mentoring, and meetings that provide a broader perspective. This type of leadership symposium will address NSF?s primary mission to promote science, engineering, and education careers, while nurturing the next generation of scientists. Broader Impacts The goal of the symposium is to increase the effectiveness of early career scientists as they enter the community of marine geoscientists. Through targeted training in skills that extend beyond the classroom and laboratory, these early career researchers can become leaders in their communities and contribute to a geoscience-literate public. Participants will be inspired to become involved in science planning and speaking with the media and with policy makers, further expanding the impact of the symposium.

Project Report

October 1, 2010 – September 30, 2012 Dr. Jeffrey D. Schuffert, Principal Investigator Director, U.S. Science Support Program Consortium for Ocean Leadership Earth and marine geoscientists are crossing the boundaries between traditional scientific disciplines, pushing the frontiers of scientific research, and addressing the needs of society. As it becomes increasingly important for scientists to form interdisciplinary collaborations and communicate their science to the public and policy makers, early career scientists are seeking insight into the non-traditional skills needed today to achieve a successful career. With funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF Standard Grant OCE-1031668), the Consortium for Ocean Leadership organized the second Marine Geoscience Leadership Symposium to provide leadership training to early career scientists. Through meetings, panels, and presentations by nearly thirty leaders from the academic, policy, and media communities, the symposium exposed the twenty-four participants to leadership qualities intended to help them navigate the laboratory and beyond. The discussions and activities covered the tangible and intangible aspects of building a career, such as proposal writing, research funding, building interdisciplinary collaborations, and communicating to various audiences. The symposium took place in Washington, D.C., where the participants had an opportunity to meet with program officers and attend a proposal-writing workshop at NSF, as well as engage in panel discussions on Capitol Hill. Guest speakers were featured throughout the week to highlight and provide perspective on the symposium’s themes of communicating science, leadership and research, science funding, science policy, and science collaborations. John Delaney (University of Washington) addressed academic issues such as multidisciplinary science initiatives and collaborative research studies. Matthew Wright (COMPASS) led activities that helped the participants develop key messages by defining their audience and identifying their issue and associated problems, solutions, and benefits. Craig Schiffries (Geological Society of America) discussed science policy and how scientists can support decision makers as they address critical issues with societal relevance. The keynote address was presented by Scott Doney (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), who spoke about leadership approaches and strategies, as well as the importance of societally relevant science in a politically charged environment. During a formal leadership training session, participants discussed the difference between leadership and management, aspects of leading teams, and how to build successful working relationships. The participants spent a portion of each day collaborating in small groups, using the information and skills that they had been learning during the week to propose an ambitious marine geoscience project. The activity exposed them to aspects of serving on a committee, working with multi-disciplinary scientists, and reaching consensus. Through exposure to skills that extend beyond the classroom and laboratory, the early career researchers who participated in the Marine Geoscience Leadership Symposium gained insight into the academic and policy worlds that will serve them and the community well in the years to come. A list of participants, speakers, and the proceedings document is available at

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Thomas Janecek
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Consortium for Ocean Leadership, Inc
United States
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