New prof resources (especially for physical oceanography)

Resources for (oceanography) professors

Note - to start with, this is a collection of external links with a brief explanation.

Teaching resources

Teaching might be one of your most time-consuming new commitments, and getting started can be daunting. Your university will likely have resources for this, but offers can vary. Check them out, but they probably don’t have subject-specific resources, so some options below.

  • NAGT (National Association of Geoscience Teachers) - This is an American association which maintains a portal of teaching resources called Teach the Earth. You have to be willing to dig around a little, so it’s not great the night before a lecture. But a few examples of what you can find:

    • An outline of how to design an oceanography course for undergraduate students. It has some useful information about setting `student learning outcomes’ and aligning assessments to match those outcomes. If you aren’t familiar with these terms, then you may also be interested in a book about teaching in the University environment. I liked Aligning for Learning, by Wulff and Jacobson and was fortunate enough to take a course from them at UW as a graduate student.
    • Ideas for practicals: I have used the one on constructing a 3d bathymetry model which I first heard about some 15 years ago from Sally Warner, and when searching for it online, came across the resources at NAGT. Here is my version in bathymetry part 1 (pdf) and bathymetry part 2 (pdf).
    • For more general teaching ideas, go to Teach the Earth and check out the ‘Explore themes’ section. Under ‘Enhancing your teaching’, there are topics like Course design and teaching methods. Some examples here:
      • Designing Effective and Innovative Courses - with a step-by-step tutorial to create or redesign a whole course or portion of a course. I haven’t tried this, but it looks like a good way to get started.
      • Teaching methods - on things like “cooperative learning”, “field-based instruction” and “classroom labs”.
  • Lynne Talley’s Physical Oceanography Course - her course website is public, and includes a lot of good information, problem sets (with answer keys) and structure that follows her book. There is a lot there, so depending on the actual topic of your course, its duration and intended audience, it can be a great resource for ideas, reusing or adapting problems, or incorporating bits and pieces into your course.

  • Chronicle of Higher Education: Teaching - a weekly newsletter, or you can just dip in and out on the website.

Time management

Ok, this is a big deal when you’re starting a new job with extra responsibilities (and probably finishing a job where you didn’t feel like you had so much “free time”). How to rise to the challenge? I’ve done a quick search for information that seems to align with my experience. After starting a job, you may feel like you still need to prove yourself and you want to be a good colleague, so you say “yes” to everything. This can be a mistake that is hard to extricate yourself from.