The following workshops are scheduled at Joint Assembly.

Thursday, 30 April – Friday, 1 May

Introduction to 2-D Element and Isotope Mapping by LA-ICP-MS
Workshop Organizers: Simon Jackson and Zhaoping Yang (Geological Survey of Canada)
This course will introduce the principles and describe practical aspects of generating 2-D element and isotope maps by LA-ICP-MS. It will also discuss applications of the technique, particularly in mineral deposit studies. The course will comprise lectures, laboratory, and computer-based data processing sessions. It will be of particular benefit to researchers considering using LA-ICP-MS mapping for the first time. The course will be held at the Geological Survey of Canada, 601 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario.

Sunday, 3 May

Share Science in Your Community Workshop
11:15 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Room 524B
Workshop Organizers: AGU’s Sharing Science program
Learn how to communicate science clearly and concisely in a way that will resonate for people in your community at this hands-on workshop. When scientists share their work and its value with community groups, science enters into the local dialogue, and scientists become accessible resources in their communities.

At this interactive workshop, you will:

  • Learn how to communicate science to people in your community in a relevant, engaging, and memorable way
  • Identify the right group for you to reach out to
  • Create an effective message about your research/work
  • Tailor your message for a specific audience
  • Polish your critical listening skills
  • Practice public speaking
  • Receive feedback from communications experts and your peers

This workshop is designed for scientists who want to learn how to more effectively communicate their research/work, as opposed to policy professionals, outreach specialists, journalists, or other professional communicators. Scientists from all disciplines and of all communications-experience levels are welcome. You must be registered for the Joint Assembly to attend the workshop. This workshop is free and lunch will be provided. Space is limited, and advance application is required. Update: The registration deadline has passed. Thank you for your interest! For more information about upcoming workshops, you can email

The Tectonic Growth and Evolution of SE Canada: The QM-III Experiment
1:30 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.
Université du Québec à Montréal, Building PK
Workshop Leaders: Ian Bastow (Imperial College), Fiona Derbyshire (UQAM)
This workshop will focus on the southeast region of Canada where, within a few hundred kilometers, the geological record spans almost three quarters of Earth history. The focus is the seismological study of the region from a new network of broadband seismograph stations operating from the southern tip of the Hudson Bay to coastal Maine and Nova Scotia. Attendees with an interest in the plate-scale processes that have affected the region since Precambrian times are encouraged to attend. Maximum capacity: 20.

Teaching with NASA Climate Models
Workshop Leaders: Mark Chandler (Columbia University/NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies), Linda Sohl  (Columbia University/NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies), Drew Bush (McGill University), and Jian Zhou (Columbia University/NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Teacher’s College, Columbia University)
The projected impacts of climate change are made by complex global climate models, and to advance the use of these “forecast” systems, colleges and universities are advancing the level of training in model development within traditional Earth and atmospheric science departments. To keep pace with this demand, it is critical that the next generation is prepared to make use of the modeling tools-of-the-trade and the data they produce, because many professions will require a workforce trained to recognize climate impacts and deal with climate modeling data as part of both adaptation and mitigation plans. As a result, climate modelers and educators need to transform the primary climate science tools for delivery to users well beyond the walls of climate research institutions. Maximum capacity: 40.

Teaching Undergraduate Students in the 21st Century
Workshop Leaders: Anne Marie Ryan  (Dalhousie University), Charly Bank (University of Toronto) 
Few of us have any formal training in teaching or know much about how students learn best when we begin our careers, either as TAs or as instructors. With the advance in our understanding of how the brain learns and the consequential implications for how we teach, together with the unique aspects of the Earth sciences (field work, change through geological time frames and spatial scales, etc.), and advances in education-related technologies, there are a number of strategies that can make for successful teaching. This workshop serves to highlight the more significant current best practices as they apply specifically to the Earth sciences, and will address the following:

  • What are student-centered learning outcomes, and how do we develop them?
  • How do we best align our learning outcomes with our course content and evaluations of our students?
  • What are some tried-and-true strategies for teaching core Earth science concepts?
  • What are best practices in fieldwork to provide for optimal student learning?
  • Is it possible to include undergraduate students in the research process, and if so, what might this look like?
  • Where do we find resources: information on new pedagogical approaches; incorporating new technologies in our teaching; what cognitive science is informing us about how the brain learns best

Maximum capacity: 40

Teaching Geoethics in Undergraduate Science Programs
Workshop Leaders: Anne Marie Ryan (Dalhousie University), Cathy Pappas-Maenz (Dawson College), Charly Bank (University of Toronto), Vince Cronin (Baylor University)
Geoethics, the consideration of the ethical aspects of the Earth sciences and its impact on society, is a new and evolving field of interest within the Earth science. Increasingly, ethics exams are incorporated into our induction into the profession, yet it is not common for students to be exposed to ethical considerations during their undergraduate years in any systematic or explicit way. This workshop aims to address the following:

  • What specific ethical aspects of our discipline and profession should our students learn?
  • What is our role of geoscience educators to ensure that our students are exposed to the ethical considerations of our discipline?
  • How can we best approach the teaching of geoethics?
  • What ethical decision-making process can we share with our students to help them respond to ethical dilemmas that may arise during the work as geoscientists?
  • Can examination of case studies within the Earth sciences serve as avenues to address such ethical dilemmas and decision-making?
  • What case studies in particular can be incorporated into a variety of undergraduate courses?

Maximum capacity: 30

Technical Writing for Students
Workshop Leaders: Jacob Hanley (St. Mary’s University), Galen Halverson (McGill University)
This workshop will introduce students to elements of technical writing, covering key elements of proper scientific writing and technical reporting style as well as presentation skills. The workshop will also provide knowledge concerning the process of marketing scientific discovery and writing research proposals in addition to offering a perspective from industry about the key elements of being an effective QP in terms of communication. The cost will include lunch; maximum capacity: 30.

Thursday, 7 May (8:45 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.)

Teacher Professional Development Workshop
Workshop Leaders: Lesley Hymers
This full-day Earth Science instructional development workshop will include a hands-on learning session followed by a visit to the Redpath Museum. The themes that will be explored will include Earth science classroom teaching resources and activities, the geology of the Montreal area, the Redpath Collection, and curriculum connections. The workshop is of interest to elementary, secondary, and CEGEP (Junior College) Educators, including those in social studies, science, and geography.