Episode 172: Building the next generation of geoscientists

GeoFORCE Program Director Dr. Leah Turner discusses building the pipeline for the next generation of geoscientists.

GeoFORCE Texas received the 2022 Special Commendation Award at IMAGE. The program is a free K-12 outreach program designed to increase the number and diversity of students pursuing STEM degrees and careers, especially geology. Each summer GeoFORCE Texas takes over 300 high school students on spectacular geological field trips in Texas and throughout the United States. Taught by university faculty, research scientists, and area educators and mentored by professional geologists from industry partners, the trips engage and empower students by exposing them to something completely different than their home and school environment.

GeoFORCE Texas aims to inspire the next generation of geoscientists, foster increased diversity in the U.S. workforce, and create an increased awareness of the importance of geosciences in the communities the program serves.

In this conversation with host Andrew Geary, Leah highlights why this program is necessary, the higher education issues that under-served and minoritized student populations face, and the benefits of expanding the talent base in the geosciences. She also discusses how geoscientists and educators outside Texas can best utilize this program. GeoFORCE Texas is at the forefront of training the next generation of geoscientists in a hands-on, powerful program that might change the world’s future. You will want to hear about this program and how you can help get the next generation excited about geophysics.

Seismic Soundoff · 172: Building the next generation of geoscientists

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Leah earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education from Ohio University as a Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholar. Her primary academic interests involve researching the college choices of under-served and minoritized student populations to address prominent higher education issues such as access, retention, degree completion, student involvement, and satisfaction. Her portfolio includes positions in career development, K-12 outreach, student affairs, athletics, and academic affairs. In addition, Leah oversees the GeoFORCE pipeline program and is passionate about creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture at the Jackson School.


SEG produces Seismic Soundoff to benefit its members and the scientific community and to inform the public about the value of geophysics. Please leave a 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts and Spotify to show your support for the show. It takes less than five seconds to leave a 5-star rating and is the number one action you can take to show appreciation for this free resource. And follow the podcast on the app to be notified when each new episode is released. 

Original music created by Zach Bridges. Andrew Geary hosted, edited, edited, and produced this episode at 51 features, LLC. Thank you to the SEG podcast team: Jennifer Cobb, Kathy Gamble, and Ally McGinnis.