The evolving nature of collaboration in the geological sciences
Published:September 01, 2013
Collaboration is a powerful tool in geoscience education and research. The past 50 years have seen dramatic increases in the amount of collaboration and its reach across specialties and disciplines. These trends seem to be driven by (1) the nature of scientific questions; (2) specialization; (3) resource sharing fostered by new equipment and technology; and (4) government and social priorities reflected in funding opportunities. Similar trends are also occurring in geoscience education. Effective collaboration in both research and education requires developing shared goals, values, customs, and management strategies. While collaborations are powerful, leading to results that cannot be obtained by individuals in isolation, they are often time-consuming and slow to achieve initial results, especially when they involve groups with different cultures, values, and expectations. For this reason they require ongoing financial and institutional support. The geoscience community plays a central role in enabling collaborations in geoscience education and research by fostering networking and sharing of information and resources.