December 2016 Issue Table of Contents
Barbara (Barb) Dutrow, the Adolphe G. Gueymard Professor of Geology at Louisiana State University (USA), has received the 2016 Outstanding Educator Award from the American Women in Geosciences, this organization’s premier professional award. The award honors women who are well-established college or university teachers who have played a significant role in the education and support of geoscientists within and beyond the classroom, in advancing the persistence of females and underrepresented minorities in geoscience careers, and in raising the general profile of the geosciences. The award was presented to Barb at the September 2016 Geological Society of America meeting in Denver (Colorado, USA).
Barb was cited for her contributions in all three of the areas of consideration for this longstanding career award (mentoring, instruction and curriculum, and outreach to the broader community). In the area of mentoring, Barb went beyond the traditional responsibilities of a tenured professor at a research institution by skillfully guiding many undergraduates through their first experiences with geological research, as well as mentoring many graduate students and helping them to secure funding for their degrees and research projects. By way of outreach, Barb has created museum exhibits elucidating concepts related to gems and minerals, and she has participated in the annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show (Arizona, USA), which reaches tens of thousands of people. However, her nomination package was most striking and impressive for her contributions to instruction and curriculum. Barb has had a dramatic impact on the teaching of mineralogy across the nation and, one can say, the world, through leading the On the Cutting Edge workshops (run by the US-based National Association of Geoscience Teachers) on pedagogy, publishing research articles on student spatial learning and visualization, sharing numerous teaching activities online through On the Cutting Edge, and coauthoring with Cornelius Klein one of the leading mineralogy textbooks, The Manual of Mineral Science (23rd edition), now translated into Portuguese.