Professional attitude: a professional is punctual (to class and laboratory meetings) because he/she respects the valuable time of others; a professional follows the supervisorís instructions; a professional in the field respects private and public property; a professional arrives ready to work, appropriately dressed, with his or her tools; a professional is observant and sees what needs to be done; a professional is responsible and does what should be done (carrying the instruments and tools, for example). A professional helps maintain a safe workplace with a civilized atmosphere. A professional is perceived as a representative of his or her organization and always acts in a manner that reflects favorably on that organization. A professional asks a question rather than risk making a serious mistake with an unfamiliar scientific instrument.
My recent contact as an employment reference: the first question dealt with the applicantís work ethic, the second with the applicantís integrity, the third with the applicantís self-motivation. I am pleased to report that I was able to give this applicant high marks in all areas. He was hired. Please enable me to repeat this event frequently.
Outstanding undergraduates have won scholarships to SAGE (Summer Applied Geophysics Experience) summer geophysics field camp in New Mexico 3 times in the past 13 years, where they use state-of-the-art instruments and computers. Students from Toledo have been among the best in camp each time one has been accepted. Competition for graduate slots is a bit stiffer, but twice the UT student was offered a free ride for a second year to serve as a teaching assistant. Work hard and one of you may find himself or herself drinking blue margaritas and eating steak with the VibroSeisTM crew!
PLAGIARISM: While I encourage students to help one another in finding solutions to homework problems or in evaluating the meaning of laboratory measurements, your report must reflect your individual effort. Graphs, maps and figures should be unique. The manner in which you present your data and select what is essential quickly reveals to the reader your degree of understanding. Therefore: be advised that graphs or figures that are duplicates (or nearly duplicates) of graphs or figures found in another report may be cause for both papers to suffer, particularly if there appears to be a pattern of unusually similar work. Of course, graphs dealing with the same data should share more similarities than differences and this will be taken into consideration, and in most cases a warning will be issued prior to penalties if reports appear too much alike. As concepts become more complex and we advance from the data presentation to geophysical models, the probability of product originality should increase. It is particularly revealing when two or more papers share a fundamental error that neither author seems to notice.
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