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Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs)

Teaching is a vital component of the scientific method. Graduate students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (EARTH) assist faculty instructors teach introductory (1xx–2xx) and advanced-level (3xx–4xx) courses on the Ann Arbor campus or at Camp Davis in Wyoming. Graduate Student Instructors, or GSIs, run laboratory sections, grade exams and assignments, and hold office hours. They teach students one-to-one or in small groups and provide feedback on their performance. Graders, with a 0.25 appointment, grade homework assignments and exams.

We may appoint students from other units as GSIs but incoming and current graduate students in EARTH have priority. Most students are appointed as GSIs several times during their time in graduate school. On average, EARTH students are appointed as GSIs once per academic year. 

EARTH has two fractional GSIs appointments:

  • 0.25 (grader)  – ten (10) hours per week
  • 0.50                 – twenty (20) hours per week

The hours above are averages over the entire term. The workload may be heavy during exam periods and light during breaks.

See the Graduate Student Instructors and Graduate Student Staff Assistants Appointment Guide with details on the deployment of GSIs. The Graduate Student Mentors (GSMs) assist and support GSIs and help answer questions, or address concerns or problems that arise during teaching. See the EARTH GSI Handbook for information specifically for GSIs and their faculty instructors in EARTH. See the Teaching Team Communication Form for clarifying teaching expectations, and the Best Practices for Instructors doc. Additional resources are available at CRLT.