Learning to Be an Interdisciplinary Researcher: Incorporating Training About Dispositional and Epistemological Differences Into Graduate Student Environmental Science Teams

Effective interdisciplinary research (IR) teams require skills of collaboration, sharing, and abilities to integrate knowledge from diverse disciplines. Pre-post data was collected using three learning modules designed to support the development of collaboration and teamwork skills in the context of IR. Results showed (1) participants learned and practiced essential collaborative skills in authentic contexts; (2) training modules were valued and helped participants recognize the important role that personal dispositional characteristics have on IR teams; (3) participants’ confidence in adapting to differences among team members increased; and (4) participants recognized that effective collaboration requires intentionality. This paper also introduces the concept of dispositional distancing.