Professor Cotter has dedicated his career to creating an environment that encourages and challenges undergraduate women to pursue careers in the geosciences, a field in which they are seriously underrepresented. Since 1986, 66 women have been mentored by Cotter. Over 80% of his mentees have graduated, with 31 continuing into graduate school, 13 entering careers in geology, five becoming educators and two becoming Park Rangers. The foundation of Cotter's success is his vigorous program of undergraduate research in which each student works on an individual research project, gaining valuable understanding and hands-on experience in research design and technique. Beyond the research experience is an emphasis on personal growth in a collegial learning environment which nurtures development and builds confidence. Dr. Cotter is a member of the faculty at the University of Minnesota, Morris Campus.