Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the Earth and Environmental Sciences

The Earth and Environmental sciences have so much to offer, to so many people. Knowledge of Earth's natural systems is crucial for resource management, climate change mitigation, and understanding other human-environment interactions. There are opportunities for people who want to spend time in rugged outdoor settings, people who thrive in the laboratory, those wishing to develop strong computational and quantitative skills, and those who study the intersection of scientific and social theories.

Despite these varied opportunities and sub-disciplines, the Earth and environmental sciences are among the least diverse STEM fields, and academia more broadly has a long way to go in terms of diversity and inclusion. Both overt and subtle bias and exclusion based on race and ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, and other characteristics, hinder our ability to make academia, STEM, and Earth and environmental science broadly inclusive fields . In order to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our communities, we require large-scale self-reflection, across departments and disciplines, as well as tangible actions and structural changes.

I am helping coordinate efforts for my department, the School of Earth and Sustainability at Northern Arizona University, to improve DEI. As the Director of Climate Action for the Graduate Student Government at NAU, I am also serving on the Climate Justice and Resilience working group for the university's new Climate Action Plan. In particular, I am interested in:

-creating field experiences that are accessible to all students, and critically considering the role of field geology in geoscience education;

-incorporation of multi-cultural perspectives in courses and seminars, and inclusive teaching practices more broadly;

-intersectional education about Earth science, as inextricably linked to environmental and social justice issues;

-improving awareness and training for implicit biases and subtle forms of exclusion.

Below I have listed some of the literature and other resources that informs my understanding of DEI in academia, STEM, and the Earth & environmental Sciences. If you would like to collaborate on a DEI effort or share resources, please contact me!

Published articles

“Ten simple rules for building an anti-racist lab.” (link)

“Hostile climates are barriers to diversifying the geosciences.” (link)

“No progress on diversity in 40 years.” (link)

“Does our vision of diversity reduce harm and promote justice?” (link)

"Race and racism in the geosciences." (link)

"Structure matters: twenty-one teaching strategies to promote student engagement and cultivate classroom equity." (link)

"A synthesis of instructional strategies in geoscience education literature that address barriers to inclusion for students with disabilities." (link)

"Survey of academic field experiences (SAFE): Trainees report harassment and assault." (link)

"Gender differences in recommendation letters for postdoctoral fellowships in geoscience." (link)

"Language matters: considering microaggressions in science." (link)

"Long-term reduction in implicit race bias: a prejudice habit-breaking intervention." (link)

"Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color." (link)

"The challenges of field work for LGBTQ+ geoscientists." (link)

Other resources

Implicit Bias Tests (Project Implicit). (link)

Picture a Scientist, a documentary about sexual harassment, and other forms of bias and discrimination, in academic STEM institutions. (link)

ADVANCEGeo for many resources and workshops. (link)