Diversity Action Plan
A. Plan to improve diversity of Earth Sciences community:
- Faculty Recruitment:
- Faculty positions will be advertised through scientific societies that focus on members of underserved groups, such as AISES, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and SACNAS, the Society for Advancing Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science.
- In addition we will work with the diversity efforts within broader scientific societies to ensure that appropriate candidates from a diversity of backgrounds are aware of our faculty opportunities. Examples here include the American Meterological Society Board on Women and Minorities, the American Geophysical Union Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and the Geological Society of America Diversity in the Geosciences Committee.
- Applicants will be required to submit a diversity statement along with their standard research and teaching statements.
- We will continue to improve our process for evaluating applicants at each stage of the process using objective criteria developed by the search committee, because such objective evaluations have been shown to improve the representation of candidate pools at each level.
- As the UO develops a Search Advocate program, we will engage with it to include advocates in our search process .
- Graduate student recruitment:
- We will establish a presence at scientific conferences that focus on members of underserved groups, again such as AISES and SACNAS, to promote opportunities for graduate study in our department.
- We will continue to apply for the maximum number of Promising Scholar graduate student inclusion awards through each recruitment cycle.
- We will increase the number of fee waivers for applicants issued from our department, because the application fee is often an impediment for students from underserved groups.
- We will institute a new program to send graduate students back to their undergraduate institutions and other nearby institutions to give presentations aimed on highlighting research opportunities in our graduate program.
- Undergraduate student recruitment:
- We will participate in undergraduate recruitment events, such as on-campus AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) presentations, that focus on helping students from underserved groups attend college. In this way, we will familiarize a more diverse student body with the possibilities of an Earth Sciences degree.
- We will prioritize active learning and inclusive classroom techniques in our introductory sequence, so that a diverse group of undergraduates are shown the potential of an Earth Sciences major or minor to improve their careers.
- We will work with SAIL and SOS Camps on campus to present Earth Sciences to their high school students and engage them with our active research programs.
B. Plan to improve inclusion in Earth Sciences community:
- We will support grass-roots efforts to improve inclusion in our department, starting with IgDEAS, Inclusivity and Gender Diversity in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, a student-run group with the goal of creating opportunities to implement tangible solutions to help women enter and stay in Earth Sciences. This group was started by graduate students, and the department will allocate appropriate funds to support their work.
- When resources are available, we will appoint a GE to focus on equity and inclusion in the Department of Earth Sciences.
- We will collaborate with other diversity committees in the Natural Sciences and the broader College of Arts and Sciences to find tools to improve inclusion in our unit.
- Once data are available from a climate survey, we will revisit our DAP to create SMART goals to improve.
C. Plan to improve achievement of Earth Sciences undergraduate students:
- We will work towards creating a more inclusive field camp experience, with foci on:
- Working with the undergraduate advisors to make clear that students can take one or two of the two-week sections between Junior and Senior year and the other after Senior year so that students can spread the field camp experience over two summers if they cannot afford six weeks away from Eugene in one summer.
- Develop policies to ensure that field camp scholarships are allocated in a way to support students who are spreading the field course over multiple terms.
- Explore the utility of regular academic year field camp sessions that would be non-residential, so that students could attend while still living in Eugene.
- Working with IgDEAS to develop their initial field skills course into an official offering supported by the department with a designated faculty sponsor. This course would provide an opportunity for students who are hesitant about camping and hiking to gain confidence and experience.
- Working with NAGT, develop a list of alternative field courses that are available to students with disabilities, and make students aware of field courses that are appropriate for their mobility and functional needs through undergraduate advising and the introduction to field skills course.
- We will add a professional development seminar for undergraduates and graduate students, focused on building grant and job application materials. An aspect of this seminar will focus on preparing for the Oregon State Board of Geological Examiners exam and the Oregon Water Rights Examination.
- As noted under the section on undergraduate recruitment, we will focus on active learning and inclusive classrooms in our introductory sequences (10X and 20X), ensuring access to that knowledge for students of all backgrounds. We will accomplish this goal by working to link these courses with the Science Literacy Program.
- We will support the Geology Club tutoring program, linking tutors to faculty and graduate students who can help undergraduates in their course work, as well as putting a reference to the tutoring program in all syllabi and announcing in all courses.
- We will implement exit surveys and five-year follow ups to determine which aspects of our curricululm are most valuable to the students and what areas they wish we would add. Use this information to help determine updates to the curriculum and the content for the professional development course.