ERTH Diversity Equity and Inclusion Initiatives

The ERTH Department in the past year has dedicated itself to taking actions that actively promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within the department and in the field at large. Students and faculty alike participate in a weekly Anti-Racism reading group, which works to critically analyze the anti-racist literature and make applications to our own department. From this reading group grew four sub-committees focused on various aspects of promoting DEI and anti-racism in various aspects of the department, including: Lab Climate, Classroom Climate, Fieldwork, and New Student Recruitment. These sub-committees meet on a weekly basis to make strides towards an anti-racist department, with a focus on actionable items as well as policy change. Additionally, the department has released a Diversity Action Plan, a plan to improve diversity in the department and the Earth Sciences community at large. Take a look at the different ERTH DEI intiatives below: 

Lab Climate sub-committee

  • Goal: to de-mystify the lab experience for graduate students and to set standards for group relations and treatment of members through explicit and and equitable policies. 
  • Accomplishments: This sub-committee has created a template lab agreement meant to outline expectations around working in a lab group. This template will be circulated to all PIs in the department and will aid them in creating their own lab agreements, which will serve to de-mystify the graduate school experience for all students. 

Classroom Climate sub-committee

  • Goal: to make all of our Earth Sciences classes accessible to all learners through the use of universal design and thoughtful coordination of learning objectives through the curriculum.  
  • Accomplishments: This sub-committee has developed a resource for undergraduate students to make hidden resources visible, available here. In addition, the committee has developed self-evaluations for faculty and graduate students to examine their courses with an eye towards implementing universal design and eliminating microaggressions. The sub-committee is working with the Teaching Engagement Program to revise the processes of our peer-evaluations of teaching to emphasize universal design and research-led teaching. 

Fieldwork sub-committee

  • Goal: Lay the groundwork for future inclusion work in fieldwork settings by clarifying policies and by targeting field camp and undergraduate trips.
  • Accomplishments: This sub-committee has developed a code of conduct and community norms for both students and faculty in fieldwork settings. This group has also developed a One Day Field Trip Form to erase hidden barriers and communicate key details about field trips. Lastly, this group has begun to compile a list of places in Oregon frequented by the department, as well as a list of resources to help students prepare for field trips or field work.

Recruitment sub-committee

  • Goal: To make the process of graduate student recruitment more transparent and accessible. 
  • Accomplishments: This sub-committee has compiled a document of undergraduate research opportunities and funding available per faculty in the department to increase undergraduate engagement. This group is collecting photos and testimonials from past undergraduate researchers. Additionally, this group is updating advertisements for the graduate program, including funded research projects, to broaden the scope of the applicant pool and are working on a "How to Apply to Graduate School" video for prospective students to make the application process more transparent and accessible. Lastly, this group is collecting graduate student testimonials for prospective students to view on the department website. 


Take a look at our Diversity Action Plan:

Diversity Action Plan