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Programs Supporting Minority Students in Geoscience

There are successful efforts to attract and support diverse students learning about the Earth in many institutions around the country. The profiles in this collection can serve as models and inspiration for departments and programs that aspire to broaden participation in the geosciences.

The browse below makes use of the US Federal Government's classifications of minority-serving institutions (MSI).

MSI Classifications

The federal government classifies US 2- and 4-year degree-granting postsecondary institutions which are eligible for federal student aid programs into seven mutually exclusive categories:

  1. HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities);
  2. Black-serving non-HBCUs: institutions that are not HBCUs/TCUs but in which Black students constitute at least 25 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment, while students of all other individual minority groups each constitute less than 25 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment;
  3. Hispanic-serving: institutions that are not HBCUs/TCUs and in which Hispanic students constitute at least 25 percent of the undergraduate enrollment, while students of all other individual minority groups each constitute less than 25 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment;
  4. Asian-serving: institutions that are not HBCUs/TCUs and in which Asian/Pacific Islander students constitute at least 25 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment, while students in each of the other minority groups constitute less than 25 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment;
  5. American Indian-serving: TCUs or institutions that are not HBCUs/TCUs but in which American Indian/Alaska Native students constitute at least 25 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment, while students in each of the other minority groups constitute less than 25 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment;
  6. Other minority-serving: institutions that do not fit any of the above categories but in which minority students as a whole constitute at least 50 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment; and
  7. Non-minority-serving: institutions that do not meet any of the criteria described above.

From:
Li, Xiaojie; C. Dennis Carroll (November 2007). "Characteristics of Minority-Serving Institutions and Minority Undergraduates Enrolled in These Institutions: Postsecondary Education Descriptive Analysis Report". Institute of Education Sciences (US Department of Education).

JSU Students in the Meteorology Lab
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Students in the Meteorology Laboratory at Jackson State University.[reuse info]
Provenance: Jackson State University Department of Physics, Atmospheric Science, and Geosciences
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SOLARIS Geo-Ventures Trip
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First SOLARIS Geo-Ventures event of the 2013-14 academic year. September, 2013[creative commons]
Provenance: Joshua Villalobos, EPCC
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SKC Hydrology Stdents
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Students at Salish Kootenai Tribal College doing hydrology activities.[reuse info]
Provenance: http://www.tribalcollegejournal.org/archives/3111
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FVSU Student
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photo of a FVSU student[reuse info]
Provenance: FVSU webpage- from this page: http://www.fvsu.edu/academics/cdep
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2008 LSAMP Scholarship class at UNM
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2008 LSAMP Scholarship class at UNM[reuse info]
Provenance: LSAMP UNM
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Results 1 - 10 of 38 matches

University of South Alabama
The University of South Alabama is a regional, comprehensive four-year institution with an enrollment of 15,000 students. Approximately 35% of students are minorities whereas the community is comprised of 55% minorities. The Department of Earth Sciences has approximately 20-25% minorities in their three programs of geography, geology, and meteorology. The combined enrollment of the three programs is approximately 260 students.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Founded in 1957, the Department of Geography at SIUE offers an undergraduate major and minor in Geography and a master's degree in Geographical Studies. The department offers a variety of courses in human, physical, and regional geography, as well as geospatial techniques. Our faculty conduct research on a wide variety of topics at the local, regional and global scale. Students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels have the opportunity to work closely with faculty on current, groundbreaking projects or gain experience through internships. Our students are prepared for careers in a wide range of fields. For example, recent graduates have taken positions as park rangers, urban planners, retail location analysts, resource managers, climate scientists, and geospatial analysts. Wherever you want to go, a degree in Geography from SIUE can take you there. A total of approximately 11,341 undergraduate students are currently enrolled at SIUE. Fifty three percent of these students are female, 15% African American and 4% Hispanic. Of the 115 total geography majors, approximately 5 are from minority groups.

Alabama A & M University
Alabama A&M University (AAMU), a historically black college and university (HBCU), is located in the highly advanced technological center of Huntsville, Alabama. AAMU has four Ph.D. programs in plant and soil science, food science, reading and physics. The current enrollment is 4,055 undergraduate students of which 95% is African-American, 2.8% Caucasian and 0.9% Hispanic. The undergraduate composition of the College of Agricultural, Life, and Natural Sciences (CALNS), which houses the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences (BES), is 91% African-Americans, 6.2% Caucasian and 1.5% Hispanics. The Department has three distinct majors i.e., environmental science, biology and forestry. The Department of BES has been ranked as the nation's #1 institution in the U.S. for granting African American Ph.D.'s in the agricultural sciences. Over the past decade over 50 Ph.D.'s and 120 M.S. graduates have matriculated in the environmental and natural resource-based graduate program, by far the largest at an HBCU and the only doctoral granting program among the HBCUs in the plant and soil sciences.

CUAHSI
CUAHSI is a university consortium of over 100 public and private US universities, and over 20 international and affiliate members. CUAHSI provides research and education support services for the University Water Research community. As part of this, CUAHSI operates a Water Data Center facility, to enable and promote access, discovery and use of water data for research and education. The CUAHSI WDC has a new outreach program that is focusing on engaging tribal colleges. We are specifically focusing on supporting tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) to use water data services as part of natural resources and hydrologic curricula offered by many of these colleges. Most, if not all, tribal governments have natural resource agencies for administering tribal lands, so such data skills can lead to careers with tribal governments as well as being highly marketable in the general economy. Place-based education has been shown to be of particularly efficacy with Native American students [17]. Currently our nation awards an average of 30 degrees per year in the disciplines of geosciences to Native American students[18]. Only a small fraction of these students are in the field of hydrology or water resources, despite the importance of water and water rights to many tribes. Historically, in the 1980's there were more settlements, court decisions, legislative actions, and budgetary appropriations related to tribal water issues than in the previous seven decades combined. By any standard, satisfying Indian water entitlements has become one of the major resource challenges facing the American West. We are piloting this program by working with Salish Kootenai College (SKC), the only tribal college in the nation to offer 2- and 4-year degrees in hydrology, to implement training in use of water data as part of tribal college courses. SKC students are typically 80% Native American, and include students from more than 100 federally recognized tribes.

Calvin College
Calvin College is a comprehensive liberal arts college in the Reformed tradition of historic Christianity. Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the college has 4000+ undergraduate students from Michigan (52%) and other states and countries (48%). 10% of the student population are international students and 13% are AHANA (African-, Hispanic-, Asian-, and Native- American) students. Roughly 55% of the students are female. The Department of Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies (GEO Department) offers 8 different majors including education and group majors. Environmental studies, geology, and geography majors are the most popular majors, enrolling 81 students in Fall 2013. The number of student majors has quadrupled since 2009, indicating a growing interest in the geoscience majors. Faculty numbers have remained the same through that time period; in 2013 there are six male and one female faculty with disciplinary expertise and active scholarship programs.

US State Dept, International Boundary and Water Commission
The USIBWC supports hiring individuals whose skill sets match our focus of work along the U.S.- Mexico border. We actively recruit on USAJOBS and with outreach to universities and our own staff. We hire many individuals with disabilities, veterans and minorities to keep a diverse pool of talent and cultures. We hire many Engineers for water, environmental and in house business operations and those in other critical skills. As part of this hiring I work with many students outside of work to help them in processing paperwork, education and teaching. My work is in the environmental field at the USIBWC but I also work with others at UTEP as I am developing a textbook on teaching the visually disabled geology. Our recruitment of those who are minorities, veterans and the disabled has increased over the last several years as we actively approach those with the skill sets to help in securing a Federal job.

Humboldt State University
Humboldt State University is the northernmost campus of the California State University system located on the rural north coast, ~300 miles north of San Francisco. Campus demographics are changing rapidly to better reflect that of California. As Fall 2013, HSU was eligible for recognition as an Hispanic Serving Institution. The Geology Department has ~110 majors, ~10 of which are MS students, ~85 Geology BS/BA, and ~15 Geology BA-Geosciences Option. The Geosciences Option was revamped from a Geoscience Education Option that never gained viable enrollments in part due to changes in the Education program.

Mesa Community College
Mesa Community College serves over 40,000 students a year, 21% of whom are Hispanic. We have two different geoscience pathways for students to pursue, geology (in the physical science department) and geography (in the cultural science department). Both programs serve over 600 students a year, only a handful of whom self-identify as majors. There are no geoscience degrees, so tracking the number of majors is difficult, however there is a geology club that has an active membership ranging from 10-30 members in any given year.

Purdue University-Main Campus
The majority of undergraduate students at Purdue University are from Indiana (57%) or surrounding states in the mid-west. Also, international students make up 17% of the undergraduate enrollment. The mid-western states have the lowest percentage of minority population of any region in the United States. Below are some statistics (2013-14) for undergraduate enrollment of the university. Purdue undergraduate enrollment: Male 16,843 (57.2%) Female 12,597 (42.8%) Purdue undergraduate minority enrollment: 16% of all undergraduates 19.4% of all U.S. undergraduates Purdue undergraduate underrepresented minority (URM) enrollment: 8.5% of all undergraduates 10.2% of all U.S. undergraduates Within Purdue's College of Science, there are 3319 undergraduates of which 2164 (65.2%) are male and 1155 (34.8%) are female. Demographic data for the Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) department are shown below: EAPS undergraduate majors (2013-14) Male 70 (60.9%) Female 45 (39.1%) International students 12 (10.4%) Minority students 13 (11.3%) There are six undergraduate major programs within EAPS: Atmospheric Science/Meteorology, Geology and Geophysics, Environmental Geoscience, Planetary Science, Earth and Space Science Education, and Interdisciplinary Science (joint with other departments in the College of Science). The EAPS department was founded in 1967 in order to increase the coverage of science programs within the College of Science, provide degree programs in Earth and atmospheric sciences, and in recognition of the significance of the geosciences to societal issues into the future. The department was originally named the Department of Geosciences. The name was subsequently changed to the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and then to the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. There has been significant change in the EAPS demographics in the past 5 years. The percentage of female undergraduate students has increased from 27.2% in 2009-10 to 39.1% in 2013-14. Similarly, the percentage of international students has increased from 4.4% to 10.4%, and the percentage of minority students has increased from 5.2% to 11.3% in the same time period.

Stony Brook University
This M. S. in Geosciences Instrumentation operates within the graduate programs of the Department of Geosciences at Stony Brook, which include several M.S. tracks and Ph. D. track.

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