We take a multi-level approach to transform workplace climate (sensu De Welde and Stepnick, 2015): at the institutional level, by addressing academic cultures through the leadership of scientific societies and on campus efforts; structurally, through policies and processes that guide professional conduct and response to sexual and other types of harassment; and individually, through education and empowerment of all members of our community.
The aims of our first award (2017-2022) were to:
- Collect and analyze data on workplace climate experiences in the geosciences and ecological sciences.
- Develop and test bystander intervention training programs with discipline-relevant scenarios and that incorporate intersectionality.
- Develop modules on sexual misconduct and bullying for use in research ethics training.
- Disseminate training workshops, webinars, and teaching modules via partnership with professional societies.
- Develop a sustainable model that can be transferred to other STEM disciplines.
Our work initially focused on the geosciences or earth and space sciences. A supplemental award expanded our work into the ecological and biological sciences. Organizational partners in the first phase of ADVANCEGeo includes: American Geophysical Union, Association for Women Geoscientists, Earth Science Women's Network, Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, Ecological Society of America, Long-Term Ecological Research Network, Animal Behavior Society, and the Evolution Societies.
Our second award (2022-2025) aims to:
- Develop and test a workplace climate intervention program for academic departments and future faculty training programs.
- Develop and test a train-the-trainers certification and capacity-building program to engage and activate STEM leaders.
- Develop and disseminate scaffolded online resources related to improving workplace climate for broad STEM audiences.
- Implement a plan for sustained national impact in partnership with professional associations.
New and ongoing partners for phase 2 include: American Geophysical Union (AGU); Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG); Earth Science Women's Network (ESWN); Geological Society of America (GSA); American Meteorological Society (AMS); the NSF-funded Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Office; BlackInGeoscience (BiG) Network; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Geosciences (AAPIiG); GeoLatinas in Planetary Sciences; Society of Latinx/Hispanics in Earth and Space Science (SOLESS); and 500 Women Scientists (500WS).
Prior work building up to award
- AGU Board of Directors approved in 2017 Ethics Task Force recommendations to include harassment, bullying and discrimination as research misconduct. Billy Williams co-led the Ethics Task Force and Marin-Spiotta was a member.
- Science magazine article on AGU's new code of ethics.
- Scientific societies speak out against sexual harassment press release of a NSF-funded workshop convened by the American Geophysical Union and co-sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society, American Geosciences Institute, Association for Women Geoscientists, and Earth Science Women's Network. Billy Williams was Lead PI on the grant for the workshop and Erika Marin-Spiotta and Blair Schneider were on the steering committee that organized and led the workshop. Check out the first product of the workshop, an AGU website with resources for dealing with sexual harassment.
- Marin-Spiotta and Schneider co-authored an invited opinion piece on the role of scientific societies in dealing with the problem of sexual harassment, published in EOS.
- AGU holds a special town hall on sexual harassment at the 2015 Fall Meeting organized by Billy Williams, Blair Schneider and Erika Marin-Spiotta.
- Marin-Spiotta was quoted in a piece in Nature on field safety. This article has some very good tips for staying safe in the field and ensuring fieldwork is a welcoming environment for everyone.