Engaging students from diverse backgrounds through summer research experiences in the atmospheric sciences

Thursday 1:45pm REC Center Medium Ice Overlook Room
Oral Presentation Part of Teaching For Diversity


Rebecca Haacker, NCAR/UCAR
Valerie Sloan, NCAR/UCAR
Scott Landolt, NCAR/UCAR
The geosciences have had a chronic problem of underrepresentation of students from diverse ethnic, racial, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. Students from diverse backgrounds often face isolation in their home institution, and lack role models and guidance as they navigate through the academic system. Continuous and individualized support can greatly strengthen a student's performance and chance of staying in the field. Early involvement in research, and exposure to the culture of science and a scientific work environment are recognized as some of the most effective ways to engage undergraduate students from all cultural backgrounds in STEM fields. This presentation will share experiences from four different programs managed by the SOARS Center for Undergraduate Research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO. Our programs involve students ranging from high school juniors to college seniors in summer experiences. We will address program design, scaling of projects, remedial courses, as well as managing mentor expectations and supporting two-year college students. We will highlight successful approaches of retaining diverse students in the geosciences and discuss how we can support each other in the community to provide such resources.