Poster Session III: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Wednesday 11:15-11:45am PT / 12:15-12:45pm MT / 1:15-1:45pm CT / 2:15-2:45pm ET Online
Poster Session

Session Chairs

Laura Guertin, Penn State Brandywine
Wendi J. W. Williams, South Texas College

This poster session will be held from 11:15-11:45am PT / 12:15-12:45pm MT / 1:15-1:45pm CT / 2:15-2:45pm ET on Wednesday. All Rendezvous participants are invited to attend. Sessions will include 4-6 posters on similar topics and will start with presentation of a 1-minute lightning talk for each poster, followed by panel discussions among authors and Rendezvous participants to address common themes. Zoom sessions will allow authors to move into Breakout Rooms for more specific discussions with Rendezvous participants.

Presenter Guidelines

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Engaging the Geoscience Community in International Climate Action
Frank Granshaw, Portland State University

Show Abstract »

As geoscientists and citizens, it is readily apparent that we are at a historical moment that is fraught with urgency, seemingly insurmountable difficulty, and numerous opportunities to set a fundamentally new course going forward. As geoscience educators we have the responsibility to provide our students with tools to navigate the uncertain waters ahead. Given the nature of the climate issues we are facing, linking our students and the communities we live in with the critical climate work being done on the national level is an important avenue for fulfilling that responsibility. This poster focuses on two such avenues. 1) The development of local virtual bridges that connect our students and others to UN and other international climate events through local "watch parties" virtually connected to these global events.2) Support for and participation in the development of a United State ACE national plan. ACE is short for Action for Climate Empowerment. ACE is a facet of both the original 1992 United National Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) treating and 2015 Paris Climate Agreement aimed at "empowering all members of global society to engage in climate action, through education, training, public awareness, public participation, and public access to information on both the national and international level".This poster is a follow up to an article having the same title that was published in the April 2021 issue of "In the Trenches" magazine.
Discovering Opportunity During COVID: Geoscience Outreach in the Virtual World
Michael Chiappone, The University of Texas at Austin
Patrick Martin, The University of Texas at Austin
Mary Poteet, The University of Texas at Austin
Alicia Rusthoven, The University of Texas at Austin
Anthony Edgington, The University of Texas at Austin
Carole Lakrout, The University of Texas at Austin
Mason Currin, The University of Texas at Austin
Matthew Riley, The University of Texas at Austin

Show Abstract »

We have developed an outreach program for grades 5-12 designed to engage students in learning about the diversity and importance of the geosciences. Our outreach team features a panel of geoscience undergraduates actively conducting research in a diversity of geoscience fields. While the idea behind our program was initially a response to lack of student motivation during COVID-19 online learning in grade schools, the virtual platform provides us the opportunity to reach out to schools across the nation to introduce students to the diversity of fields in the geosciences. Exposure to the diverse range of fields within geosciences in our secondary school system is often lacking. We provide students a glimpse into our field in an exciting and motivating manner. These presentations involve a tag-team of four to five undergraduate students who give insights into their unique experiences in the geosciences, followed by intermissions for students to interact directly with the presenters. We discuss a diverse selection of topics throughout the geosciences, including but not limited to environmental sciences, planetary geology, seismology, computational geosciences, and paleontology. During the current pandemic, our main method of outreach is to give interactive presentations to middle school and high school classrooms through platforms such as Zoom and Google Meets. While in the future we may transition to in-person events, online outreach will remain important for schools where travel is impractical due to the distance. To date, we have presented to three Texas schools, including two high schools and one middle school. Students demonstrated significant interest, asking a range of questions both during the online interaction and later through email. We are working to establish relationships with more classrooms, both in and out of the state, to create a program that will transcend past our own graduation, and will continue for years to come.
Inclusive Universal Design Applied to Introductory Geosciences Learning Spaces
Wendi J. W. Williams, South Texas College

Show Abstract »

Overviews and generalized examples of how to apply Universal Design in Instruction (UDI) with embedded strategies to diminish barriers for Persons with Disabilities have been shared during earlier Earth Educator Rendezvous sessions (2017 and 2018) and through a recent NAGT Professional Webinar (28 April 2021) to promote better design for equity and inclusion in various STEM learning spaces. This poster will include a synopsis of strategies for apparent and non apparent disabilities and focus on several introductory geosciences activities modified and mapped to UDI guidelines addressing engagement, representation and action – expression. This is to provide discipline-specific examples designed for: (1) access through recruiting interest and providing options for perception and physical action; (2) building skills to sustain and persist; and (3) internalizing through self-regulation, comprehension and executive function. UDI reaches a wide range of learners and, additionally, is best modeled for pre-service teacher candidates also enrolled in general core introductory courses.
Geoscience Research Collaborations for Student Success (GeoRCSS)
Mary Poteet, The University of Texas at Austin
Kusali Gamage, Austin Community College
Meagan Bittner, The University of Texas at Austin
Christopher J. Bell, The University of Texas at Austin
Adam Papendieck, The University of Texas at Austin

Show Abstract »

Geosciences Research Collaborations for Student Success (GeoRCSS) is a unique partnership between Austin Community College (ACC) and the Jackson School of Geosciences (JSG) at The University of Texas at Austin to develop collaborative peer learning communities (PLCs) in the Geosciences with mixed cohorts of two-year college (2YC) and four-year college (4YC) students. The Jackson School recognizes the importance of diverse voices in the geosciences, and acknowledges the need to create equitable opportunities. ACC has higher representation of non-traditional, low income, and underrepresented students than UT Austin. By partnering JSG with ACC, we hope to 1) increase transfer rates and success of students moving from 2YC to 4YC, 2) increase the diversity of students within the geosciences, 3) generate knowledge about how high-impact educational activities influence transfer student success, and 4) develop an effective research-based 2YC-4YC partnership and innovation model that can be replicated across the nation. In the PLCs, students and peer mentors will engage in tiered learning phases and scaffolded peer mentoring as students gain experience. These experiences start in the students' first year with authentic research or industry internships, individual faculty advising, curriculum alignment between ACC and JSG, and scholarships to help low-income students from both institutions. Knowledge generation activities will characterize the collaborative work and learning involved in the 2YC-4YC transition and relate it to longer term outcomes, including academic performance, graduation, advanced studies and geoscientific career pathways. Although only a few students have been recruited to date, those from ACC have participated in faculty-led research and transferred successfully into JSG (n=2) and Natural Sciences (n=1) at UT Austin. We are more fully implementing the program this year, including an undergraduate mentor to help recruit ACC and JSG students and assessments of student needs and gains during the program.
Report on Unlearning Racism in Geoscience from the 2YC URGE Pod
Laura Guertin, Penn State Brandywine
Kristie Bradford, The Lone Star College System
Hillary Goodner, Yakima Valley Community College
Karen Helgers, Ulster County Community College
Beth A. Johnson, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Megan Jones, North Hennepin Community College
Kaatje van der Hoeven Kraft, Whatcom Community College
Karen Layou, J Sargeant Reynolds Community College
Carol Ormand Ph.D., Carleton College
Waverly Ray, San Diego Mesa College
Daina Hardisty, Mt. Hood Community College
Elizabeth Nagy, Pasadena City College

Show Abstract »

The five-month long virtual Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE) program was developed to empower groups, or pods, of geoscience faculty to implement anti-racist strategies and policies within their departments and institutions. Our 2YC URGE pod included twelve individuals: eleven who are solo geologists on their two-year campus or members of very small two-year college departments, and the project manager for SAGE 2YC (Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education at Two-Year Colleges). We connected to explore antiracist learning activities, strategies, and policies that improve the environment for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) geoscientists in higher education. As the individuals in our pod came from collective institutions that do not have geoscience departments with the ability to make policies, our pod's focus was different from other pods, as we directed our attention to the introductory-level geoscience classroom, students in the first two years, and faculty. The pod applied the learning and discussion every two weeks and developed a resource document that includes both suggestions for faculty to apply in their own classrooms, and information to share with departmental and institutional administrators. For example, in the document's section focusing on students, topic areas range from impacting admissions to embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) concepts in a syllabus, during the first day of class, and throughout the curriculum. The section that focuses on faculty and administration includes examples of: mentoring and advising strategies; institution DEI resolutions and statements; sample complaints and reporting policies; and, mitigating racial biases during the faculty hiring process. Although the URGE program has formally concluded, the 2YC URGE pod will continue to advance anti-racist strategies and policies, creating change within institutional structures and professional organizations, with intention, accountability, and inclusivity. The document will continue to develop and can be accessed at:
Report on Unlearning Racism in Geoscience from the NAGT Traveling Workshop Program Pod
Catherine Riihimaki, 2NDNATURE Software
Reginald Archer, Tennessee State University
Julie Bartley, Gustavus Adolphus College
Rachel Beane, Bowdoin College
David Blockstein, Bard College
Dr. Edith Davis, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University
Sarah Fortner, Carleton College
deborah gross, Carleton College
Laura Rademacher, University of the Pacific
Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado
Karen Viskupic, Boise State University

Show Abstract »

In Spring 2021, twelve facilitators from the NAGT Traveling Workshop Program (TWP; organized a discussion pod as part of the Unlearning Racism in Geoscience program (URGE; The TWP has ~40 facilitators who conduct workshops for departments or faculty groups on topics such as Building Stronger Geoscience and Environmental Science Programs, Making Your Course More Effective and Societally Relevant, and Supporting the Success of All Students. URGE, sponsored by NSF and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, consisted of a 16-week curriculum of interviews, articles, and deliverables (i.e., anti-racism policies and strategies) for discussion in pods. While TWP facilitators previously had developed resources for teaching inclusively and supporting the whole student, the TWP pod identified a need for improved anti-racism policies, facilitators' content knowledge, and facilitation training. URGE topics were relevant for potential issues facilitators face during workshops, for example helping departments strategize policies and practices for collaborating successfully with minoritized communities. We used URGE discussion sessions and deliverables to revise how TWP facilitators plan and implement workshops at different types of institutions, provide resources on inclusion and equity to workshop participants, and encourage synergies across institutions that benefit marginalized students and faculty. Reviewing URGE deliverables created by other programs will help inform how TWs might support change in those programs. Some existing NAGT policies (i.e., the NAGT Activities Code of Conduct) satisfied the URGE deliverables for the TWP pod, but the pod also identified gaps. Two acute needs are to develop 1) a strategy to equitably and inclusively identify and train new facilitators, and 2) policies to sustainably share TWP leadership across the diverse group of facilitators. The TWP welcomes community input to make the TWP a full agent for helping the geosciences become anti-racist.