Creating connections at sea - HBCUs and STEMSEAS
The STEMSEAS project aims to increase the number and diversity of undergraduate students who participate in scientific expeditions and enter the fields of Earth and ocean sciences. The STEMSEAS leadership team (Sharon Cooper at LDEO, Jon Lewis at IUP, Lisa White at UCMP, Shondricka Burrell at Morgan State) has a goal to meaningfully deepen relationships with HBCUs by building partnerships that enable more of their students to go to sea with support for faculty serving as expedition mentors. Toward this goal, we utilized NSF INCLUDES funding to implement a 9-day expedition on the R/V Neil Armstrong from Woods Hole, MA to Pensacola, FL January 2-11, 2023. During the expedition, the goals were to facilitate faculty experiencing the kinds of things students do aboard STEMSEAS expeditions, and to spend time collaborating with each other toward our greater goal of increasing diversity in the Earth and ocean sciences. The cruise aimed to strengthen connections between HBCUs and STEMSEAS, and the SuperGirls Shine Foundation (SGSF), which encourages minority girls in STEM fields in the Houston area. The goals including generate new opportunities to recruit students and faculty mentors for future STEMSEAS expeditions and related programs, as well as identify potential research and education collaborations amongst the group.
Overall, the cruise was most impactful in terms of enriching individual experiences and opening immersive and potentially transformative opportunities for HBCU students and faculty. These newly- forged collaborations will serve as a stepping-stone for the development of future projects. The team is committed to strengthening the HBCU-SGSF-STEMSEAS partnership by exploring funding opportunities from foundations and federal agencies, and working together. This presentation will share the collaborations and results to date, including additional opportunities for participants to become involved in these initiatives.