Developing capacity to attract diverse students to the geosciences: A public relations framework

Monday 4:30pm-6:00pm SERC Building - Atrium | Poster #33
Poster Session Part of Monday Poster Session


Rachel Teasdale, California State University-Chico
Colin Ferguson, Butte College
Tom George, Pleasant Valley High School
Andrew Harp, Shasta College
Debra Johnson, California State University-Chico
Marc Kessler, Chico High School
Susan Riggins, California State University-Chico
The decreasing number of students graduating from Earth science programs combined with the lack of diversity in the geosciences plague the strength of academic departments and the professional workforce (1,2). Knowing that the exposure to, and interest in disciplinary areas are important factors in students' selecting a major and career path (3), it is critical that messages used to attract students to the Earth sciences are modern, thorough and accurate representations of the discipline. However, many websites and other student recruitment media incorporate traditional, stereotypical archetypes to advertise their Earth Science departments and programs. Such messages are outdated and do not reveal important ways the Earth sciences can contribute to solving societal problems such as our transition to alternative energies, addressing climate change, decarbonization, and sustainability agendas. To investigate the best ways of attracting students and helping to transform the Earth Science community, we have initiated a project to create an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional team to collaboratively investigate representations of the Earth sciences that attract diverse students. Our long-term goal is to recognize best practices in attracting students