About this Project
The NSF-funded E-STEM project (Grant #1540559) was designed "to engage a diverse cohort of Environmental-STEM (E-STEM) at 4-year colleges and universities (4YCUs) and community colleges (2YCs) in hands-on career-applicable experiences that will launch students into the geoscience workforce." (Walker et al, 2015) Preparing a future workforce in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines is vital to the economic prosperity of our nation. In light of an aging geoscience workforce that exhibits a lack of ethnic diversity when compared with other STEM fields, the geoscience community must develop new models of mentorship for pre-career and early career personnel to build and sustain the skills, diversity, and size of the workforce. Existing STEM retention and diversity programs have recognized access to field and professional experiences as critical to helping students identify as scientists, form networks, and gain important skills necessary for employment in a variety of public and private sectors.
This project had three primary goals:
- Expand student awareness of traditional and nontraditional geoscience career options and the skills and content knowledge beneficial in preparing for these careers
- Facilitate student development of professional networks in the geoscience community prior to their transition to 4YCUs and/or the workforce
- Develop a system for documenting and archiving student career preparation and skills acquisition
Walker, B., Hall, S., and Schmidt, C., 2015, ESTEM Proposal Summary