Focus Group 4: Geoscience Education Research on Broadening Participation in the Geoscience Workforce

August 9-11, 2015

At this meeting, we focus on opportunities to engage geoscience education researchers in addressing enduring questions about the recruitment, retention, education, and workforce preparation of underrepresented students. What is currently known about the preparation of underrepresented minority students (URMs), particularly those at 2YCs and MSIs, for the geoscience workforce? What future work is needed to better understand the pathways and preparation of these students for the workforce? What work is needed to identify and disseminate "successful" interventions? What are potential barriers to conducting research at 2YCs and MSIs, and how might these barriers be overcome?

Topics to be Addressed

1. Current State

  • What are the gaps in the existing research related to recruitment/retention of students that are URM in the geosciences? (ex. longitudinal studies of recruitment/retention, studies of culturally-responsive curriculum, meta-analysis of successful programs, etc.)
  • What are the barriers to doing trustworthy and culturally-appropriate research with 2YCs/MSIs and URM students?

2. Desired State

  • What does the GER community need to better engage in research on participation of students that are URM in the geosciences?
  • What are the mechanisms to promote a greater quantity and quality of research on these issues?
  • How can research inform activities to improve participation of students URM in the geosciences?

3. Closing the Gap

  • How do 2YCs/MSIs and URM students benefit from participation in research?
  • What resources are needed to strengthen and expand research on participation in the geosciences?

4. Pulling it Together: A Model for GER on Broadening Participation in the Geoscience Workforce

  • What steps are needed to implement a coherent research agenda on URM participation in the geoscience workforce that benefits researchers, 2YC/MSI institutions, and research participants?