Diversity and Inclusion Inventory

Inventory of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts at the Jackson School

Version 1.0, July 27, 2020

Index

Abbreviations

AGU: American Geophysical Union
ACC: Austin Community College
CDEP: Cooperative Developmental Energy Program
DEI: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
FVSU: Fort Valley State University
GSA: Geological Society of America
HBCU: Historically Black College/University
HHMI: Howard Hughes Medical Institute
MSEA: Math, Science, and Engineering Academy (partnership with GeoFORCE)
NSF: National Science Foundation
REU: Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF or HHMI)
SACNAS: Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science
URM: Under-Represented Minority(ies)

About this Document

This inventory of current DEI activities and efforts at the Jackson School was assembled via (1) responses to a solicitation for information emailed to the JSG community by Dean Mora on July 11, 2020 and (2) desk research and a review of online information carried out the Dean, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Science Y’All and the Writer in Residence. It is a snapshot of what is happening right now, and to the extent that activities inevitably evolve, it must be considered a working document. If you know of activities that should be on this list but are not, or if you would like to adjust the way an activity is described or represented, please contact bigr@jsg.utexas.edu. You can also suggest changes and make comments in the editable Draft for Comment that has been made available via email.

  1. Curriculum Efforts 3
    GEO371T/391 Broader Impacts: Designing and Communicating for Consequential Science 3
    GEO371T/391 Curiosity to Question: Research Design, Data Analysis and Visualization 4
    GEO302E Texas OnRamps: Earth, Wind, and Fire: Introduction to Geoscience 4
  1. Recruitment and Development of Scholars 5
    GeoFORCE 5
    Environmental Science Institute Scientist in Residence 5
    FVSU CDEP Dual Degree Program Partnership 5
    GeoSTEM Math and Science Institute (via GeoFORCE) 5
    Geo-VISION 6
    Invited Talks to Build Professional Opportunities for Diverse Scientists 6
    Jackson Scholars 6
    JSG Enhancing Diversity in Geoscience Graduate Education (JSG EDGE) 7
    NAGT Traveling Workshop Program 7
    NSF GeoPaths Impact Career Development 7
    Math Readiness Support 7
    Program to Streamline Recruiting and Admission with ACC 7
    Recruiting Scholarships 8
    SACNAS Participation 8
    Scholar-Athlete Sessions 8
    STEMFORCE (via GeoFORCE) 8
    In Development 8
    AGU Bridge Program Proposal 8
    CBL Program Proposal: Scholarship Program for Women in STEM (in preparation) 9
    GEO-ASCEND (submitted) 9
    NSF-INCLUDES Alliances Pre-proposal 9
    Program to Streamline Recruiting and Admission with Collin College 9
    Training of Diversity Champions (submitted) 9
  1. Communications and Outreach 10
    Career Chats 10
    DeFord Lecture Series 10
    Environmental Science Institute: Hot Science – Cool Talks 10
    Geoscience Ambassadors 10
    Science Y’all 11
  1. Undergraduate Research 11
    ESI: Mitchell Foundation Summer Research Fellows 11
    FVSU/JSG REU Partnership 11
    HeLIO (Helium Latinx Internship and Outreach) Program 12
    International Research Experiences for Students (NSF-IRES) 12
    RTX: Research Traineeship Experience (part of Geo-VISION 2020) 12
    Summer Interdisciplinary REU (part of the HHMI grant) 12
    In Development 12
    Environmental Science Institute NSF REU Program (in development for 2021) 12
    NSF Rules of Life Call (submitted) 13
  2. Community and Culture 13
    Geosciences Empowerment Network (GEN) 13
    Geosciences Leadership Organization for Women (GLOW) 13
    Graduate Student Executive Committee (GSEC) 14
    JSG Diversity and Inclusion Committee 14
    JSG Broader Impacts of Geoscience Research (BIGR) Office 15
    JSG Workplace Expectations Document 15
    National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) Curriculum Diversity Workshop 15
    Undergraduate Geological Society (UGS) 16
    UTIG Code of Conduct Committee 16
    In Development 17
    Community of Scholars for Graduate and Undergraduate Students 17
    Diversity as it Relates to the Geosciences Talks 17
    GeoLatinas 17

1. Curriculum Efforts

GEO371T/391 Broader Impacts: Designing and Communicating for Consequential Science

First offered Spring 2020, this course carries writing, ethics and independent inquiry flags. The course asks students to reflect upon their science, their day-to-day scientific practice, and their scholarly identity in broader social and ethical contexts. The course uses readings, case studies and an inquiry and design process to enable students to learn about, take positions on and act on issues of equity and justice as related to science. Students are empowered with frameworks and methods for better understanding, measuring and communicating about (DEI) issues, and for designing for change through multiple aspects of their scholarly practice, including mentorship, teaching, research and communication. The overall course design–which emphasizes interest-driven inquiry, mixes disciplines, links grads and undergrads, and makes discussions of peer support and mentorship an explicit part of the curriculum–is an adaptation of the Curiosity to Question model we have developed at JSG via Julia Clarke’s HHMI grant.

GEO371T/391 Curiosity to Question: Research Design, Data Analysis and Visualization

This course has been taught each spring since 2015 and carries writing and inquiry flags. It is a “keystone” course at UT that: 1) establishes a tiered mentorship framework for entering minority and first generation students; 2) focuses on creating a supported context for open-ended inquiry while 3) simultaneously providing graduate students and postdoctoral fellows training in, and a native context for, learning research mentorship skills; 4) enhances scalability and idea transfer through integration with other existing programs and summer interdisciplinary REU with focused recruitment of underrepresented groups; and 5) links to the Geoscience Ambassadors program that empowers and trains undergraduate and graduate students as Ambassadors to present their research and experience in their home communities in Texas. The course is part of an HHMI project focused on retention and preparation of minority and first-generation students for research.

GEO302E Texas OnRamps: Earth, Wind, and Fire: Introduction to Geoscience

This is the largest earth science course on campus and its enrollment reflects the diversity of Texas students. Over 1200 Texas high school students took the course in 2019-2020, including 57% who self identified as Hispanic and 13% who self identified as Black. This is more than twice the proportions of minority enrollment at UT Austin. For most, this was their first rigorous exposure to the wide world of geosciences and we hope to inspire and attract students to study Earth sciences in the future.  Key goals of UT’s OnRamps dual-enrollment program are to improve future college success rates by showing all students they can succeed in challenging courses, and to make college a little more affordable through college credit at little to no direct cost to students.  One initiative that we hope to implement starting in Fall 2020 is having both undergraduate and graduate students work with individual OnRamps classrooms and serve as geoscience role models and mentors. Undergraduate and graduate students at JSG can also become involved in the program as a course grader or via course enhancement and outreach objectives (e.g., see this Science Y’all post on the Perspectives in Geoscience video series)

2. Recruitment and Development of Scholars

GeoFORCE

GeoFORCE is JSG’s signature diversity and outreach bridge program. Started in 2005, it is designed to increase the number and diversity of students pursuing STEM degrees and careers, particularly in the geosciences. The program offers summer field academies, led by researchers and staff from all units of JSG, which introduce students, hands-on, to the wonder of geology and earth processes. It is supported by sponsoring companies in the energy industry, JSG donors, and grants.  The program publishes the GeoFORCE monthly newsletter and has produced a variety of collaborative efforts including GeoFORCE Alaska, GeoFORCE Bahamas, Gear-UP, Subiendo, Latinitas, UT Outreach, and GeoFORCE Colorado (in development). Related JSG DEI programs include GeoSTEM Math and Science Institute and STEMFORCE.

Environmental Science Institute Scientist in Residence

The Environmental Science Institute (ESI) is supported by The University of Texas at Austin Office of the Provost, the Jackson School of Geosciences, and the College of Natural Sciences. The Scientist in Residence program has been active since 2002 and partners STEM graduate students with K-12 teachers via regular classroom visits. The majority of participating schools are Title 1.

FVSU CDEP Dual Degree Program Partnership

Through the FVSU CDEP Dual Degree Program Partnership, an initiative of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, six FVSU students earned a BS in Geology at JSG (between 2010-2013) after completing their first degree at FVSU in three years.

GeoSTEM Math and Science Institute (via GeoFORCE)

The GeoSTEM Math and Science Institute is a 5-10 day intensive learning experience for incoming college students to prepare for the rigor and style of college courses. The bridge program is for STEM majors attending any university and involves math and chemistry instruction facilitated by UT Austin faculty and instructors, teaching assistants and Peer Learning Assistants who act as near-peer mentors that support student learning and provide them guidance for their transition to college. Geoscience material and fieldwork (virtual or in-person) is incorporated to highlight and practice applications of math and chemistry.

Geo-VISION

Geosciences Visualization, Imaging and Simulation in Online Networks (Geo-VISION) is a research traineeship experience for diverse undergraduates and recent graduates from universities across the country to become versed in the language, tools and research applications of computation in the geosciences such that they are prepared to pursue graduate degrees and professional positions with a unique skill set and perspective. Students are mentored by JSG faculty, research scientists, graduate students over 8 weeks through training modules, workshops and guided independent research projects. There are a number of ways for faculty and staff to be involved at a level of time commitments, including hosting students in research group meetings or acting as a primary research mentor. The Research Traineeship Experience (RTX) at JSG is part of Geo-VISION 2020.

Invited Talks to Build Professional Opportunities for Diverse Scientists

An initiative of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, six diverse PhDs and doctoral candidates were invited to talk and establish research collaborations at JSG in the last year and a half. The goal is to help the development of diverse geoscience faculty and research scientists and show them the postdoc opportunities they have at JSG in the future.

Jackson Scholars

Jackson Scholars is a learning and engagement initiative designed to foster and recognize achievement in scientific and community leadership. A primary goal of the program is to develop scholars by enhancing their university experience through engagement in student-tailored combinations of geoscience-related scholarship, outreach and service. Students who complete the Jackson Scholars Program will develop leadership, professional and community service skills, a diverse portfolio of accomplishments to present to prospective employers, and receive special acknowledgement at graduation.  We strive to help students get more from their education than what classes alone can teach. We look for participants from diverse backgrounds and life experiences who will contribute to building a community of peers, support each other, and who can benefit most from support and activities.  We hope that this program enhances diversity, equity and inclusion by providing structure, guidance and unique opportunities to participants.

JSG Enhancing Diversity in Geoscience Graduate Education (JSG EDGE)

An initiative of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, this is a graduate school preview weekend at JSG that connects underrepresented US citizens and permanent residents with JSG faculty and research scientists with similar research interests. More than 30 potential candidates have participated in EDGE over the two years of its existence, with two students admitted and accepted in the first cohort and five in the second.

NAGT Traveling Workshop Program

NAGT offers a variety of workshops at HBCUs, including some with an emphasis on DEI (curriculum and facilitation). JSG staff participate as instructors from these workshops.

NSF GeoPaths Impact Career Development

NSF GeoPaths has provided a variety of Career Development activities at Geological Society of America (GSA) to On to the Future (OTF) participants that are recruited from underrepresented communities.  Faculty volunteers can serve as mentors for OTF participants at these activities at annual GSA meetings.

Math Readiness Support

The department has changed from a calculus-readiness requirement for undergraduate students to a math-readiness requirement. The goal is to address a serious bias against students coming from schools that do not have advanced mathematics instruction. Nationally, only 48% of high schools offer calculus, only 43% offer it in Texas, and students of color are more likely to attend schools without calculus (see The Years That Matter Most by Paul Tough for more). For students that are admitted under the readiness guidelines, JSG will provide math programming over the summer, help them register as cohorts in dedicated sections of fall math courses, and provide opportunities for them to practice math skills in specific Geoscience contexts.

Program to Streamline Recruiting and Admission with ACC

The department is working to streamline recruiting and admission of transfer students from ACC after their first two years, and to forge peer-learning communities between ACC students and UT students starting in the freshman year. The department has recruited the first student, but is seeking funding to expand the program.  Scholarships will be required to allow students to fully engage in peer-learning opportunities. The program is seeking support via NSF S-STEM.

Recruiting Scholarships

We have endowed accounts dedicated to providing recruiting scholarships of $10,000 for undergraduates and fellowships for graduate students. The scholarships/fellowships are valuable in helping us recruit students who enhance the diversity of our student cohorts with respect to gender, ethnicity, geographic origin, socioeconomic status, first-generation college student status, GeoFORCE participant status, and many other criteria.

SACNAS Participation

JSG’s Office of Outreach and Diversity has been a SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) participant for the past two years and plans to participate in the virtual SACNAS conference as recruiters and conference presenters.

Scholar-Athlete Sessions

This is a collaborative effort with University of Illinois colleagues Dr. Bruce Fouke and Dr. Joe Cross to increase geoscience awareness among youth athletes. Student-athletes opt-in to sessions during their visits to campus each summer for athletics camps. The goal is to teach them how geoscience relates to them.

STEMFORCE (via GeoFORCE)

Funded through Summer Learning Hub (2020 = Soochs Family Foundation). This is the 12th grade GeoFORCE academy offered to diverse students in and around Austin. It is a new partnership with UT Outreach to build contacts in the area and help streamline recruiting.

In Development

AGU Bridge Program Proposal

The AGU Bridge Program is aimed at increasing the presence of underrepresented students in geoscience graduate programs by creating a cohort of universities to develop, adopt, and share inclusive practices for recruiting, admitting and retaining women and underrepresented students.

CBL Program Proposal: Scholarship Program for Women in STEM (in preparation)

Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Program provides private support for women in science, mathematics and engineering in Higher Education in the United States. Mary Poteet is collaborating with lead Robert Reichle on UT’s proposal for a scholarship program for high-performing women in the Geosciences and other STEM disciplines.

GEO-ASCEND (submitted)

Geosciences Associated Societies Committed to Embracing and Normalizing Diversity Research Coordination Network (Geosciences ASCEND RCN) proposal has been submitted to NSF GOLD-EN RCN with GSA, U. Arkansas.

Contact: Dr. Katherine Ellins

NSF-INCLUDES Alliances Pre-proposal

This proposal aims to build a full pipeline of URM students to careers in geospatial science through combined outreach, training, and research internships. Pre-proposal submitted for internal UT competition. Submission planned in October.

Program to Streamline Recruiting and Admission with Collin College

Similar to the department’s effort with ACC, this proposed collaboration with Collin College in McKinney, Texas will be focused on recruiting for environmental science, particularly water-related issues.  Because of the distance involved, the joint engagement of students will be structured differently than with ACC.

Training of Diversity Champions (submitted)

This proposal aims to create curriculum for training of faculty/research scientists to become Diversity Champions. They will be supported for a year-long training and mentorship of URM undergraduate students. Student cohort support and professional development is also provided. Proposal pending at NSF-GOLD-EN (EAGER).

3. Communications and Outreach

Career Chats

This activity began with the idea that GeoFORCE students may not know what they can be “when they grow up” with a geoscience degree. Recordings are made of JSG staff and alumni (FANS network) speaking about their career. The brief videos will be made available to parents and participants of GeoFORCE online, through the GeoFORCE Monthly newsletter and more broadly for recruiting beyond GeoFORCE.

DeFord Lecture Series

The DeFord Lecture committee is setting a ‘20-’21 schedule that is replete with speakers of diverse race, ethnicity and gender. The majority of speaker nominations will emphasize this.

Environmental Science Institute: Hot Science – Cool Talks

The Environmental Science Institute is supported by The University of Texas at Austin Office of the Provost, the Jackson School of Geosciences, and the College of Natural Sciences. The Hot Science-Cool Talks series has been organized since 1999. This community STEM engagement series has featured Environmental Justice events, for example: Environmental Justice: Progress Towards Sustainability. ESI has posted a Statement on Racial Equity and Environmental Science.

Geoscience Ambassadors

This program was initiated as part of a HHMI grant focused on recruitment and retention of undergrads and grads through communication and community building. In the last two years, students have reached more than 1500 people in community public schools through their projects. Ambassadors participate in 2.5-hour meetups throughout the academic year, during which they reflect upon and explore their unique pathways into the geosciences in a supportive environment, learn interviewing techniques that they use to better understand their community, hone communication and storytelling skills to make them effective ambassadors for the geosciences, and showcase and critique each other’s outreach products. Outreach products include designing and implementing a learning/engagement activity, which Ambassadors deliver at three venues in their chosen community. They also create a five-minute personal story video and a written profile.  Products are posted to the project’s website. Videos and other products can be used in classroom settings. This program pays a $500 stipend to involved students. The funded HHMI project will end in 2 years.

Science Y’all

The official student blog of the Jackson School of Geosciences has served as a platform for voicing student perspectives, concerns and action related to diversity, equity and inclusion since its inception in 2016.  Science Y’all has had a clear impact on national discourse around DEI in the Geosciences; the frequently-cited Nature Geoscience Commentary piece No Progress in 40 Years by Bernard and Cooperdock, for instance, began as a Science Y’all piece called Who Gets Geology PhDs? that went viral on social media the year it was published.  A number of other pieces have dealt explicitly with issues of DEI, for example this piece on SACNAS and this recent piece on #ShutDownSTEM.  Science Y’all is a platform that JSG students can use to speak to broad audiences and establish equity and justice-minded scholarly identities.  JSG students have presented on the impact of Science Y’all at the Goldschmidt conference.

4. Undergraduate Research

ESI: Mitchell Foundation Summer Research Fellows

The Environmental Science Institute is supported by The University of Texas at Austin Office of the Provost, the Jackson School of Geosciences, and the College of Natural Sciences. Mitchell Foundation summer research fellows include undergraduates from UT Rio Grande Valley and other schools that undertake remote research experiences with UT-Austin faculty.

FVSU/JSG REU Partnership

An initiative of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the FVSU/JSG REU partnership has resulted in 14 REU visits since 2013 to work with JSG and JSG-affiliated researchers at TACC (Texas Advanced Computing Center). The students come as a cohort of two each year for support.

HeLIO (Helium Latinx Internship and Outreach) Program

HeLIO is an internship and outreach program for Latinx undergraduate students in Tectonics and Geo- and Thermochronometry at the University of Texas at Austin. The goal of the HeLIO program is to offer exposure, training, and research opportunities for American Latinx students through summer internships at the UTChron Laboratory. These summer HeLIO internships are 2-3 months in length and provide travel costs, on-campus accommodation, and monthly stipend as well as field and laboratory research experience and training. Laboratory and field training is supplemented by short courses. Each student also has a graduate student or postdoc mentor assigned during the internship.

International Research Experiences for Students (NSF-IRES)

The NSF International Research Experiences for Students program supports geological field-based research and training experiences across Slovakia for URM undergraduate and graduate students. The program has been run twice.

RTX: Research Traineeship Experience (part of Geo-VISION 2020)

The research traineeship experience (RTX) at the JSG prepares undergraduate students from groups underrepresented in STEM with geo-computational skills for graduate school. The summer 2020 RTX will be remote with the theme Geo-VISION: Geosciences Visualization, Imaging and Simulation in Online Networks.

Summer Interdisciplinary REU (part of the HHMI grant)

This summer REU has one year of cohort experience from last summer. All five participant students were from underrepresented groups. After doing joint research with a collaborative group in a related field (genome evolution), students presented their research findings, visited diverse labs, and met with the graduate program advisor at Harvard.

In Development

Environmental Science Institute NSF REU Program (in development for 2021)

The Environmental Science Institute is supported by The University of Texas at Austin Office of the Provost, the Jackson School of Geosciences, and the College of Natural Sciences. Undergraduates from across the country have joined faculty research groups during the summer from 2005-2019, with a focus on URM students. A new proposal is being prepared for August submission and will focus on the recruitment of URM students.

NSF Rules of Life Call (submitted)

As part of the broader impacts for this grant, Julia Clarke has requested funding to extend the Jackson School’s partnership with HBCU FVSU (that is currently unfunded) to include work in interdisciplinary science in the Jackson School. Funding is requested for two years of summer visits to labs in JSG and Bio (ten students per visit) and two years of REUs in JSG (one student per year). This proposal also includes partnerships with an array of international organizations including PBS digital studios around a new “Amplifying Diverse Voices” citizen science campaign that puts out a world-wide call for records on underrepresented avian voices – typically females, juveniles and non-song learning species – as well as profiling underrepresented voices in ornithology all year long.

5. Community and Culture

Geosciences Empowerment Network (GEN)

The Geoscience Empowerment Network (GEN) is a JSG-sponsored organization dedicated to achieving equity at the Jackson School among its students, faculty, researchers and staff members and creating an inclusive community throughout the school.  This is accomplished in many ways including mentorship, community building, professional and personal development, advocating for change, and promoting diverse voices in geoscience. GEN’s goal is to build a community that enables the Jackson School to mirror the diversity found in the State of Texas population so that our alumni can then foster a more inclusive geosciences community across the nation. GEN has compiled DEI resources as they relate to geoscience, STEM, teaching/mentoring, and beyond.

Geosciences Leadership Organization for Women (GLOW)

The Geosciences Leadership Organization for Women (GLOW) is a group within JSG that promotes leadership, outreach, and community within Earth sciences, impacting all members of the geoscience community. It was created by undergraduate students to encourage people at all levels across JSG to work together to improve retention of women in the array of geoscience careers (e.g. industry, academia) as well as increase the rates of young women and girls in primary schools considering science as an option of future education and careers. GLOW performs K-12 outreach activities at schools (e.g., the Ann Richards School, UT, and local primary education schools) and with regional groups (e.g., YMCA and Girl Scouts), using fun and educational demonstrations and activities to teach the girls more about the earth. GLOW also fosters a strong sense of community, breaking the boundaries between ‘classes’ of geologists, and hosting events to bring all levels of scientists together.

Graduate Student Executive Committee (GSEC)

GSEC is the principal organization that represents graduate students within JSG. It aims to represent the voices of all graduate students to the faculty and staff and organizes community and social activities for the graduate students and other JSG student organizations to foster a greater Jackson School community. Starting this summer and continuing into the year, GSEC will hold more diversity and inclusion training for graduate students and make DEI resources visible. We will have discussion-based meetings focused on DEI in academia to educate ourselves and ensure there are spaces for underrepresented students to share their perspectives. GSEC wants all graduate students to feel included in its activities and commits to improving the community climate. We welcome input from the graduate students, faculty, and others as to how we can best serve the graduate community. Action items for Summer/Fall 2020 include: (1) Consider best approaches to sharing our annual grad student survey with the JSG community; (2) Appoint a GSEC diversity liaison to be the point of contact and responsible for the dissemination of DEI information at JSG to GSEC members; (3) Monthly moderated group meetings about diversity, race, and racism in STEM, geosciences, and academia for graduate students. We will have a paper/article/podcast as our basis of discussion, however, this will also be a space for graduate students to share their stories, ask questions, and reflect. (4) Collaborate with other graduate student organizations in creating support groups for STEM students. (5) Continue to work with others in JSG to compile resources for graduate students with the JSG leadership, making sure to include resources for underrepresented minorities, LGBTQ+, and mental health, and making these resources are visible and accessible. (6) Continue promoting safe social events for the JSG community and discussions with the administration.

JSG Diversity and Inclusion Committee

JSG’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee was formed in 2016. The committee is charged with developing plans to assess the state of diversity and inclusion locally, and include recommendations to improve diversity and inclusion for their faculty, staff and students. The D&I Committee leads efforts to monitor and champion diversity and inclusion efforts throughout the school. Initiatives of the D&I Committee include: FVSU CDEP Dual Degree Program Partnership, SACNAS Participation, FVSU/JSG REU partnership, Community of Scholars for graduate and undergraduate students, National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) Curriculum Diversity Workshop, Diversity as it relates to the Geosciences talks.

JSG Broader Impacts of Geoscience Research (BIGR) Office

The Office of Broader Impacts of Geoscience Research (BIGR) was created to develop and sustain an integrated program of broader impacts of geoscience research. BIGR will assist faculty, research scientists, students, alumni and staff with broader impacts and use broader impacts to increase and sustain diversity, equity and inclusion in JSG. BIGR Services include: (1) Assist faculty and research scientists with broader impacts requirements for research proposals by advising them of ways to integrate their efforts with current programs or by developing new initiatives. (2) Assist student organizations with broader impacts initiatives. (3) Assist the Office of Communication with increasing dissemination of research important to society to increase public understanding and awareness of geosciences. (4) Assist JSG leadership with broadening participation at the staff, undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, research scientist, and faculty level.

JSG Workplace Expectations Document

The JSG has published guidelines and expectations for workplace behavior and interactions which embody the best practices to be used by faculty, research scientists, staff, teaching and research assistants. They are intended to provide a heightened awareness of the need to consciously establish a respectful, equitable, flexible, encouraging and intellectually stimulating environment free of harassment, and as a reminder that effective and productive relationships start with trust, courtesy, two-way communications, shared expectations, and sensitivity to power imbalances. All members of the JSG are expected to periodically review and sign as a commitment to the workplace expectations.

National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) Curriculum Diversity Workshop

In Fall 2020, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee is hosting a workshop by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) on Curriculum Diversity. The workshop prepares the next generation of geoscience faculty, current graduate students, to be leaders in their future departments. Future faculty will learn about curriculums that attract diverse learners to geoscience and unconscious exclusions that they may make in the outcomes they detail for their courses. Gaining an awareness of the areas of exclusion will create an opportunity to provide inclusive content that will increase the attractiveness of the curriculum and the major to populations underrepresented in the geosciences.

Undergraduate Geological Society (UGS)

The Undergraduate Geological Society (UGS) is a student-run organization within the Jackson School that seeks to provide a means of academic, social, and professional unification amongst undergraduate geology students. UGS offers an engaging speaker series, social events, as well as volunteer and fundraising opportunities. Our speaker series consists primarily of presentations from professors, research faculty, and graduate students within the Jackson School in addition to external industry speakers. Through our speaker series we strive to engage undergraduate students in the fascinating research and opportunities that are available when one pursues geosciences. UGS provides a platform for undergraduate geology students to exchange ideas with their peers and researchers within the Jackson School and the community. All undergraduate students are welcome, and encouraged, to join the UGS community.

UTIG Code of Conduct Committee

A committee composed of UTIG (UT Institute for Geophysics) members representing all areas of the institute, and spanning all ranks, is charged with developing a formal Code of Conduct focused on field and expedition science that will complement the Jackson School’s Workplace Guidelines. Implicit bias, bullying, sexual harassment, cultural insensitivity, and other problems remain common experiences in the geosciences – whether in the classroom, in the laboratory and office, or in the field – and their impacts can be amplified on expeditions where they are often superimposed on challenging environmental factors and in remote regions where the institutional resources to address them are not immediately at hand. The establishment of such a Code will unify our community in the understanding that workplace problems remain across our science community and in all of our work environments, and that the status quo contributes to a loss of retention in the geosciences and an ongoing barrier to diversity. Addressing these issues directly is essential to the long-term health of our discipline and all its practitioners.  An important second objective for the committee will be to evaluate and choose the best way to provide Bystander Intervention Training (including training the trainer). While students are the first priority, especially those planning to do fieldwork, we plan on including other members of the JSG community in this training as resources allow.  These activities are supported by a UTIG Blue Sky funding award.

In Development

Community of Scholars for Graduate and Undergraduate Students

A collaborative initiative between the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the JSG Director of Outreach, and the newly formed JSG Broader Impacts of Geoscience Research integrated program to bring different diverse graduate and undergraduate student populations together. It is modeled after the University of Minnesota’s Community of Scholars.

Diversity as it Relates to the Geosciences Talks

Dr. Samuel Moore will present a series of talks from all of the UT Diversity and Inclusion officers. This is a collaborative initiative with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

GeoLatinas

JSG graduate students have established a local chapter of GeoLatinas, a large and impactful organization with the mission to  empower, embrace, and inspire Latinas to thrive in careers in geoscience. The chapter will focus on: professional development and networking, distribution of information on education and job opportunities for Latin Americans in Geosciences and Planetary Sciences, creation of spaces to speak about challenges and personal experiences, support and collaboration for increasing diversity, and increasing sense of belonging and building community to learn about and celebrate Latin American culture.