AGU LANDInG to encourage and support diversity, equity and inclusion leaders in geoscience

AGU’s Diversity, Ethics and Inclusion program is launching a new initiative in 2021 to help improve diversity within the geosciences, as well as support more inclusive environments in the broader science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. To fully catalyze solutions to scientific and societal challenges, a diverse and inclusive scientific culture must exist.

AGU LANDInG (Leadership Academy and Network for Diversity and Inclusion in the Geosciences-Research Coordination Network) will cultivate and elevate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) champions within the geosciences to drive the culture shift.

Led by AGU and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, AGU LANDInG will develop a sustainable network of leaders to champion DEI values and practices. By providing learning and professional development opportunities for geoscientists, faculty members and academic leaders, this new program will both encourage greater DEI efforts and broaden participation across geoscience disciplines.

In partnership with other geoscience societies, including the Geological Society of America and the American Meteorological Society, AGU LANDInG will:

  1. Implement an open access, virtual platform of resources to support a broad community of DEI champions in both industry and academia, which will develop into a thriving community of practice (CoP).
  2. Develop and implement a two-year, cohort-based program for professional development in DEI leadership within the geosciences.
  3. Create opportunities for DEI champions to have direct experience leading DEI initiatives. Within the CoP network, DEI champions will learn and be able to join DEI efforts across professional societies.
  4. Raise the visibility and recognition of DEI leadership in the geosciences.

Geoscience is the least racially and ethnically diverse of all STEM fields. Women remain underrepresented in geoscience professions even though 40% of undergraduate and graduate students identify as women. Less than 1% of physical science majors are people with disabilities, and this proportion is significantly lower than all other majors except mathematics. Advanced degrees are not the only indication of one’s success in the Earth and space sciences, yet AGU recognizes that we can and should do better than having only 15% of geoscience doctorates awarded to people of color. Until diversity is a fundamental feature of scientific excellence, the lack of an equitable, inclusive geoscience community will hamper scientific innovation and discovery.

Developing this equitable and inclusive environment in the geosciences requires a cultural shift, and leaders play a critical role, particularly in the workplace. AGU LANDInG will foster new collaborations that focus on practices related to the recognition and value that diversity leaders and their activities bring to institutions. The LANDInG Project will prepare and empower geoscientists to become agents of lasting institutional and societal change.

Ultimately, AGU LANDInG will provide annual cohorts of champions with resources, professional development and mentoring to develop equitable, inclusive and welcoming environments across all scientific disciplines.

Steering committee members

Billy Williams, Principal investigator; Project executive director; AGU senior vice president, ethics, diversity, and inclusion

Margaret Fraiser, Co-principal investigator; Project director; Assessment team member; AGU director, diversity and inclusion

Pranoti Asher, Co-principal investigator; Leadership development program director; Assessment team member; AGU assistant director, grants and education programs

Stephanie Goodwin, Co-principal investigator; DEI science program director; Assessment team lead

Corey Garza, Senior personnel; Network development team; Professor in the Department of Marine Science at California State University, Monterey Bay

Kuheli Dutt, Senior personnel; Network leadership development team; Assistant Director for Academic Affairs & Diversity, ‎Columbia University

Erika Marin-Spiotta, Senior personnel; Network development team; Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Brooks Hanson, Senior personnel; Geoscience DEI scholar; AGU executive vice president, science 

Advisory board members

Estella Atekwana, dean, College of Earth & Environment, University of Delaware

Stephanie Armstrong, associate executive director, American Meteorological Society (AMS)

Diana Bilimoria, professor & chair, Department of Organizational Behavior, School of Management, Case Western Reserve University

Anna Branch, vice chancellor for diversity, inclusion and community engagement, professor of sociology, Rutgers University

Jill Karsten, NSF-Retired program director, education & diversity

Kelly Mack, Executive Director, Project Kaleidoscope; and Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education, Association of American Colleges and Universities

Catalina Martinez, regional program manager, NOAA; certified diversity professional 

Pedro Marenco, associate professor geosciences, Bryn Mawr College; Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Paleontological Society

Vicki McConnell, executive director, Geological Society of America

Heather Metcalf, Director of Research and Constituent Relations, Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN)

Mark Moldwin, professor, climate & space sciences, engineering & applied physics, University of Michigan, AGU Education Section president

Kendall Moore, professor, University of Rhode Island; DEI filmmaker

Vernon Morris, professor, Arizona State University, AGU Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee member

LaToya Myles, NOAA deputy director, Co-principal investigator, NSF GOLD Project

Julie Posselt, Associate Professor, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California

Denise Sekaquaptewa, professor of psychology, University of Michigan; ADVANCE STRIDE Committee

Lisa White, director, education and outreach, University of California Berkeley Museum of Paleontology, AGU Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee chair, Board of National Association of Black Geoscientists

This project is funded by National Science Foundation grant ICER-2036823.


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