Undergraduate research projects help promote diversity in the geosciences

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Abstract

A workforce that draws from all segments of society and mirrors the ethnic, racial, and gender diversity of the United States population is important. The geosciences (geology, hydrology, geospatial sciences, environmental sciences) continue to lag far behind other science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) disciplines in recruiting and retaining minorities (Valsco and Valsco, 2010). A report published by the National Science Foundation in 2015, “Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering” states that from 2002 to 2012, less than 2% of the geoscience degrees were awarded to African-American students. Data also show that as of 2012, approximately 30% of African-American Ph.D. graduates obtained a bachelor’s degree from a Historic Black College or University (HBCU), indicating that HBCUs are a great source of diverse students for the geosciences. This paper reviews how an informal partnership between Tennessee State University (a HBCU), the U.S. Geological Survey, and Mammoth Cave National Park engaged students in scientific research and increased the number of students pursuing employment or graduate degrees in the geosciences.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Undergraduate research projects help promote diversity in the geosciences
Year Published 2016
Language English
Contributing office(s) Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center
Description 6 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Proceedings for Celebrating the Diversity of Research in the Mammoth Cave Region: 11th Research Symposium at Mammoth Cave National Park
First page 108
Last page 113