Document Type

Open Educational Resource



Publication Date



American Society for Engineering Education


Washington, DC


The United States needs a diverse scientific workforce in order to tap fresh thinking and talent needed to advance the country’s competitive edge and economic well-being. This is particularly true in the geoscience fields, where women and people of color have been underrepresented for decades. Geoscience expertise is crucial to weather forecasting, sea commerce, air safety, protecting communities from wildfires and many other applications.

The National Science Foundation’s Geoscience Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity, which ran from 2016 to 2019, sought ways to improve diversity, inclusion and equity in the geosciences. Its five projects took different approaches, but all faced common challenges as they developed model activities to guide the diversification of the geosciences. One key challenge was the widespread belief among geoscience faculty that “science is science”, and that the question of who gets to practice geoscience is answered using the scientific method. The key lesson learned was that greater levels of diversity, equity and inclusion in the geosciences will not happen unless the time and effort spent diversifying the geosciences counts for tenure and promotion. Any institution wishing to recruit and retain top talent will find its efforts thwarted unless it creates an environment in which its champions for greater diversity in the geosciences can pursue diversity, equity and inclusion work and thrive professionally.



Publication Statement

ASEE would like to acknowledge many contributors to this publication. Grantees from two Geoscience Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity (GOLD) projects provided the substance on which this publication is based. Rebecca Batchelor, Robert Kirsch, Brenee King, Sennai Habtes and John Crockett wrote Chapter 2. Jason A. Chen, Anna Strasshoffer, Brian J. Teppen, Jerlando F.L Jackson, Dena Samuels and Carolyn Brinksworth wrote Chapter 3. We are also grateful to Carolyn Brinkworth, Grady Dixon, Darrin Pagnac, and Corey Garza for their input in the early ideation of this publication. The following ASEE staffers made contributions: Kacey Beddoes, Learning and Instruction Specialist, drafted the initial outline and wrote the introduction chapter. Eric Wallace, Senior Project Manager, served as managing editor, overseeing the publication process. Rocio C. Chavela Guerra, Director of Education and Career Development, served as project director. Mark Matthews, Editorial Director, and Mary Lord, Deputy Editor, edited and proofread the document. Francis Igot, Senior Graphic Designer, designed the cover and layout.