Here we report on five pilot projects working to develop effective professional development aimed at improving diversity, equity, and inclusion within the geosciences. All five projects were funded by the NSF GEO Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity (GOLD) program, which was designed to bring together geoscientists and social scientists to create innovative pilot programs for preparing and empowering geoscientists as change agents for increasing diversity. Each project has different objectives and applies different combinations of methods, but focuses on professional development, bystander intervention training, and the formation of new networks in the pursuit of systemic, institutional change. This article describes the origins, aims, and activities of these projects, and reflects on lessons learned to date. These projects are still ongoing, but in their first two years they have received more interest than anticipated and more demand than can be fulfilled, suggesting an unserved need in the field. We have also found that teams with varied backgrounds, experiences, and expertise are vital to overcoming common struggles in facing inequalities. Coaching from experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion keeps the teams motivated, particularly when many team members are accustomed to typical scientific research. Finally, institutional change requires time to catalyze, develop, and institutionalize, highlighting the importance of sustained effort over years.
Journal of Geoscience Education
Posselt, J. R., Chen, J. A., Dixon, P. G., Jackson, J. F. L., Kirsch, R., Nuñez, A.-M., & Teppen, B. J. (2019). Advancing inclusion in the geosciences: An overview of the NSF-GOLD program. Journal of Geoscience Education, 67(4), 313-319. https://doi.org/10.1080/10899995.2019.1647007