Engaging Underrepresented Populations in Biodiversity Sciences: A Series of Workshops for Undergraduate Students

Grant Details

Description

The goal of this project is to engage undergraduates, especially those from underrepresented groups, in a discussion on opportunities in biodiversity sciences thru a series of workshops, mentoring, and shadowing activities. Emerging global issues, such as climate change, loss of biological diversity, land and water resource conservation, and sustainable agriculture, require more reliance on a workforce with training and expertise in biodiversity science. Four workshops will be conducted over a 4-year period to increase the number and diversity of undergraduate students interested in pursuing careers in biodiversity science (including collections science and organismal, evolutionary, ecological, and environmental biology). Student recruitment will target students from local community colleges, minority-serving institutions, and four-year colleges and universities. Professional societies will also be enlisted to recruit Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, African Americans, and Latino American students to participate in two-day workshops hosted by natural history museums. Undergraduate students participating in the workshops will be exposed to emerging careers and research opportunities by: (1) shadowing museum professionals to get hands-on experience in collections science; (2) learning about research and career opportunities from diverse graduate students and early career professionals pursuing careers in biodiversity science; and (3) getting practical advice and individualized mentoring to navigate their undergraduate experience and optimize their potential for graduate school and careers related to biological sciences, museum studies, and biodiversity collections.

Across a broad range of scientific disciplines, diversity in research scientists has provided new perspectives and ideas leading to novel solutions and increased productivity. This series of workshops will work to recruit, retain, and sustain a larger, more inclusive, and diverse, undergraduate population of students equipped to engage in creative solutions for emerging science questions. Workshop activities will introduce underrepresented populations of undergraduate students to natural history museums, biodiversity collections, and collections-based researchers as a means to inspire and educate them in opportunities and data rich resources in biodiversity science.

StatusActive
Effective start/end date08/1/1707/31/22

Funding

  • National Science Foundation: $99,976.00

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