Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 3:15 PM
TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES FOR DIVERSITY ENHANCEMENT IN THE GEOSCIENCES THROUGH THE BUFFALO GEOSCIENCES PROGRAM (BGP)
The Buffalo Geosciences Program (BGP) has been operating in western New York State, USA, since Fall 2002. During that time many successes and pitfalls have been encountered. We will present a brief overview of these plus cover our evolving operational philosophy. The BGP is funded by a continuing grant from the National Science Foundation and is hosted by a partnership of Buffalo State College (BSC), Erie Community College (ECC), and the University at Buffalo (UB). The objective of the BGP is to promote diversity in the geosciences by providing unique opportunities to underrepresented student populations. This has been achieved through new courses, research projects, internships, seminars, field trips, and tutoring/mentoring programs. Any Buffalo-area graduating high school Senior or college student is eligible (students need not currently be majoring in the geosciences). The BGP specifically encourages African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans (American Indians and Alaskan Natives), Native Pacific Islanders (Polynesian or Micronesians) and persons with disabilities to participate. After completing our newly developed introductory geosciences courses at ECC and related science-major preparation courses, students may continue either to BSC for an earth science education degree or to UB for a geology degree. A major component of the BGP is research- and education-based internships. Students can choose from earth science education, scientific research placements, or a combination of both research and teaching. Once accepted into the research internship program, students have the opportunity to choose from the many disciplines having active research at UB including remote sensing, environmental geophysics, paleontology, structural geology, volcanology, and groundwater hydrology. For students intending to pursue a career in earth science education, we have a number of local opportunities available involving public and classroom instruction (currently we support interns to work at the Penn Dixie Outdoor Education Center in Hamburg, NY).