2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 2:10 PM


PADILLA, Ingrid Y., Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying, University of Puerto Rico, PO Box 9041, Mayaguez, PR 00681, padillai@uprm.edu

The participation of women and minorities in geological science and engineering is among the lowest in higher education. This is particularly worrisome as the growing need to understand geological processes, impacts, and solutions in a dynamic world requires a diverse and multicultural approach in science and engineering. To involve a greater number of underrepresented groups in geological science and engineering it is necessary to establish integrated systems, which consider academic, cultural, motivational, personal, social, financial, and organizational support. The establishment of role models and group-based, multicultural support has proven very valuable in increasing the number of women and minority members in other areas of science and engineering. Demonstrations of the added-value to society, as well as the integration of cross-discipline theoretical knowledge and practical experiences, has contributed to augment the motivation of different members of underrepresented groups to continue higher education and participate in science and engineering.

This presentation addresses some of the major barriers encountered in increasing women and minorities in geological science and engineering. It also provides examples of particular programs that have been successful in increasing the number of members from underrepresented groups in higher education. Finally, the presentation will address the missing links between the barriers and success, and will present a roadmap to establish these links.