2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
Paper No. 97-9
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA MORRIS STEP PROGRAM: AN INITIATIVE TO ENCOURAGE THE PARTICIPATION OF NATIVE AMERICANS (NSF/DUE-0653063)

COTTER, James F.P., Geology Discipline, University of Minnesota, Morris, 600 East 4th Street, Morris, MN 56267, cotterjf@morris.umn.edu

The goal of the University of Minnesota Morris (UMM) STEP project is to increase the number of Native American graduates in STEM fields through innovative curricular innovations and dedicated recruiting and mentoring strategies. UMM is a “Native America Serving” institution (12% of UMM students are Native American) and there is a tuition waiver for Native American students. The campus history, state of the art facilities, engaged recruiting and advising staff, and committed faculty uniquely poises UMM to successfully encourage an underrepresented group in the sciences. During their undergraduate careers Native American students participating in the UMM STEP program complete faculty mentored undergraduate research. The UMM STEP program fosters a summer research environment where under-represented individuals are in the majority and peer interaction and mentoring creates a web of support.

The unique focus of the program is increasing the number of Native American science Geology majors at UMM. Last year approximately 20% of the UMM Geology majors were Native American and 3 Native American Geology majors will graduate in the next two years. In the last 4 years, three STEP program participants completed geologic research in Western Minnesota, Brazil and Italy and presented the results of this research at professional meetings. Efforts continue to recruit students and provide challenging, closely mentored projects.

Research for this program is funded by a grant from NSF (NSF/DUE-0653063).

2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 97--Booth# 61
Geoscience Education (Posters) II
Minneapolis Convention Center: Hall C
9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Monday, 10 October 2011

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 254

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