WHY ARE THERE SO FEW AFRICAN AMERICANS AND HISPANICS IN GEOSCIENCE?
All groups reported similar numbers of positive outcome critical incidents but Hispanic students reported significantly more negative critical incidents. Critical incidents involving college familial factors were the driving mechanism behind this difference. These differences suggest that family members of Hispanic geoscience students have a greater involvement in, and perhaps a greater skepticism of, their child’s choice of a geoscience major. We found that Hispanic students reported significantly fewer critical incidents involving out-of-school outdoor experiences. African-American students reported experiences similar to those of white students, with one exception: African American students reported experiences with racial discrimination where Hispanics and whites did not. Barriers need to be identified before they can be removed. We found three: skepticism from families, limited outdoor experiences, and racial discrimination.