ENGAGING UNDERREPRESENTED COMMUNITIES IN THE GEOSCIENCES THROUGH AMS DIVERSITY PROJECTS
Since 2002, AMS has initiated course implementation through NSF-supported Diversity Projects. Participating U.S. institutions include Historically Black College and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions, and other institutions with at least 25% minority student enrollment.
College faculty participants have attended expenses-paid, week-long workshops that cover fundamental course understandings and implementation procedures. Key to these workshops has been presentations by NOAA, NASA, and other government and university scientists as well as field trips to science laboratories.
The AMS Weather Studies Diversity Project workshops were offered from 2002-2007. The 145 minority serving institutions (MSIs) that participated have offered the weather course to more than 16,000 students.
The AMS Ocean Studies Diversity Project was held from 2006-2008. The 75 MSIs that participated have offered the course to more than 8000 students.
AMS has partnered with Second Nature, the organizing entity behind the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, in recruitment efforts for the AMS Climate Studies Diversity Project. In its second year, the Project has already trained 50 MSI faculty members. Subsequent workshops will be held throughout the next 2 years, targeting a total of 100 MSIs.
Although AMS does not track individual students for privacy reasons, there is anecdotal evidence of students choosing additional science courses and in some cases intent to pursue geoscience major programs upon course completion. The AMS is excited to bring geoscience course work to more students, strengthening the pathway towards advanced geoscience study and careers.