Paper No. 272-5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM
COME AS YOU ARE: THE RALLYING CRY FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF GEOSCIENTISTS
Overcoming barriers to access for historically underrepresented people in the geosciences is one of the primary organizational goals of Blueprint Earth. Founded to create functional blueprints of the Earth’s varied environments, the organization is dependent on the participation of volunteer student researchers from universities and colleges local to the study sites. Students’ home institutions may or may not have internal support for field-based research programs, particularly those with lengthy field components requiring overnight travel. Our model creates a level playing field for participation by students in the geosciences and other STEM disciplines. This is achieved through a number of methods, including initial outreach, cost control, word of mouth, and collaboration with senior scientists from outside institutions. Results from the initial two years of operation are positive: ~75% female participation, ~60% non-white minority participation, and ~60% first generation college student or Pell grant-eligible student participation. Repeat participation by students is also common. Adoption of strategies employed by Blueprint Earth has potential benefits for cultural climate change within institutions and organizations.