GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 187-11
Presentation Time: 10:50 AM


HOULTON, Heather R. and KEANE, Christopher M., American Geosciences Institute, 4220 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302,

Facing the geoscience community is a number of workforce challenges including how to address a large talent deficit, adequately preparing students to tackle the complex problems faced by practicing geoscientists today, and bolstering participation of those from traditionally underrepresented populations. To tackle these challenges, AGI developed a grant program dedicated to identifying, recruiting, and bolstering the academic careers of traditionally underrepresented, early-career geoscientists conducting research relating to deep carbon.

In 2015 the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) was awarded funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to identify and recruit traditionally underrepresented geoscientists to become actively involved with the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO). DCO is “a global community of multi-disciplinary scientists unlocking the inner secrets of Earth through investigations into life, energy, and the fundamentally unique chemistry of carbon.” AGI’s two-year diversity program sought to engage 10-12 underrepresented geoscientists by supporting them to participate in DCO-run activities or conduct innovative research investigating deep carbon. Those eligible to apply for support included Ph.D. candidates, post-doctoral researchers or early-career faculty members who self-identify as one or more of the following: African American, Native American, Native Alaskan, Hispanic, Latino, Latina, Native Hawaiian, Native Pacific Islander, or Filipino.

AGI met and exceeded their goal by awarding 14 grants averaging $5,000 each to the most competitive applicants. Grant money has been used to support 5 participants’ travel to international DCO-affiliated workshops or field trips. The remaining 9 scholars were awarded research-based grants, which they had to submit their CVs, research abstracts, and budgets with justifications to a Selection Committee comprised of active DCO scientists. These research grants supported a variety of items including instrumentation time to run samples, money to obtain specialized equipment, or for travel to present research at conferences.

This presentation will discuss an overview of the program, its successes, challenges, and information about the scholars selected to participate.