GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 68-16
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


MCDARIS, John R., Science Education Research Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057 and MANDUCA, Cathryn A., Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, 1 North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057,

Inclusivity and broadening participation in geoscience and STEM are issues of national importance. Bringing underrepresented perspectives into conversations around pressing societal issues is critical to formulating equitable solutions and maintaining the nation’s drive for innovation requires a scientifically literate citizenry. Nationwide, geoscience programs at many types of institution contribute to this work of increasing diversity through multifaceted activities such as developing a sense of community and belonging, targeted academic supports, and increasing student motivation through demonstrating relevance to their lives.

The SERC For Higher Ed portal ( brings together lessons learned about attracting and supporting diverse students in geoscience and other STEM disciplines. The materials in the portal are drawn from a variety of projects funded by NSF and others across a range of disciplines and institution types over the last decade. These collaborations have resulted in suites of resources and exemplars that demonstrate successful models for broadening participation in a variety of contexts. Taken together, this body of community experience aligns with the results of education research and showcases best practices for bringing diverse voices into the discipline.

There are many components that can be involved in these programs. In each context, the varied efforts in broadening participation make use of different combinations of these activities. This makes the examples of how they have achieved success particularly valuable for everyone engaged in making the geosciences and STEM communities more inclusive. By sharing this collected expertise, we can all move forward more effectively rather than reinventing the wheel.