GEOFORCE TEXAS: A COLLECTIVE IMPACT FOR INCLUSION IN THE GEOSCIENCES
The social problem is a projected dwindling geoscience workforce unprepared for an estimated 50 percent reduction in the next decade, as geoscientists are playing an increasing role in addressing global challenges such as clean affordable energy and water, preparedness for natural disasters, and imbalances in earth’s interdependent interacting subsystems. All of the actors have the common agenda of assuring a diverse geoscience workforce. GeoFORCE alum of the high school program are enrolled in 110 different colleges nationwide. In Fall of 2016, 58% of alum of GeoFORCE were declared STEM majors. Of the STEM majors, 23% are in the geosciences, 20% in engineering, and 20% in biology. After 12 summers of weeklong field experiences, GeoFORCE Texas has engaged over 1,600 high school students with mentors in the geosciences. As of Fall 2016, GeoFORCE Texas has 654 students enrolled in college. 161 Bachelor’s degrees and 75 Associate’s degrees have been earned to date. As of 2016, 80% of the high school participants are minorities. The success of GeoFORCE’s mentoring efforts were recognized by the White House in 2015 with the awarding of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.