GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 180-4
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM


REANO, Darryl, Earth, Atmospheric, & Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Earth science departments at many higher educations institutions have low diversity in many different aspects: student enrollment, curriculum and instruction, as well as faculty who interact with both graduate and undergraduate students. It is often perceived that cross-cultural communication can be relegated to special courses outside of the department without the need for earth science departments to instrospectively examine how their teaching and learning environments are disadvantageous for many underrepresented students. SocioTransformative constructivism (sTc) offers a critical approach to reflexively understand how we, as earth scientists, can better meet the needs students under our supervision (e.g. retainment) as well as our own needs (e.g. recruitment of future students, well-being in the workplace). sTc has four directives (dialogic conversation, authentic activities, metacognition, and reflexivity) that in conjunction allow for educators and learners to interactively transform the learning environment into producing direct benefits for the earth science community, local communities, as well as diverse student populations. This presentation will describe how I have used sTc to transform my own matriculation through a PhD program. This involved the securing of different funding sources for original research that was developed after I was accepted into a PhD program. My PhD research was focused on the needs of Indigenous communities who are often disregarded in Western scientific research processes. My graduate experiences also included the essential requirement that I attend multidisciplinary conferences focused on the needs of multicultural scientists (AISES, SACNAS, Geoscience Alliance) which played a pivotal role in my development of a diverse network or supportive professionals, peers, and mentees.