GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 217-3
Presentation Time: 8:35 AM


SNOW, Eleanour, U.S. Geological Survey, Office of Science Quality and Integrity, 12201 Sunrise Valley Dr, MS911, Reston, VA 20192-0001 and KAPLAN, Marlene, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Education, 14th Street and Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20230

One of the first actions of the Biden administration was to issue an executive order on equity. Five months later, June 25, 2021, a second executive order more specifically called upon Federal agencies to deliver on the promise of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility within our workforce and our programs. These directives are allowing federal science agencies to move forward with work we had already begun and are ready to implement.

Background: An interagency committee, the Federal Coordination in STEM Education (FC-STEM), works to advance STEM education programs at Federal agencies. Operating under a strategic plan written in 2018, the authors lead two of the FC-STEM Interagency Working Groups: Strategic Partnerships (MK) and Inclusion in Stem (ES). Partnerships and inclusion are both significant elements in the executive orders. The connections built through interagency committees allow Federal agencies to work together to develop and implement promising programs.

New Initiatives: The new Civilian Climate Core (CCC), mandated by the January executive order, will employ young people in climate science as interns and in climate mitigation projects on federal lands. The are among the Federal agencies that will be implementing CCC in 2022. The June executive order requires the Federal Government to develop a strategic plan for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by November 22, 2021. Meanwhile agencies are not waiting. Within both USGS and NOAA, programs are being developed to target hiring through partnerships to bring the strongest talent we can into our science missions. At the same time, our agencies recognize that internships, recruiting, and hiring are just the beginning of creating a dynamic, diverse, and inclusive workforce. Federal agencies are sharing best practices for equity and working to develop a culture of inclusion. Agency affinity groups, reading groups, discussions, and inclusive policies and practices are being implemented.

The landscape at Federal science agencies is rapidly changing. The administration's priorities on science, equity, and jobs create a new vision for the Federal STEM workforce, and opportunities for US scientists from all backgrounds.