GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 57-2
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM-6:30 PM


KASBOHM, Jennifer, LONG, Maureen, WESTACOTT, Sophie and MILLIKIN, Alexie, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Yale University, 210 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT 06511

At Yale University, approximately fifteen graduate students, postdocs, and faculty participated in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences URGE pod. Through efficient delegation and teamwork as a pod, review by our departmental Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism/Discrimination (IDEA Committee), and approval of the EPS faculty, we were able to complete or make tangible progress on all eight deliverables. Many of our deliverables are currently (mechanisms for reporting discrimination, demographics, graduate admissions FAQ, Yale resources) or will soon be (land acknowledgment, guide to New Haven) posted on the Yale EPS department website. The field work code of conduct prepared by our URGE pod was implemented on the summer 2021 departmental field trip, and a survey is in preparation to assess its efficacy. A subset of our pod will form a fieldwork-oriented IDEA subcommittee to refine the code of conduct and our best practices for working with local communities document, draft pre-departure questionnaires, and promote other activities (like wilderness first aid) to ensure that all future EPS field trips are safe, inclusive experiences for all participants. Looking back, some of our critiques of URGE include insufficient focus on promoting inclusivity of international students, a key constituent of our department, and occasional lack of relevance of some topics to pod members, especially those who do not do field work or not on admissions/hiring committees. Nevertheless, our successes as a pod over the course of a semester, at an institution where not all department members had previously felt empowered to enact change, show the efficacy of a national movement like URGE that provided structure, deadlines, and momentum from the greater geoscience community.