GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 83-1
Presentation Time: 8:05 AM


JOYCE SEALS, Leila M., Geology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66047, REANO, Darryl, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, GARCIA JR. Jr., Angel, Department of Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, 801 Carrier Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, BUCK, Michael, Toppenish, WA 98948 and SMYTHE, Wendy, Earth & Enviornmental Science, 4375 Eagle Dr, Hermantown, MN 55811-1300

At GSA 2020, the technical session and associated Pardee session that focused on identity, and justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI), were wildly popular. While the popularity of these sessions was likely influenced by national and global events, it is important to acknowledge that their popularity was also an achievement many years in the making. Many geoscientists over numerous years have worked to create space for diverse geoscientists to have evidence-based discussions about the intersection of identity and our discipline.

To maintain the momentum of this hard-won achievement, we now need to have more focused discussions about the incorporation of identity in the geosciences and how we can continue to work towards justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the discipline. To do this, we extend discussions of identity and JEDI efforts beyond outcomes for geoscientists and geoscience students, and to include the communities—particularly non-dominant or historically excluded communities—affected by geoscience research or who are the audience for geoscience communication and education. Geoscience outreach and education are typically the first, and maybe only, exposure the public has to geoscientists and formal geoscience information. Interest in geoscience outreach and education has also increased in recent years, in part because many funding entities now require some amount of public/community engagement. However, much of the communication and informal education undertaken by geoscientists is done ‘to’ and ‘for’ communities rather than by centering the community and their self-determined needs and interests. Centering the community in this way shifts the power dynamic from geoscientist-driven outreach and education to community-driven communication and education, placing socially non-dominant communities in positions of power and greater agency. This talk highlights numerous years of work by geoscientists to move the needle on the incorporation and valuing of diverse identities to further JEDI work in the geosciences and sets the stage for evidence-based discussions about collaborating with and centering diverse communities in geoscience communication and education.