Collaborative Research: GEODES: Geoscience Diversity Experiential Simulations
Women, people of color, LGBTIQA individuals, and people with disabilities continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields, including the geosciences. The lack of diversity and inclusion of people with different identities and backgrounds in the geosciences harms the profession, by failing to recruit, retain, and nurture the best talent, and create welcoming and inclusive environments where all staff can reach their full potential.
This study will develop and test new methods for helping geoscientists become more actively inclusive of diversity in their profession. In particular, the study aims to create at least 10 three-person geoscientist change-teams who are trained to 1) recognize and manage their own implicit biases; 2) intervene as social justice advocates when witnessing the biases of others; and 3) target critical gatekeeping decisions as a strategy to transform their home institutions.
To do so, the study proposes evidence-based professional development that uses active learning techniques and is carefully evaluated for efficacy. Change teams will attend a workshop that spans three days - one day of innovative methods to address each specific aim.
An innovative aspect of this training will be the creation of an immersive virtual environment of geoscience colleagues committing various microaggressions and acts of exclusion. The conversations among participants and avatars will be based on geoscience-specific interview data, and will provide participants with a safe space to actively practice effective interventions and create new habits that promote inclusion. The study will assess participants' knowledge and beliefs via surveys and interviews after the workshop over the span of a year, and will create and moderate a peer network for mentoring and continuing education.