Dear GeoEd Researchers

We hope that this message finds you and your families in good health.  We are writing to call your attention to a session that we are going to be co-chairing at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America on October 26-30, 2020. 

Our session is titled:

“T238. Incorporating Identities to Advance Diversity throughout Geoscience Disciplines” will be focusing on the intersection between diverse cultures, identities, and geoscience disciplines. This includes the use of identities and culture to teach or conduct research that advances diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout geoscience disciplines.  


This year, GSA’s Annual Meeting will be taking place online.  The deadline to submit your abstract is August 4th at 11:59PM (PT) (submit abstract here). Please note student conference registration is free this year.  


Please see below for more information about the session. If you have any questions regarding this session, please let us know ([log in to unmask]).  We hope to see you virtually to discuss this topic! Have a great rest of your summer.

On behalf of the session chairs, 

Ángel A. Garcia Jr. ([log in to unmask]), Associate Professor, Department of Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University


Leila M. Joyce Seals ([log in to unmask]), PhD Candidate, Department of Geology, University of Kansas


Darryl Reano ([log in to unmask]), Postdoctoral Associate, STEM Transformation Institute, Florida International University




GSA Geoscience education Division, GSA Geoscience information/communication Division, and GSA Geoscience and public policy Division



Diversity of students and professionals within STEM disciplines, especially in geosciences, continues to be a concern that needs to be addressed.  Current research suggests that professionalized STEM practices that devalue cultural and social differences may be one reason why diverse individuals leave STEM disciplines (Mattheis, Cruz-Ramirez de Arellano, & Yoder, 2019).  This session will provide an opportunity for a wide range of diverse geoscientists which deliberately includes historically underrepresented minorities and other underrepresented groups (e.g. Latinx, Indigenous, LGBTQ+, Queer) to present their research in an inclusive environment that does not ignore identity.  Highlighting scientific research by geoscientists of diverse backgrounds and experience fosters inclusivity and has the potential to make geoscientists from all backgrounds and experiences — spanning the range from students to professionals— feel more welcome and appreciated as productive contributors to geoscience disciplines.

Indigenous Sense of Place, teaching philosophies, Ways of Knowing, and knowledge of the world are increasingly used to enrich geoscience education, particularly among underrepresented groups (e.g., Cajete, 1999; Stephens, 2001; Riggs, 2005; Semken, 2005; Gibson & Puniwai, 2006; Palmer et al., 2009; Miele & Powell, 2010; Apple, Lemus, & Semken, 2014).  These philosophies of perceiving and approaching the natural world embrace and highlight unique artistic, spiritual, intuitive, and cognitive ways of thinking (McLeod, 2007; Kovach, 2010; Wilson, 2008).  Students and professionals are therefore better able to integrate and share their unique cultural heritage within mainstream scientific ideas and theories for effective learning while remaining authentic within professionalized academic contexts (Garr-Schultz & Gardner, 2018).  In addition, diverse groups of professionals and scholars have the potential to increase innovation, empower underrepresented groups to influence work/research outcomes through the assumption of leadership roles, and also to support asset-based approaches to research (Lambert, J., 2016; Mejia, Revelo, & Mejia, 2018)

Darryl Reano, Postdoctoral Associate
STEM Transformation Institute
Phone: 305-348-7683 | [log in to unmask]

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