Funding from this award is being used to enhance participation of geoscientists in annual conferences and year-round activities of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). Underrepresentation in the geosciences is acute and SACNAS offers unique and unparalleled resources to address this problem. The annual SACNAS National Conference incorporates a wealth of mentorship and scientific resources for minority students that are simply not found elsewhere. Conference attendees form a very diverse group numbering in the thousands, with geoscientists numbering in the hundreds. Increasing participation in geoscience research by underrepresented minority (URM) undergraduates, graduates, and post docs is a critical step to providing a diverse and effective workforce. It is therefore essential that trainees currently involved in geoscience research be given the opportunity to present their findings at national and regional conferences where they can establish contacts with other students and postdoctoral scholars, as well as with graduate program recruiters, faculty, and professionals who will become part of their expanded network of mentors. The SACNAS National Conference provides a number of unique opportunities for geoscience students and postdocs to attend and present at a national meeting focused on high quality research and mentoring. SACNAS is particularly important for URM students since it attracts large numbers of minority STEM professionals, including a dedicated cadre of geoscientists, who serve as mentors, speakers, and judges for student scientific presentations. Specifically, these funds are being used to support student participation in the SACNAS National Conference, and increase the number of professional geoscientists from both academia and industry who participate in year-round SACNAS programming, including the SACNAS Leadership Institute. Historically, geoscience has always been a valued part of the SACNAS National Conference. Besides offering students the opportunity to learn about current geosciences research and strengthening the network of students and professionals in geosciences, the organization is increasing the number of professional geoscientists who participate in its yearly conference. This increasing participation by geoscience professionals is crucial to SACNAS' ability to provide effective mentoring and networking opportunities.

Project Report

(SACNAS) is an interdisciplinary organization, and provides the opportunity for scientists from across a broad spectrum of disciplines, including geoscientists, to interact, mentor and learn from each other. The SACNAS National Conference helps its members, student participants, and conference attendees to see and hear about research techniques and fields placing there own research in the broader context of the scientific. Students and scientists supported by OEDG funding not only had the opportunity to present their research to their peers, but also to scientists from other disciplines. This uniquely makes the SACNAS National conference a place where scientists from diverse backgrounds and research interests can share techniques, knowledge and experiences in a mentoring environment. Specifically, this project funded geoscience students to attend the annual SACNAS conference and to participate in specific geoscience sessions at the annual conference. We partnered with other geoscience organizations (the United States Geological Survey, the Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismology, and UNAVCO) to expand the programming, including additional professional development and science sessions, plus hosting an annual pre-conference fields trip. Overall, each student that attended the conferences engaged with professional geoscientists, where exposed to the latest advances in the geosciences, learned about careers in the geosciences, and became part of the local dialog regarding geoscience issues facing each city where the conference was hosted.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Directorate for Geosciences (GEO)
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Program Officer
Jill L. Karsten
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Society for Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Sci
Santa Cruz
United States
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