To expand upon the success of NSF’s GOLD Program, this "Full Steam Ahead" project seeks to improve career progression and sense of belonging in the geosciences through an innovative, hybrid mentoring program which pairs early-career leaders from a successful federal education program (e.g., the NOAA Educational Partnership Program) with established leaders (“champions for diversity”) from academe, government agencies, industry, and other geoscience organizations. Participants across the generations of geoscience will be immersed in multiple virtual platforms that leverage cutting-edge educational technology and allow mentoring relationships to be initialized and cultivated regardless of location. In addition, the mentoring experience will culminate in a professional development conference that integrates a strong social science component. Virtual and in-person mentoring is essential to not only establish a cohort of diverse geoscience leaders, but also to provide opportunities centered on workforce development, network enrichment activities, as well as effective mentorship and advisement techniques and/or best practices. This project seeks to leverage strong diverse networks that include the NOAA EPP and former GOLD project participants in order to drive the next generation of geoscience leaders full STEAM ahead.

The Full Steam Ahead project proposes to develop networking and mentorship activities for both in-person and virtual platforms. The general elements of activities will include: 1) Participant orientation - sessions will provide participants with tools (e.g., best practices, online curriculum) for developing effective mentoring relationships, 2) Career and Workforce development - symposia and panels to facilitate discussions about how to navigate the workplace, microaggressions, technology in the workplace, emotional intelligence in the workplace, and intercultural/organizational communication dynamics, 3) Psychosocial support - symposia and panels will focus on the importance of psychosocial support, mental health, dealing with imposter syndrome, general emotional support, identity and sense of belonging, and role modeling, and 4) Networking enrichment activities - mentors and mentees will participate in Meet and Greet receptions and team building activities to foster relationships and build connections. These activities were selected to foster unique mentor and networking opportunities for participants across sectors in the geoscience community (e.g., government agencies, academe, industry, NGOs), and strengthen collaboration between geosciences and social sciences through an interdisciplinary project design and research approach.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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Howard University
United States
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