Women in Science

I am committed to increasing the participation of women in earth and environmental science fields and more generally in any STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) field. As such, I have served as part of the Leadership Board of the Earth Science Women’s Network since 2012.  I work collaboratively to develop mentoring programs and professional development programming to broaden access, increase opportunities, and improve workplace climate across STEM fields.

At its core, the ESWN community supports peer mentoring that builds upon personal connections to catalyze cultural and institutional change for the advancement and promotion of women in the geosciences. You can learn more about ESWN’s activities on our website (eswnonline.org) and read about our recent  Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). 

If you are interested in joining ESWN and supporting woman involved in earth and environmental sciences, I encourage you to sign up today. Membership is free and open to anyone who wants to  support all scientists of the future. [tax deductible] donations are of course appreciated.

PROGRESS: Promoting Geoscience Research, Education, and Success. Our NSF grant (2014-2019) focuses on investigating the role of mentorship and leadership development in the recruitment and retention of women in the geosciences. We are excited about extending the ESWN model to undergraduate women. As part of this project we have created a website for undergraduate women interested in geosciences (including but not limited to: atmospheric science, environmental science, geology, geophysics, hydrology, ecology, etc.). The website provides resources for undergraduates as well as information about many common myths regarding women in STEM fields. To find more resources go to: geosciencewomen.org. Early results (Hernandez et al. 2017) from our study show promise: women included in PROGRESS are more likely to identify multiple mentors and report a greater sense of inclusion within the scientific community and interest in staying in science. Read a project update in EOS and about our newest results in Geosphere (Hernandez et al. 2018).

PROGRESS workshop, Fall 2016, Estes Park, CO

ADVANCEGeo PartnershipEmpowering geoscientists to transform workplace climate. Recently several members of the ESWN Leadership Board partnered with professional societies (AGU and AWG) and education researchers to develop sexual harassment training modules for environmental and earth science faculty. Read more about our NSF ADVANCE grant (2017-2021) in the independent student newspaper at CC and on our project site.

In addition, members from ESWN leadership (Aisha Morris and myself) are working with the leadership of 500 Women Scientists (Angie Pendergrass, Jane Zelikova) to develop modules for diversity and inclusion training for the Aspen Global Change Institute. Interested in learning more about the chilling effects of harassment and bullying in the scientific community? NPR’s Science Friday did a story in 2016 that highlights some of the problems. Our white paper – a guide to organizing inclusive meetings is available online. Read the accompanying Nature News & Views piece here.

There are many great organizations who’s missions are to broaden participation in STEM fields. Here are just a few inclusive of or focused on earth & environmental science fields:

  • Association for Women Geoscientists AWG is a great organization that promotes women in geosciences (ESWN is currently partnering with them to address the problems of sexual harassment in academia/workplace)
  • 500 Women Scientists is a grassroots organization started by four women who met in graduate school at CU Boulder and who maintained friendships and collaborations after jobs and life took them away from Boulder. Immediately following the November 2016 election, we published an open letter re-affirming our commitment to speak up for science and for women, minorities, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA.
  • SACNAS  is an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM.
  • National Association of Black Geoscientists NABG is a non profit organization that provides support (e.g. professional development, scholarships, networking opportunities) to black geoscientists.


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