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Our vision: A climate science workforce that taps the human potential of the whole U.S. population.

Mission Statement

Increase the number of women, underrepresented minorities, and individuals with disabilities in climate science by aggressively recruiting these groups as CMMAP graduate students and staff members, helping them become excellent scientists and educators, and placing them in leadership positions. Enhance the science and engineering pipeline through mentoring and recruiting at earlier academic levels. Study diversity problems and solutions, and disseminate results.

How is CMMAP Increasing Diversity in the Field?

  • Summoning Our Future Scientists & Engineers
    Scott Denning, Director for Education and Diversity, and Melissa Burt, Education and Diversity Manager, visited Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) November 2 and 3, 2012 to participate in a scientific symposium, "Summoning Our Future Scientists & Engineers." This two-day event consisted of scientific presentations, a professional panel, and advisories on scientific mentoring for the diverse students of NOVA. Dr. Thomas Windham, CMMAP Diversity Consultant, gave the opening address and talked about the benefits of scientists and engineers and how mentoring will help guide students through their educational and career pwathways. Dr. Margaret Tolbert, NSF Senior Advisor, gave an informative presentation on "Opportunities At Science & Technology Centers: For Students & Faculty Members." Scott Denning followed with a talk titled "Taking Action to Save Our World: Paying Attention, Acting Upon, & Addressing Our Climactic & Environmental Changes," focusing on the common misconceptions about climate change, impacts of climate change in the DC Metropolitan area, and addressed what upcoming scientists can do to help.

    On Day 2, Melissa participated in a career panel: "Building Your Pathway & Walking the Walk": Scientific, Engineering Academic & Professional Mentoring. The panel was made up of working professionals and former SOARS proteges to recount their experiences, share and discuss the importance of pursuing career opportunities in STEM.

  • Hispanic Engineering, Science, and Technology Week
    CMMAP participated in the Hispanic Engineering, Science, and Technology Week (HESTEC) at the University of Texas-Pan American in fall of 2011 and 2012. Events included teacher workshops, hands on science activities, career/internship expo and a community day.
    Photos: Little Shop of Physics

  • Reach for the Sky! at Future Tech Now
    Melissa helped present Reach for the Sky! with the Little Shop of Physics at SACNAS' Future Tech Now!, hands-on demonstrations of new technology and research for a healthier planet. The event was held in Anaheim, CA October 1-2, 2010.

  • NSF Science and Engineering Research Centers: At the Frontier of Interdisciplinary Research
    Our Education and Diversity Manager, Melissa Burt, hosted this session with 3 other NSF STCs and ERCs at the 2009 Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference in Dallas, Texas in October, 2009.

  • 2008 Future Tech Conference
    CMMAP Higher Ed and Diversity manager, Melissa Burt, travelled to the University of New Mexico to attend this conference put on by the NSF Science and Technology Center, MDITR November 8, 2008.

  • SOARS Students Soar High
    SOARS Protege Alex Gonzalez joins CMMAP scientist Dr. Wayne Schubert researching the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) during the summer of 2008. This article appeared in the SOARS Fall 2008 newsletter about his research.

Studies on Diversity - CMMAP's Research

Diversity in Science

  • Broadening Participation in the Earth Sciences, Eric M. Riggs & Claudia J. Alexander

  • Diversity in the Geosciences and Successful Strategies for Increasing Diversity, Jacqueline E. Huntoon & Melissa J. Lane
    Data available from the National Science Foundation Division of Science Resources Statistics demonstrate that since 1966 fewer bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees have been awarded in the geosciences than in any other STEM field. Data spanning the time period from 1995-2001 indicate that the percentage of bachelor's and master's degrees awarded to members of racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in STEM fields was lower in the geosciences than in other STEM fields. The percentage of Ph.D. degrees awarded in the geosciences to students drawn from underrepresented groups from 1995-2001 was similar to the percentage awarded in math and computer science, physical science, and engineering. It appears that the geosciences retain a greater number of students drawn from underrepresented groups during the transition from master's to Ph.D. degree programs, and/or recruit underrepresented students into Ph.D. programs from other STEM fields.

    The geosciences have had success recruiting and retaining women since 1966, and the lessons learned in increasing gender diversity in the field may help the geoscience community increase its racial and ethnic diversity in the future. Four strategies that consistently appear to be effective in increasing diversity are: demonstrating the relevance of the field and opportunities for high-paying careers in it; developing partnerships among multiple stakeholders to reduce 'leaks' from the educational pipeline; promoting strong mentoring relationships among students and geoscience professionals, including opportunities for students to conduct research prior to graduate school; and providing financial assistance when necessary.

  • A Decade of Lessons Learned, Donald K. Walter, Shermane A. Austin, Leon P. Johnson, Penny A. Morris, Carlos Salgado
    We describe our efforts at building programs in Earth and space science over the past decade at four Minority Institutions, Medgar Evers College, Norfolk State University, South Carolina State University and the University of Houston-Downtown. We present our institutional models of success and programmatic outcomes as well as barriers to success and lessons learned. The unique path to success for each school is described, along with experiences common among all four. Since these institutions do not offer graduate programs in the geosciences, they have concentrated on recruitment and retention of students in the K-16 pipeline while preparing them for graduate school and careers in the field. These schools represent a range in size, location, population served and in the type and nature of the Earth and space science programs they offer. As such, the experiences described herein offer a broad perspective on what does and does not work in attracting and retaining underrepresented minoritystudents in the geosciences.

  • BEST Practices for Broadening Participation in the Geosciences: Strategies from the UCAR Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) Program, Rajul E. Pandya, Sandra Henderson, Richard A. Anthes, Roberta M. Johnson
    This article offers a set of design principles distilled from the Building Engineering and Science Talent (BEST) examination of over 100 programs with documented success in recruiting and retaining minority students in sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. By illustrating these principles in the context of the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) program, we provide examples for applying them in the realm of the geosciences. The SOARS Program combines multiple summer research experiences with intensive, multidimensional mentoring and a robust learning community to help undergraduate students complete college and make successful transitions into graduate school in the Atmospheric and related sciences. SOARS has been widely recognized through formal and informal assessments as a highly successful program.

  • Why So Few? Breaking through Barriers for for Women and Girls, Catherine Hill, Christianne Corbett, Andresse St. Rose
    In an era when women are increasingly prominent in medicine, law and business, why are there so few women scientists and engineers? This new research report by AAUW presents compelling evidence that can help to explain this puzzle. Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics presents in-depth yet accessible profiles of eight key research findings that point to environmental and social barriers - including stereotypes, gender bias and the climate of science and engineering departments in colleges and universities - that continue to block women's participation and progress in science, technology, engineering, and math. The report also includes up to date statistics on girls' and women's achievement and participation in these areas and offers new ideas for what each of us can do to more fully open scientific and engineering fields to girls and women.

Diversity Objectives & Collaboration Wikis