3.6 Engaging Nongeoscience Minority STEM Undergraduates in Atmospheric Science Interdisciplinary Learning through a Geoscience Workforce Program

Tuesday, 8 January 2019: 9:45 AM
North 229AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Reginald Blake, New York City College of Technology, City Univ. of New York, Brooklyn, NY; and J. Liou-Mark, H. Norouzi, and L. Yuen-Lau

Despite decades of effort, there are yet dismal results in attracting, recruiting, retaining, and graduating minority students in the geosciences in general and in the atmospheric sciences in particular. There remains a dearth of racial and ethnic diversity within the geosciences, and not only do many minority students show apathy towards the geosciences, but also many of those who even enroll as geoscience majors do not persist in the geosciences. Studies are replete with insights as to why this plight continues. Reasons include familial influences and cultural differences, lack of preparation, lack of relevance, financial barriers, and incorrect perceptions of geoscience careers. New, bold, creative, and unconventional practices and programs are needed to reverse this troubling trend. For its part, armed with a National Science Foundation Improving Undergraduate STEM Education Geopaths grant, the New York City College of Technology has designed a model program that provides non-goescience, STEM students with the Exposure, the Preparation, the Apprenticeship, and the Experience needed to join the geoscience workforce at entry level positions. Integrated throughout the program is inter-disciplinary learning that culminates in authentic satellite and ground-based remote sensing research. From among a plethora of positive outcomes, students from this unique one-year program have entered the geoscience workforce, have presented their remote sensing research at national conferences, have demonstrated significant gains in thinking and working as a geoscientist, in thinking independently, and in becoming part of the atmospheric science community.
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