Monday, 23 January 2012
ASCENT: Mentorship, Networking and Resources for Women in Atmospheric Science
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Atmospheric Science Collaborations and Enriching NeTworks (ASCENT) is a workshop series designed to bring together early career female scientists in the field of atmospheric science and related disciplines. ASCENT is a multi-faceted approach to retaining these junior scientists through the challenges in their research and teaching career paths. The annual workshops have demonstrated the range of career and personal decisions that current successful senior scientists have made, presented tools and resources, created new networks of collaboration, and provided a forum for informal and formal discussions of issues that face early career female atmospheric scientists. The workshops are held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, home of a high-altitude atmospheric science laboratory – DRI's Storm Peak Laboratory, which also allows for nearby casual outings and a pleasant environment for participants. Near the conclusion of each workshop, junior and senior scientists are matched in mentee-mentor ratios of two junior scientists per senior scientist. An external evaluation of the three workshop cohorts concludes that the workshops have been successful. The results so far have shown that over 90% of participants had maintained contact with other ASCENT participants six months after the workshop. Participants have reported they have established and expanded personal and research-related networks, and that seminars have been useful in creating confidence and sharing resources for such things as preparing promotion and tenure packages, interviewing and negotiating job offers, and writing successful grant proposals.