8.2 SOARS: 20 Years of the Atmospheric Science Community Working to Increase Diversity

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 10:45 AM
Room 353 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Rebecca L. Batchelor, UCAR, Boulder, CO; and T. L. Windham, R. E. Pandya, and R. Haacker

The Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) program turns twenty this year. Since its inception the program, run as a service to the university community by UCAR, has become a partner in increasing diversity across the geosciences. It has 1) developed a mentoring model that has proven effective in supporting minority students entering and succeeding in the atmospheric sciences, 2) helped students to find meaning in their careers through research, connection and service, 3) partnered with academic programs to support students earning graduate degrees and entering faculty and research positions, and 4) helped to adapt the model for other geoscience disciplines building new mentor-based programs.

Our graduated alumni are now represented in all aspects of the atmospheric and STEM fields, including academic faculty, government and industry scientists, teachers and policy makers. In this presentation we will discuss the research and education theory behind the program, talk about implementation and expansion of successful mentoring models into academic programs and partnering labs, discuss the multiplier effect these students have, and provide some evaluation data from the program. We will also invite discussion of how we can best continue to grow mentoring programs in our field and how SOARS can continue to serve this community.

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