8.5 Federal, Local, Private, and Institutional Partnerships for Promoting and Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 11:30 AM
308 (Washington State Convention Center )
Reginald Blake, New York City College of Technology, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY; and J. Liou-Mark, H. Norouzi, V. Vladutescu, and L. Yuen-Lau

Attracting, creating access for, retaining, and graduating students in the geosciences and (by proxy) to the geoscience workforce remain uniquely daunting tasks, particularly for underrepresented minority students. This plight of the geosciences has become a national imperative with dire implications that range from global competitiveness to national security, and, despite recent advances, the geoscience community has no silver bullet to ameliorate this conundrum. The challenge remains intricate and difficult. Overcoming it may well require multi-pronged approaches that are rooted in both conventional best practice methodologies and new, innovative, bold strategies. At the New York City College of Technology such a geoscience paradigm shift is already underway. Although the institution does not have a geoscience department, it has successfully forged a vibrant, comprehensive, and promising partnership with federal, city, and private geoscience industries whereby STEM students are being trained and equipped to enter the geoscience workforce. The campus is now buzzing with excitement at the prospects of STEM students gaining access to the geoscience workforce, and the geoscience industries are delighted and eager at the prospects of replenishing its workforce with a technically prepared, talented pool of STEM students who are diverse in ethnicity and in gender.  Preliminary results indicate that this pilot program is not only yielding positive outcomes, but it has also exceeded expectations and is now opening new vistas and pathways to the geosciences. The project is supported by NSF IUSE Grant # 1540721.
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