Abstract: Geoscience is currently recognized as the least diverse of all STEM fields in the U.S., and racial disparities in graduate school and beyond are particularly striking. For example, while nonwhite people make up roughly 40 percent of US citizens and permanent residents, they earned only 14 percent of geoscience PhDs in 2020. Understanding the current diversity among geoscience students and professionals is a necessary first step to begin to answer pressing questions such as: Who gets geoscience degrees? What obstacles prevent certain groups from entering the geoscience workforce? Do we have a recruitment problem, a retention problem, or both, and why? What has and hasn’t worked in the past towards addressing these issues? What disciplines and institutions are actually moving the needle on increased representation, and what can we learn from them? In this presentation, I discuss my own educational and professional background and how this led me to become interested in diversity demographic data. I use data drawn from the Survey of Earned Doctorates from 1973–2020, including 4 years of unpublished data, to quantify trends in geoscience diversity. Finally, I reflect on how this work has informed my own sense of belonging in this overwhelmingly white field and at overwhelmingly white institutions. The data that I present highlights what we know, while also shedding light on what we don’t, and what we need to find out.
A Zoom link will be provided on the day of the seminar.