An Effective Model for Enhancing Underrepresented Minority Participation and Success in Geoscience Undergraduate Research

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Articles and Special Issues
Blake, R. A., Liou-Mark, J., & Chukuigwe, C. (2013). An Effective Model for Enhancing Underrepresented Minority Participation and Success in Geoscience Undergraduate Research, Journal of Geoscience Education, 61(4), 405-414. https://doi.org/10.5408/12-417.1
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Geoscience research is a fundamental portal through which geoscience knowledge may be acquired and disseminated. A viable model to introduce, stimulate, and prolong geoscience education has been designed and implemented at the New York City College of Technology through a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in satellite and ground-based remote sensing that targets underrepresented minority students. The program is composed of three primary components: Structured Learning Environments: Preparation and Mentorship, Student Support and Safety Nets, and Vision and Impetus for Advancement. The first component, Structured Learning Environments: Preparation and Mentorship, places REU scholars within a research team and provides them with the skill sets necessary for proficiency in satellite and ground-based remote sensing research. The second component, Student Support and Safety Nets, provides a structured and holistic learning environment that supports the undergraduates in becoming successful researchers and scholars. The last component, Vision and Impetus for Advancement, exposes the REU scholars to geoscience in a wider context and inspires them to envision themselves as the geoscientists and the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce professionals of the 21st century. Since the inception of this NSF REU program in 2008, 47 undergraduate students—39 (83.0%) of whom are underrepresented minorities in STEM (including women)—have completed geoscience research or are engaged in geoscience or STEM careers.

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