Science in the Mountains: A Unique Research Experience to Enhance Diversity in the Geosciences

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Hallar, A. G., McCubbin, I. B., Hallar, B., Levine, R., Stockwell, W. R., Lopez, J. P., & Wright, J. M. (2010). Science in the Mountains: A Unique Research Experience to Enhance Diversity in the Geosciences. Journal of Geoscience Education, 58(2), 95-100. DOI: 10.5408/1.3534851
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Ethnic and racial minorities constitute an important part of the geosciences community because of their diverse perspectives and backgrounds. However, the geosciences have the poorest diversity record of all the science and engineering fields. Recruitment of minorities is important and numerous programs are focusing on engaging students in geosciences during their undergraduate schooling. The Geoscience Research at Storm Peak (GRASP) program provides a model for retaining students in the geosciences pipeline and encouraging students’ interest in geoscience careers. GRASP offers college age students research experiences in urban and rural environments, introduces students to a wide range of geosciences career options, and connects students to mentors and role models. The main challenge associated with the GRASP program in its first year was recruitment. This paper uses the Geoscience Pipeline Model as a framework for evaluating the program’s success. GRASP not only exposed the students to a variety of geosciences careers, but it also taught them skills used by geosciences professionals. Overall, GRASP participants demonstrated a positive change in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to the pipeline indicators.

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