Are you concerned about sexual harassment in STEM?
You are invited to participate in a focus group as part of a National Science Foundation ADVANCE award to develop bystander intervention and research ethics training to improve work climate conditions in the earth and space sciences by preventing sexual and other types of harassment in the classroom, lab and field. We want to hear from people with diverse backgrounds.
You can volunteer to participate by coming to one of our 4 focus groups:
Monday, December 11th 1) 10:40-Noon or 2) 1:00-2:20 pm
Tuesday , December 12th 3) 10:40-Noon or 4) 1:40-3:00 pm
If you have any questions about this research at any time, please contact the lead researcher Dr. Marin-Spiotta at email@example.com or 608-262-1855. If you are not satisfied with the response of the research team, have more questions, or want to talk with someone about your rights as a research participant, contact the Education and Social/Behavioral Science IRB Office at the University of Wisconsin-Madison at 608-263-2320.
Women in Atmospheric Sciences Luncheon (co-sponsoring this event)
Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 12 – 1:30 PMAustin Convention Center, Ballroom A
The 2018 Women in the Atmospheric Sciences Luncheon will focus on the importance of inclusion and diversity in atmospheric and computational science and related fields. The Luncheon will feature four panelists, including Dr. Valerie Taylor from Argonne National Laboratory, Dr. Patty Lopez from Intel Corporation, Ms. Tracy Hansen from NOAA’s Global Systems Division, and Ms. Jessica Mink from Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. All are encouraged to attend this luncheon. Lockheed Martin Corporation will provide a limited number of box lunches. For more information, visit the luncheon website.
We are super excited to expand our networking receptions beyond AGU and this is possible through the generous support of several sponsors:
AGU Networking Reception for Early Career Female Scientists and Students
Tuesday 12/12 | Hilton Riverside, 1st Floor, Grand Ballroom – Suite CD | 6:15 – 8 PM
ESWN & AGU Sponsored Workshops
Wednesday 12/13 | MCCNO, Third Floor, Room 338-339
Navigating the NSF System | 9 AM – 12 PM
This workshop is open to all AGU Fall Meeting attendees and will be particularly helpful to graduate students, post-docs, researchers, and tenure-track faculty thinking about applying for NSF funding. Critique sample text from past NSF proposals, meet in groups with program officers to know what they are looking for, and learn how to ask the right questions, give the right answers, and get funded.
Strategies for Attracting and Advancing a Diverse Geoscience Workforce | 2 – 4 PM
The goals of this workshop are to (1) identify elements from successful programs for attracting and advancing historically underrepresented Earth scientists at multiple career stages and (2) identify strategies that AGU and its members can enact to broaden the participation of a diverse membership and geoscience workforce. A panel presentation will be followed by small break-out roundtable discussions centered on topics related to various career stages and professional tracks of interest.
Opportunities Beyond Academia | 4 – 6 PM
Thinking about a career outside of academia? It can often be difficult to get help finding a job in a nonprofit or government agency, within industry, or as a consultant. A panel of scientists with experience outside of academia will share their “lessons learned” and answer your questions about how to find and apply for jobs in policy, federal research labs, state agencies, NGOs, industry, and private enterprise. This year’s panelists include:
Ester Stzein, Assistant Director at National Academy of Sciences
Rachel Licker, senior climate scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists
Christine Wiedinmyer, Associate Director for Science at CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, former Scientist III at National Center for Atmospheric Research
Svetlana Shkolyar, Postdoctoral Fellow, Geophysical Lab, Carnegie Institution for Science
Karen Rosenlof, Meteorologist and Program Lead, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory Chemical Sciences Division
Gyami Shretha, Director, U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program Office, National Coordination Office (NCO)
Alicia Newton, Editor at Nature Geoscience
Denise Hills, Geological Survey of Alabama
A special thanks to our sponsors!
In addition to the above events there are activities going on throughout the week aimed at improving the geoscience community. Many, but not all, of these events are co-organized by ESWN members:
The 2017 Science-A-Thon was a great success thanks to the hundreds of people who participated, donated, and spread the enthusiasm!
With your help, ESWN raised over $32,000! The power of Science-A-Thon came from individual days and lives in diverse countries, fields, and professions. Participants shared photos of morning routines, meetings, lab equipment, field research, computer screens, family, pets, and more! These posts gave glimpses into the lives of scientists around the world. #DayofScience was trending on Twitter, which inspired even more scientists to join in. Science-A-Thon captured the media’s attention, and was featured in an Upworthy article. We’re excited to see how this momentum energizes people for the 2018 Science-A-Thon!
Participants enjoyed their “I science!” t-shirts, which are available online, $10 from every shirt sold goes to support ESWN!
Science-A-Thon raised over $32,000 to support our endowment with the Madison Community Foundation! This is a huge success, but we need to get to $50K to reach our first match. Will you help us? Your gift will be MATCHED by the Madison Community Foundation at a 1:2 ratio, so your gift of $40 becomes $60 for ESWN. This funding will support ESWN into the future. When we reach $50K, the matching will kick in to create a $75K endowment. Depending on interest rates, this will generate up to $4K per year, forever! This money will be used to “keep the lights on.” It is enough to support our website, ensure we can host events at AGU, or support a student assistant for projects.
to check out more photos from a #DayofScience go here
Are you interested in engaging the public with science?
Have you been asked by funding agencies to communicate your research directly to public audiences?
Do you want to feel more comfortable talking about science with a variety of audiences?
Interested in what sort of careers exist in science communication?
The Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), with support from George Mason University, are partnering together to offer a workshop for early career Earth scientists on how to effectively communicate science to the public, media, and policymakers alike. Contrary to popular belief, communication is typically an acquired skill. At this one-day workshop, Earth scientists will have the opportunity to learn tactics from professional science communicators, and practice communicating science through a series of activities. You will leave the workshop with concrete tools and strategies to effectively bring your science out into the public domain.
When is this awesome training happening? Wednesday, July 12th from 9 to 5:30 PM
Where? George Mason University – Arlington Campus, 3351 Fairfax Dr., room 111-113, Arlington, VA
ESWN is thrilled to host Science-A-Thon, a one-day celebration of science and scientists (like you!). Science-A-Thon will showcase the work of scientists over a single “day in the life.” Participants will post 12 photos over 12 hours on July 13. All participants will be raising money for ESWN. As you know, ESWN is free to join, with no dues or fees. So Science-A-Thon connects the public with the amazing scientists of ESWN and beyond, and raises much needed money to support our organization and help us maximize our impact. Science-A-Thon is open to people of all genders, any field of science, professionals, students, and folks who want to be a “#ScientistForADay”. We would love to have everyone sign up and celebrate science together! You can also encourage your colleagues, friends, and family to join and/or sponsor you.
In January of 2017, the Earth Science Women’s Network received a special award from the American Meteorological Society for inspirational commitment to broadening the participation of women in the Earth sciences, providing a supportive environment for peer mentoring, and professional development. ESWN’s activities “have been shown to remove feelings of isolation and help women in the geosciences overcome barriers to professional advancement.”
In December 2016, ESWN was honored to meet with some of the most exciting thinkers in the U.S. to discuss taking ESWN to the next level. We were pleased to have Janice Huff (Lead Meteorologist, NBC NYC), Jon Foley (Director, CAS), Jane Francisco (Editor-in Chief, Good Housekeeping), Mike and Pam Hastings (Mike was recently CEO and President of Eco-Products, and is now on the board), Chris Olex (professional strategy and coaching), and Katharine Hayhoe (scientist, professor, ESWN member). The development committee of ESWN’s leadership board, made up of Tracey Holloway, Erika Marín-Spiotta, Melanie Harrison Okoro, and Meredith Hastings, also attended, and Tracey served as meeting chair. We were thrilled to host such a productive meeting with these thought-leaders, who contributed their valuable insights about future directions for ESWN.
The day kicked off with an incredible tour of the California Academy of Sciences, generously led by Dr. Jon Foley, the Executive Director of CAS. The tour was also attended by ESWN members, friends, and leadership board members. After the tour, the smaller group went to dinner, during which the thought-leaders generously shared their expertise about ways for ESWN to expand its impact.
Since 2002, ESWN has grown from an informal group of six women exchanging emails to an international force with over 3000 members in more than 60 countries. In 2014, ESWN became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, allowing us to have a more formal structure. ESWN aims to continue expanding our core activities to recruit, promote, and retain women in the earth sciences, as well as grow in new directions. Our engagement with these amazing thought-leaders will help us reach these goals.
ESWN is thankful to all of you for participating in discussions on the website, attending ESWN events, and supporting women in the geosciences. ESWN’s impressive growth is not possible without all of you, so thank you!
If you are attending the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society, join ESWN at our networking reception!
ESWN Networking Reception
Monday, January 23, 2017, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Wild Ginger, 1401 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101
ESWN is excited to host a networking reception at the annual AMS Meeting in Seattle. It will be a great opportunity to meet colleagues and make new friends! FREE, all are welcome, appetizers and cash bar. For more information, contact Melissa A. Burt (firstname.lastname@example.org). RSVP is not required.
Science is foundational in a progressive society, fuels innovation, and touches the lives of every person on this planet. The anti-knowledge and anti-science sentiments expressed repeatedly during the U.S. presidential election threaten the very foundations of our society. Our work as scientists and our values as human beings are under attack. We fear that the scientific progress and momentum in tackling our biggest challenges, including staving off the worst impacts of climate change, will be severely hindered under this next U.S. administration. Our planet cannot afford to lose any time.
In this new era of anti-science and misinformation, we as women scientists re-affirm our commitment to build a more inclusive society and scientific enterprise. We reject the hateful rhetoric that was given a voice during the U.S. presidential election and which targeted minority groups, women, LBGTQIA, immigrants, and people with disabilities, and attempted to discredit the role of science in our society. Many of us feel personally threatened by this divisive and destructive rhetoric and have turned to each other for understanding, strength, and a path forward. We are members of racial, ethnic, and religious minority groups. We are immigrants. We are people with disabilities. We are LBGTQIA. We are scientists. We are women.
Across the globe, women in science face discrimination, unequal pay, and reduced opportunities. Our work to overcome the longer-term degradation of the role science plays in society did not start with this election, but this election has re-ignited our efforts. As women scientists, we are in the position to take action to increase diversity in science and other disciplines. We resolve to continue our pursuits with renewed passion and to find innovative solutions to the problems we face in the U.S. and abroad. Together, we pledge to:
Identify and acknowledge structural inequalities and biases that affect the potential of every person to fulfill their goals;
Push for equality and stand up to inequality, discrimination, and aggression;
Push to strengthen the support for traditionally under-represented groups to fully participate in and become leaders in science;
Support the education and careers of all scientists;
Step outside of our research disciplines to communicate our science and engage with the public;
Use every day as an opportunity to demonstrate to young girls and women that they are welcome and needed in science;
Set examples through mentorship and through fostering an atmosphere of encouragement and collaboration, not one of divisiveness;
Use the language of science to bridge the divides that separate societies and to enhance global diplomacy.
Today, we invite the women in science and our colleagues to declare our support to each other and to all minorities, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LBGTQIA. Our scientific work may be global, yet we will take action in our own communities and we will work towards an inclusive society, where science and knowledge can be embraced and everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential.
As women in science, as role models to young girls and women, as leaders in our communities, we accept this challenge. Join us.
We are excited to announce that Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Melissa Burt, Maura Hahnenberger, Rachel Licker, Aisha Morris, and Melanie Harrison Okoro have joined ESWN’s Leadership Board! We appreciate their dedication to women in the geosciences. These amazing women join our continuing board members Tracey Holloway (President), Meredith Hastings (Vice-President), Erika Marín-Spiotta (Treasurer), Manda Adams (Secretary), Rebecca Barnes, Emily Fischer, and Christine Wiedinmyer. We also thank past Board Member Carmen Rodriguez, who is rotating off the ESWN Board after over four years of service to our community. To learn more about the new and continuing board members, check out our bios.
Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is an associate professor of soil biogeochemistry in the School of Natural Resources at the University of California, Merced. Her research primarily focuses on biogeochemical cycling of essential elements (esp. carbon and nitrogen) in the soil system and how physical perturbations in the environment (ex. erosion, fire, changes in climate) affects stability and mechanisms of stabilization of soil organic matter. Asmeret has a BSc in Soil & Water Conservation from the University of Asmara, a M.Sc. in Resource Development from Michigan State, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, & Management from UC-Berkeley.
“I have been a member of ESWN since 2005, it has been a joy to be part of this supportive community of researchers dedicated to increasing representation and advancing careers of women in earth sciences. It was a pleasure to be invited to join the leadership board, and I am excited to do my share to advance the mission of ESWN.”
Melissa Burt is a research scientist at Colorado State University. Her research focuses on the interactions of Arctic clouds, radiation, and sea ice, with interests ranging from cloud-radiation feedbacks, hydrological and energy cycles in climate, and climate change feedbacks. Melissa also serves as the Education and Diversity Manager in the College of Engineering and Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. In this position she is committed to improving and increasing diversity in STEM by designing programs to encourage participation, and increase access and retention for members of historically underrepresented groups. Melissa has a B.S. degree in Meteorology from Millersville University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State.
“I am very excited and honored to join the ESWN leadership board. ESWN has provided me with an exceptional network of talented and brilliant women, and more importantly a supportive and welcoming community. I look forward to contributing to more efforts aimed at increasing participation and engagement of women of color in the earth and environmental sciences.”
Maura Hahnenberger is an Assistant Professor in the Geosciences Department at Salt Lake Community College, where she teaches and advises in the Atmospheric Sciences and Geography programs in both face to face and online settings. Maura is the founder of the WaterGirls outreach program which provides middle school girls with field experiences conducting water science. She also serves on the boards of the Utah Chapter of the American Meteorological Society and the SLCC Chapter of the Utah Women in Higher Education Network. Her research and teaching interests center around natural and human-caused environmental hazards including dust storms, air pollution, and hazardous weather. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Meteorology and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Utah studying dust storms in the eastern Great Basin of Utah.
“ESWN has been a huge benefit to me as I have began my career by expanding my network of scientists and helping me connect with critical opportunities such as grants and invited talks. It has also become a place where I know I can go to get thoughtful advice and guidance as I move through my career. I am joining the ESWN board with three main goals in mind (1) expand opportunities for female scientists to network and connect with each other, both in person and virtually, (2) continue highlighting the great work that ESWN members do in their professional lives and improve recognition of that work, and (3) endeavor to help women scientists find support systems to tackle personal and professional challenges they face. ESWN has made great strides over time and I feel privileged to be part of its continued evolution.”
Rachel Lickeris an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State. Through her fellowship, Rachel works on environmental finance and the implementation of several multilateral environmental agreements. Prior to her fellowship, Rachel carried out research on the effects of climate on human migration while at a postdoc at Princeton University. Her research interests also span the effects of climate and social factors on global and regional crop production. She holds a Ph.D. in Environment and Resources and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a M.S. in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science from Lund University in Sweden.
“I have broadened my professional network tremendously through ESWN. I believe it is an important resource for young, female scientists as they forge their career path. For example, it is a place to ask questions, learn from colleagues at a variety of career levels, and connect with women both in one’s own and varied disciplines around the world. Through my board membership, I hope to help broaden the ESWN network and continue expanding the ways in which ESWN is of service to the community. I am honored to participate and hope members will feel free to reach out with any ideas!”
Aisha Morris is an Education Specialist and the Director of the Research Experiences in Solid Earth Science for Students (RESESS) internship program managed by UNAVCO. Aisha’s primary area of focus is crafting strategies for attracting, training, and retaining the diverse geoscience workforce of the future. In her current position, Aisha is responsible for UNAVCO’s Geo-Workforce Development Initiative, including managing undergraduate and graduate student internship programs and supporting early career professionals as they transition into the geoscience workforce. Aisha’s graduate and postdoctoral research interests focused on the geology and evolution of volcanic terrains on Earth and terrestrial planets. Aisha earned her B.Sc. in Geology from Duke University and both her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
“I am honored and excited to join the Leadership Board in service to the ESWN members. The ESWN continues to provide an unparalleled network of support and resources for women of all career stages in the earth sciences. I look forward to supporting the geoscience community, and particularly the ESWN, in ongoing and new initiatives to broaden participation in the geosciences.”
Melanie Harrison Okoro is an environmental scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Her major research interests include understanding biogeochemical processes (flux and pools of nitrogen and phosphorus) in alluvial wetlands and aquatic ecosystems across landscapes. Melanie’s current interest also include topics related to ecosystem level impacts of pollutants on water resource and natural resource management. She has a B.S. degree in Biology from Johnson C. Smith University and a Ph.D. in Marine Estuarine and Environmental Science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Melanie is currently on faculty as a LEO Lecturer teaching General Ecology at the University of Michigan.
“As a research scientist, mother, and wife, I know how important it is to see women doing science and sharing their experiences with one another. The need for representation and visibility of different perspectives as we shape our vision of what a scientist looks like has reached a critical point, and ESWN provides a powerful platform and supportive network for women to share their perspectives. As an African-American woman, who has been subject to the pressures and challenges of forging a successful career as a scientist while an underrepresented minority, I value ESWN’s commitment to career development, peer mentoring and community building for women in the geosciences. I hope to continue the mission and vision of ESWN, and work with the ESWN board and members to build a supportive community andnetwork for women forging a career in science. One of my goals as a board member, is to reach those who most need to see themselves in science, and as scientists: those who have been traditionally underserved by science.”
If you’ll be attending the AGU Fall Meeting, check out ESWN’s many exciting events! These events (hosted or co-sponsored by ESWN) offer our members and colleagues the opportunity to see old friends and make new connections. ESWN works to amplify the benefits of AGU, especially for women and early-career scientists. Stay tuned for updates and more information! We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!
Thank you to the generous sponsors of ESWN’s activities at AGU!
Tour of the California Academy of Sciences
Sunday, December 11, 2:00 – 5:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences
Join ESWN for an exciting tour of CAS, a leading planetarium, aquarium, and natural history museum all in one! Our tour will be personally led by Executive Director Dr. Jon Foley! Learn more about this incredible opportunity here.
The geoscience workforce is one of the least diverse, despite its importance to understanding our planet’s past, present, and future. The goals of this town hall are (1) to highlight successful programs for attracting and advancing historically-underrepresented earth scientists at multiple career stages, and (2) with audience participation, identify strategies that AGU and its members can enact to broaden the participation of a diverse membership and workforce. Target audience: supervisors, heads/chairs, and anybody interested in a more inclusive earth science community. Sponsored by Earth Science Women’s Network, Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), National Association of Black Geoscientists (NABG) and AGU.
Speakers: Aisha Renee Morris, UNAVCO, Inc. Boulder Seti Sidharta, Contra Costa College Robert C Liebermann, Stony Brook University, Ashanti Johnson, University of Texas at Arlington, Melissa A Burt, Colorado State University
ESWN Networking Reception
Monday, December 12, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
The Children’s Creativity Museum Imagination Lab
ESWN’s signature annual event will be a great opportunity to meet colleagues and make new friends during the first day of the sessions! FREE, all are welcome, appetizers and cash bar.
Verbal and other exchanges in the workplace and education arenas are necessary but sometimes misinformed, misunderstood, misinterpreted, and/or inappropriate. This workshop will present several scenarios of actual events (with all names and locations removed), and ask workshop participants to discuss their interpretations of the events. The goals of the workshop are to 1) inform participants and workshop leaders of the possible wide variety of opinions about these events, 2) foster greater understanding of what harassment is and let participants “practice” their personal responses, and 3) encourage future conversations and interventions, should participants witness similar events. ESWN is co-sponsoring this workshop with the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), AGU, Society of Exploration Geophysicists Women’s Network Committee (SEG – WNC), American Association of Petroleum Geologists Professional Women in Earth Sciences (AAPG-PROWESS), University of Kansas, the Geology Associates Fund of the University of Kansas Endowment Association, and UCAR.
Network with your peers at this event made especially for early career female scientists and students. Not-so-early-career women are also welcome! This event is FREE and does not require a ticket. Light refreshments will be served. This event is co-hosted by AGU, ESWN and AWG.
How do you make your proposal as NSF-savvy as possible? How do you best describe your broader impacts? How can you design effective integrated research? How do you identify the best program for application? What new initiatives are early career scientists eligible for at NSF? What constitutes an effective review and how are reviews considered in funding decisions? Answer these questions and meet with Program Officers at this workshop, open to all AGU Fall Meeting attendees. Come and go as you need! The workshop will feature presentations and panels from ~900-1000h on effective reviews and how they are used in funding decisions; ~1000-1100h on specific NSF opportunities for early career scientists; ~1100-1200 one-on-one or small group meetings with Program Officers from across the geosciences directorate (e.g. PLR, OCE, EAR, AGS). This workshop with NSF program officers will be particularly helpful to early-career and mid-career participants, especially graduate students, post-docs, researchers, and tenure-track faculty thinking about applying for NSF funding for the first time. FREE and open to all AGU Fall meeting attendees through a partnership of the Earth Science Women’s Network and AGU.
Publishing research is essential to building a scientific career – what strategies best support your scientific productivity and career success? This panel will provide an overview of journal publication strategies, the role of non-traditional outreach platforms, and Q&A time with attendees. With a panel of experts, we will discuss solutions to conundrums facing scientists in the publishing process, with a focus on early-career scientists. How do you decide what journal to submit to? What are the best strategies for responding to reviewer comments – especially if you disagree? Does the choice of journal affect the design of a study? How do blogs, Twitter, and videos change the nature of scientific publishing? FREE and open to all AGU Fall meeting attendees through a partnership of the Earth Science Women’s Network and AGU.
This workshop will discuss practical skills for making the transition to successful post-graduate careers in policy, federal research labs, state agencies, NGOs, industry, and private enterprise and is geared towards graduate students and post-docs who are considering options outside of academia, as well as faculty who are interested. FREE and open to all AGU Fall meeting attendees through a partnership of the Earth Science Women’s Network and AGU.
Melanie Harrison Okoro, environmental scientist at U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the National Marine Fisheries Service Melanie Mayes, senior staff scientist and team leader, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Dawn Wright, chief scientist at ESRI Yolanda Shea, physical scientist at NASA Langley Research Center Teamrat A. Ghezzehei, associate professor at UC Merced, former scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Julia Rosen, freelance science journalist Matt Coleman, portfolio analyst at Nephilia Advisors, LLC Zhao Liu, senior research scientist at FM Global Mika McKinnon, freelance science writer Nadine Schneider, research coordinator at the Excellence Cluster CliSAP in Hamburg Idalia Perez, scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Town Hall: Awards & Grants – Advancing Your Early Earth Science Career: Multi-agency Perspectives
Thursday, December 15, 18:15 PM – 19:15 PM
Moscone West, 2020
Career development and success in science is achieved with early knowledge & skills to navigate pathways to successful grants & awards. This town hall will help graduate students & scientists at all levels understand this navigation & help diversify the talent pool for such opportunities. Jointly organized by the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program & Earth Science Women’s Network, this event will provide information on pre- & post-doctoral research grants, Early Career Awards & other federal grant opportunities. Program managers from U.S. funding agencies will provide tips for maximizing success, including pathways for accessing information & engaging with funding agencies.
The following event is organized by ESWN Members.
Continuing geoscience and diversity work in a changing world
Wednesday, December 14, 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Jillian’s Metreon Center
This is a panel/Q&A event that we hope will be the beginning of a larger effort to coalesce community discussions, concerns, resources, and actions. We want to hear from you! Fill out the survey and help us determine the most important issues to address at this first meeting: http://z.umn.edu/cgdsurvey
We as a community can weather any storm. What are the steps we can take as individuals, as institutions, as funding agencies, as private citizens, to keep science strong amidst ever-changing political landscapes? How can we support and advance the vulnerable members of our community during even higher-pressure, more-competitive times? What progress has been made in recent years and how can we build on and protect these gains? These issues affect scientists of any nationality, any party, working in any part of the world.
The ‘Getting Involved in Researching, Learning, and Studying of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Act’ (H.R. 2762) was introduced to the 114th Congress by Representative McNerney.
I know from personal experience that STEM careers can be personally and professionally rewarding, and we owe it to our young women to make sure they have access to the necessary education … When women succeed, we all succeed. With more women in STEM jobs, we’ll help grow our economy and make sure we’re competitive with the rest of the world.”
–Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-9th district), mathematician & wind energy engineer
The bill hopes to bring $50 million (FY 2017 to 2021) in new K-12 funding to the Department of Education to encourage girls to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The focus of the bill is to encourage girls in K-12 through mentoring and tutoring programs, afterschool activities, events to encourage interest and develop skills in and understand the relevance and significance of science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. In addition, it provides funding for professional development of K-12 teachers focused on eliminating gender bias in the classroom.
If you are interested in getting involved, you can! Email your representative in Congress and ask them to support (or co-sponsor) H.R. 2762.
Don’t know who your representative is – find out here
Join ESWN for an exciting tour of the California Academy of Sciences (CAS), a leading planetarium, aquarium, and natural history museum all in one! Our tour will be personally led by Executive Director Dr. Jon Foley. Jon has been a long-time supporter of ESWN, and hosted a fantastic tour for our group in 2015. He will talk about science outreach, his transition from a career in academia to museum director, the role of museums in research and public education, and more! This will be an excellent opportunity to meet other ESWN members and supporters, and you will go behind the scenes at one of the top science museums in the world! It will be an incredible experience!
This amazing event is for a small group (15 sign-ups max). A $100 minimum donation to ESWN is required per person. Click here to donate via PayPal. These contributions will be used to help fund other ESWN activities at AGU and beyond. Anyone is welcome to participate in the tour, whether ESWN members, guests, or others interested in science and diversity. The tour will take place on Sunday, December 11, 2016, from 2pm to 5pm. Attendees are responsible for transportation to the museum, located in Golden Gate Park. We will help connect participants interested in sharing Ubers.
All spots for the 2016 tour of CAS have been filled. Thanks to all who signed up! We are looking forward to seeing you at this awesome behind–the–scenes tour!
WASHINGTON, DC – More than 60 leaders in science from academia, government agencies, and professional societies came together recently to address the challenge of sexual and gender-based harassment on campus, in the field, and at scientific meetings. The American Geophysical Union convened the workshop titled, “Sexual Harassment in the Sciences: A Call to Respond,” which was co-sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society, American Geosciences Institute, Association for Women Geoscientists, and Earth Science Women’s Network.
Recent high-profile cases in the news have shed light on the issue of sexual harassment in science. The participating organizations intend to release a set of guiding principles and outcomes by the end of 2016 to help scientific societies, academic institutions, and other organizations improve workplace climate, better respond to sexual harassment, and better support its victims. The workshop, held on September 9, was funded by the National Science Foundation.
Topics addressed included:
Perspectives from the University of California Joint Committee of the Administration and Academic Senate on Sexual Misconduct
Understanding the legal landscape
The sociological context and call to action
Establishing the desired climate and culture on campus
Establishing the desired climate and culture in the field
Role of scientific societies in establishing the desired climate and culture in science
Developing guiding principles for changing the culture and climate of science
Leaders of participating organizations offered the following comments:
“Sexual harassment in research settings is an affront to the profession of science and violates our ethical standards. As federal agencies have oversight authority for their funded awards, their Inspectors General should broaden the definition of research misconduct so they can investigate allegations and determine corrective actions that universities appear unwilling to take,” said Celeste Rohlfing, AAAS’ Chief Operating Officer.
“Our ACS Academic Professional Guidelines clearly state that it is the right of every individual working in the chemical sciences to have equal treatment and opportunity regardless of gender, race, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity, physical disability, or any other factor not related to their position,” said Mary Kirchhoff, director of the ACS Education Division. “This right includes a workplace free of intimidation, coercion, exploitation, discrimination, and harassment – sexual or otherwise.”
“Harassment of any kind, in any workplace or place of learning is unacceptable. Friday’s meeting was a great first step in raising awareness of a problem that has plagued the scientific community for many decades,” said AGI Executive Director (and AWG Past-President) Allyson K. Anderson Book.
“Sexual harassment is an unacceptable, yet persistent issue facing the scientific community. We need to work together to create a safe, supportive environment and culture that encourages young scientific talent rather than deterring it,” said Eric Davidson, President-elect, American Geophysical Union. “For scientific innovation to flourish, the community needs to take a powerful stance against sexual harassment and we call on our friends across other scientific organizations, research institutions, and societies to join us. It’s our responsibility to provide members, employees, and constituents with the awareness and tools needed to create an inviting, safe culture for science.”
“Sexual harassment has always been a barrier for professional women scientists, and a major deterrent to female students who are considering a career in the sciences. It is appalling that it has been prevalent in the science community for so long, and we are thrilled to finally see scientific societies and institutions coming together to address and act upon the important role we play in helping to put an end to this. I hope to see other societies and organizations rise up and join us in this effort and look forward to seeing the progress we make over the next few years,” said Blair Schneider, Association for Women Geoscientists President.
“Harassment endangers not only the personal and professional well-being of individuals but of our entire community, and is one of the reasons many young researchers leave academia and science altogether. Our hope is that professional societies can lead a cultural change and pressure academic institutions to take this problem seriously, so that everyone who wants to be in science can stay in science,” said Erika Marín-Spiotta, Leadership Board Member, Earth Science Women’s Network.
For more information, links to policy statements, and other resources related to sexual harassment in the sciences please visit: harassment.agu.org.
ESWN now has a Flickr group, with the goal of building a cool image archive for our shared use, outreach, and fundraising activities (with credit of course!). We are inviting you to contribute not just photos, but also plots, images, model simulations, and more! Each post should show an image related to science, accompanied by a first-person note describing the image and/or backstory from the scientist/artist. You can see examples from our 2015 ESWN greeting cards. ESWN might use your contributed photo for notecards, on our website, or in our printed materials. There will be no payment for submitting a photo, but this will be a fun way to share your photos, stories, and work with ESWN members, so we can learn more about each other!
Our goal is to promote your awesome science and support your fellow scientist women! We are looking forward to seeing your photos! Read more and submit your photos, plots, images, etc. here!
Brown University hosted our ESWN Leadership Board Meeting in May. ESWN contributed to the Young Scholars Conference, which was a professional development workshop designed for senior graduate students and postdocs who are interested in an academic career in the sciences (especially Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Planetary Sciences, Ecology, Applied Math, and Environmental Engineering). Program activities included professional development, panel discussions, and opportunities to meet with Brown University faculty and administrators. ESWN Leadership Board members held a panel discussion, where Meredith Hastings moderated a discussion about getting on and succeeding on the tenure track, with Tracey Holloway, Emily Fischer, Becca Barnes, and Erika Marin-Spiotta. Representing both large research universities (University of Wisconsin—Madison and Colorado State University) and a small liberal arts college (Colorado College), the panel was able to share personal stories, lessons learned, and behind-the-scenes tips. With a lively question-and-answer format, the panel addressed questions such as “what are search committees really looking for?” “how do you design a research program?” and “when is the right time to go on the job market?” The panel got great reviews from attendees, and it was a lot of fun for the ESWN Board!
While together at Brown, ESWN’s Leadership Board had productive meetings about fundraising and exciting future ESWN activities. Thank you to Brown University for hosting!
ESWN hopes to jumpstart fundraising for their endowment campaign fund with short-term goals
ESWN is well on the way to reaching their May 1 donation goals! Over $3,400 has already been raised with contributions from more than 40 members. This brings the organization 15 percent of the way toward their goal of raising $20,000 from at least 60 member contributions this season.
The spring period will end May 1. Members and donors can track the progress for each term with a new online tracking feature at eswnonline.org.
The group is also seeking outside donors to help meet the $20,000 goal each term, and ESWN welcomes its members to spread the word and introduce the board to potential donors.
“With these interim goals, we are hoping to better track our progress, and recognize the generous supporters who make ESWN a success,” said Tracey Holloway, ESWN President and member of the Fundraising Committee.
The grant from MCF aims to engage both ESWN members and the broader public as donors, allowing each contributed dollar to go further. The organization has three main goals for the campaign: 1) Reach the $100,000 goal, which will yield a $150,000 endowment; 2) Engage the members as donors, with at least 10 percent of ESWN members contributing; 3) Increase the visibility of our organization and members.
“With increased press coverage and media engagement, we aim to change public perceptions of scientists, showcase role models for girls considering science and engineering, and raise awareness about opportunities and challenges for women in these fields.”
This endowment campaign is the second time in ESWN’s 13-year history where the organization has asked its membership to donate to a major fundraising effort. In 2014, ESWN raised nearly $14,000 in one month, from almost 300 donors, with most donors ESWN members.
All donations are tax deductible and eligible for donation matching programs run by many employers. To help ESWN reach the goal of raising $100K, visit http://eswnonline.org/give.
If you would like to introduce the ESWN to potential donors, please contact Tracey Holloway at email@example.com.
ESWN is a peer-mentoring network, serving early-career scientists worldwide, and providing a community for women in science at all stages. The organization increases retention of women in the geosciences by facilitating and supporting professional person-to-person connections.
Sexual harassment is an issue in many disciplines, including the Earth and space sciences, and its impacts can be far-reaching. As you are no doubt aware, issues of sexual harassment in the field, in the lab, and in the classroom have been widely covered in the news lately, as have the related issues of reporting, privacy, and consequences (both for the accuser and the accused).
To be clear, for AGU, and for each one of us personally, addressing this persistent problem is an issue of critical importance. Sexual harassment is wrong, and it cannot be tolerated. If we aren’t able to provide a safe and welcoming environment in which science can thrive, then we have failed as a community.
Unfortunately, this is not a new problem, and AGU, like other science societies, has been grappling with it for some time. It’s also not an isolated problem. Sexual harassment is part of a broader set of issues facing the scientific community, which include things like gender bias and inequality, discrimination based on sexual orientation, race or ethnicity, and the safety and supportive nature of our workplaces and learning environments (bullying, etc.).
These problems are complex and not always easy to solve, but as a leader in the Earth and space science community, AGU understands that we have an important role to play. A recent activity that you may not be aware of was a Town Hall meeting we hosted at the 2015 Fall Meeting with the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) and the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN). Each of us played a role in the session, which was titled, Forward Focused Ethics – What is the Role of Scientific Societies in Responding to Harassment and Other Workplace Climate Issues? It featured several presentations and a panel discussion.
During the presentations invited speakers and leadership representatives from AGU, ESWN and AWG explored implicit bias in science and the multiplying effect that bias has on limiting professional advancement for women. They highlighted sexual assault and harassment in field camps and other field locations. They also discussed how increasing diversity in the scientific workforce and growing use of social media have contributed to the current surge in reports. The speakers provided insights, experiences, and suggestions on the role of scientific societies, how AGU and other scientific societies can help address harassment and other critical issues and AGU’s policies, practices, and mechanisms for reporting can be improved.
During the presentations invited speakers and leadership representatives from AGU, ESWN and AWG explored implicit bias in science and the multiplying effect that bias has on limiting professional advancement for women.
If you missed the Town Hall, a video recording can be found on AGU On Demand. When you log in, the video will be listed under the Science & Society channel.
In addition to the Town Hall, AGU is undertaking several other efforts focused on bringing our community together to address the issue of sexual harassment in science.
One of the more obvious is to update AGU’s own ethics (for professional conduct, in general) and behavior (for meetings, etc.) policies to strengthen our position and set clearer expectations and accountability consequences for our members. That work is underway, and we will continue to update you on its progress.
Another important effort is to bring the broader scientific community together with the hope of creating common guiding principles to inform all our policies and actions related to harassment. While our work in this area is still developing, we can tell you that AGU is committed to convening the science societies around this issue as soon as possible, and thus far, they are overwhelmingly in support of the idea. Again, as more information on this effort is available, we will update you.
Other areas being discussed include education opportunities, the development of tools/resources/best practices to be shared with academic institutions, agencies, companies and other employers, and more direct support for members who are victims of harassment.
We recognize that the way AGU moves forward in addressing the issue of sexual harassment will require feedback from and engagement with our community. As such, we want to ask you, our members, for your input. What aren’t we doing that we should be? What are other organizations or institutions doing that we should try? What are we doing well and should we be doing more of it? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. If you would like to share something, but would prefer to do so privately, you can also send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. The AGU Council and Board will address these topics at its upcoming meetings, and your voices will be heard.
In the end, addressing the issue of sexual harassment in science is something that requires us to work together as a community – and AGU is committed to leading the way on behalf of the Earth and space science community we represent.
The American Geophysical Union can lead the way in building an environment where sexual and other types of harassment have no place.
In the past 2 weeks, two new egregious cases of professors sexually harassing students—and getting away with it for years—have hit the news, following a high-profile case that became public in October 2015. In that first case, a professor sexually harassed students for decades at two institutions, whose administrators turned a blind eye to student complaints. In another, recently brought to light on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, a professor sexually denigrated his students. In the third, a young professor fired a graduate student after she did not reciprocate his sexual advances. These cases have raised broad public awareness about a permissive culture of harassment and bullying.
We all know similar horrible stories, be it from personal experience or from our friends and colleagues. Sexual harassment is a problem in science, yet it is not just a science problem. It happens in every discipline, on the street, in industry, and ingovernment.
As educators and science professionals, we have a social contract with our students, trainees, and staff to provide safe spaces for learning and employment where people are treated with dignity. We also have a social contract with society to pursue science for the benefit of humankind. If we break our social contract in the first, we can hardly expect to earn the trust of the public in the second.
Harassment endangers the personal, professional, physical, and emotional well-being of individuals and their communities. It can exploit differences in religion, race, class, ability, sexual orientation, and gender identity and is especially toxic when perpetrated by people in positions of power. All these forms of discrimination have no place in our community.
We believe that as the largest scientific society representing the Earth and space sciences, with 60,000 members, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has a responsibility to take a leadership role in creating a zero-tolerance culture for harassment in our community.
AGU has a responsibility to take a leadership role in creating a zero-tolerance culture for harassment in our community.
The Scope of Sexual Harassment
Harassment can have especially injurious effects in disciplines with low diversity, such as the geosciences. Anyone can experience sexual harassment, although women and transgendered people are the most common targets.
Women made up 39% of U.S. bachelor’s degrees in the Earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences in 2011 [National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, 2015] but only 20% of faculty in these fields [Glass, 2015]. Of these, Black, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Asian Pacific Islander women represented only 5% and 7% of bachelor’s degrees and tenure-track faculty, respectively (as reported by National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics ). These low numbers can lead to feelings of isolation, professional insecurity, and increased vulnerability [Holmes et al., 2015].
In a 2010 member survey by the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN), 51% of almost 500 female respondents indicated that they had experienced sexual harassment sometime during their career [Archie and Laursen, 2013]. The survey did not explore what proportion pursued formal complaints, but other datasuggest that very few incidents generally are reported. This can be due to targets not knowing where to turn for help [Clancy et al.,2014], active discouragement by superiors, and fear of repercussions.
In a 2010 member survey by the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN), 51% of almost 500 female respondents indicated that they had experienced sexual harassment sometime during their career.
Another reason given for why many incidents go unreported is a lack of confidence that reporting will lead to a satisfactory outcome and remove the problem. The failure of academic institutions to protect their students and employees is highlighted by an open U.S. federal investigation into the mishandling of more than 250 sexual assault cases in 161 universities.
Outside the university boundaries, students are vulnerable in disciplines with research-related travel away from home. In a 2014 survey of field archaeologists [Clancy et al., 2014], 71% of women respondents and 41% of men reported receiving inappropriate comments, and 26% of women and 6% of men reported experiencing sexual assault while conducting field research. Female trainees disproportionately reported unwanted sexual attention coming from their superiors. Similar data for the geosciences do not exist and need to be addressed, as the enrollment of students in geoscience field camps continues to increase, reaching almost 3000 in 2013 [American Geosciences Institute, 2013].
Academic Institutions Often Protect the Harasser
The three recent sexual harassment cases to hit the news further show a lack of commitment from institutions to take the problem of harassment seriously. When the violators are professors, they suffer few, if any, disciplinary actions with real professional consequences, especially when they are renowned in their field and well funded. If there is an outcome to a report of harassment, victims may see their violators “punished” with sabbatical-like leaves (with relief from teaching and service but no curtailment of their research), career advancement at another university, or early retirement with full benefits.
This normalization of unethical—and illegal—behavior is driven by the prioritization of research funding and prestige. The practice is dangerous: Harassment contributes to the chilly climate experienced by underrepresented groups and factors into their decisions to leave science and academia. The brain drain caused by the reckless behavior of a select few, which is enabled by their peers, threatens individual careers and harms the collective, hindering scientific progress.
Harassment also sends the wrong message to junior scientists that such behavior is permissible in their research institution, reinforcing a culture in which one group can take advantage of another. Further, it sends the wrong message to the public in a time of political attacks on science.
In response to the recent sexual harassment cases, U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) recently addressed the U.S. Congress with plans to put forth legislation that would require universities to inform others of disciplinary proceedings regarding violations of Title IX, which protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs that receive U.S. federal financial assistance.
An Opportunity for Scientific Societies to Show Leadership
Where research institutions are failing, scientific societies have an opportunity—if not an obligation—to lead the way in transforming the culture of science into one that does not tolerate harassment.
This is especially important because harassment also occurs at meetings run by professional societies. For example, astronomers have created a grassroots network of allies on call to escort people from American Astronomical Society conference events safely, to protect attendees from other conferencegoers. This extraordinary model is being emulated by other scientific groups in response to harassment in their communities. That such networks need to exist is appalling.
Scientific societies should support these member-driven efforts and other initiatives to protect current and future generations of scientists from harassment. They should also use their positions of privilege to send a clear message that harassment will not be tolerated.
What Specifically Can AGU Do?
Facilitate public conversations about the problem. At the 2015 Fall Meeting, AGU leadership in collaboration with the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) and ESWN hosted a town hall session on the role of societies in responding to the problem of harassment. Theinvited speakers were Meg Urry, professor of physics and astronomy at Yale University and president of the American Astronomical Society; Christine Williams, professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and an expert on gender, race, class inequality, and harassment in the workplace; and Mary Anne Holmes, professor emerita of Earth and atmospheric sciences at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and past program director of the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE) program.
The participation of AGU Past President Carol Finn, President Margaret Leinen, and President-Elect Eric Davidson sent a strong message that AGU takes the safety of its members seriously. This was the first of what we hope will be many public discussions on the problem and engagement with members for feedback through other town halls, organized sessions, webinars, publications, and social media communications.
Codify a no-tolerance culture. Scientific societies have the responsibility to represent their members and the power to make a clear statement about what behaviors will not be tolerated. The American Astronomical Society has an antiharassment policy that defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” Their policy outlines processes for reporting, investigating, disciplinary action, and appeals.
AGU is currently reviewing its code of ethics in consultation with other societies and community and organization leaders. This code should also include strong language protecting those who report and assist in investigations from retaliation, and it needs to be prominent on the AGU website and communicated to its members regularly.
Enforce the code of ethics. Scientific societies can lead where academic institutions are failing. AGU should investigate all reported cases of violations that involve their members, whether they occur at AGU-sanctioned events or not. Disciplinary actions could include the temporary or permanent loss of membership privileges, including participation at AGU-sponsored events, and revocation of bestowed honors and awards.The American Association for the Advancement of Science recently withdrew the nomination of a scientist for one of its awards once it was revealed that he had pending criminal felony charges. Sanctions with real professional consequences send a deterrent message to potential violators and a clear message of support to victims.
Furthermore, we hope that when societies that contribute to the recognition of academic scientists publicly acknowledge that serial harassers damage the integrity of science and are a menace to our community, funding agencies will follow suit and force academic institutions to change their culture.
In the past 2 weeks, NASA and NSF have released statements on their policies against harassment and other types of discrimination; this is an important first step to not allowing harassers or the institutions that protect them access to public grant funds.
Train personnel on best practices to respond to instances of harassment. TheAstronomy Allies and the EntoAllies, the latter a grassroots effort from the entomological community, are examples of groups that can be created to ensure the safety of members at scientific meetings. AWG, ESWN, and other organizations that serve underrepresented groups also provide peer support to vulnerable communities.
In addition to supporting these types of grassroots efforts, which rely mostly on volunteer work, and considering the creation of its own “allies” group, AGU should go further and facilitate the training of AGU personnel and community leaders for effective responses to harassment.
Provide access to legal advice. AGU partners with organizations to provide free legal counseling to its members faced with intimidation and litigation for climate change research. AGU can take this a step further and provide the same access to legal advice for victims of sexual harassment.
Harassment of any kind endangers the ability of science professionals to conduct their work. Given the lack of support from academic institutions, AGU should lead.
Conduct research on the extent of harassment in the geosciences. The prevalence of harassment in our fields is unknown because the harassed are intimidated into not speaking out for fear of retaliation. As the largest geoscience professional society, AGU can lead the commission of a research survey of its membership in collaboration with other U.S. and international societies to collect information on the work culture of geoscientists.
AGU Needs to Lead
AGU leadership has made a public commitment to lead efforts to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all scientists. We commend AGU for striving to find better ways to achieve its core guiding principles, which include equality and inclusiveness, building a space for diverse backgrounds, fostering open exchange of ideas, nurturing the next generation of scientists, and pursuing excellence and integrity in its mission to promote discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity.
Combating sexual harassment and other types of discrimination based on sex, gender, race, class, and ability is well within AGU’s core guiding principles. We hope that AGU will approach changing the culture of our science with the same focus that underpins its other endeavors.
We thank the speakers at the town hall session “Forward Focused Ethics—What is the Role of Scientific Societies in Responding to Harassment and Other Workplace Climate Issues?” The opinions expressed in this article represent those of the authors and not those of their employers or of AGU.
The Mentoring Continuum: From Graduate School Through Tenure, recently published, contains contributions from a variety of sources including a chapter: Taking Ownership of Your Mentoring: Lessons learned from participating in the Earth Science Women’s Network written by Mirjam Glessmer, Manda Adams, Meredith Hastings & Rebecca Barnes.
We used lessons learned through ESWN activities – in particular the mentoring map introduced to many of us via Kerry Ann Rockquemore’s presentation at an ESWN workshop on Networking and Communication in Madison, WI in 2012. Lead author, Dr. Mirjam Glessmer has a great post about the chapter on her website (in addition to a downloadable pdf); you can also find out more about peer mentoring, how to network to expand your mentoring network, and how a mentoring map can help you on the networking page on our site.
The Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) is pleased to announce a major grant from the Madison Community Foundation (MCF) in Madison, Wisconsin. The $50,000 grant from MCF will provide “match” to incentivize donors to invest in the future of ESWN through a new endowment, such that every $20 donated becomes $30 of endowment support for ESWN. At the end of the ESWN endowment campaign, our goal is to reach $150,000 in the MCF endowment fund.
Depending on the annual interest rate, revenue from this endowment will generate $5,000 to $9,000 per year for ESWN. The endowment will provide a permanent revenue stream for ESWN, allowing our organization to sustain its support for women in the geosciences.
At this stage of ESWN’s growth, the endowment will ensure that ESWN “keeps the lights on” – namely, that the social networking website where our members connect will stay online. This support will also help fund our presence at the annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the largest meeting of geoscientists in the world. The annual AGU Meeting offers one of the largest opportunities for our members to meet in person, and allows ESWN to serve the broader geoscience community with professional workshops and other events.
ESWN is a peer-mentoring network, serving early-career scientists worldwide, and providing a community for women in science at all stages. This new endowment campaign is the second time in ESWN’s 13-year history where the organization has asked its membership to donate to a major fundraising effort. In 2014, ESWN raised nearly $14,000 in one month, from almost 300 donors, with most donors ESWN members. Those funds supported ESWN in becoming a 501c3 non-profit, and this success was reported in Nature. ESWN has also benefited from generous support from the National Science Foundation, the UW-Madison 4W Initiative for Women and Wellbeing and Global Health Institute, Elsevier, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Nature Geoscience, the California Academy of Sciences, and the AGU.
With core expenses paid for from the sustainable endowment revenue, ESWN’s Leadership Board can focus our fundraising efforts in new directions, such as scholarships, travel awards, and professional development opportunities.
The grant from MCF aims to engage both ESWN members and the broader public as donors, allowing each contributed dollar to go further. We have three main goals with this endowment campaign: 1) Reach the $100,000 goal, which will yield a $150,000 endowment; 2) Engage our members as donors, with at least 10% of ESWN members contributing; 3) Increase the visibility of our organization and members. With increased press coverage and media engagement, we aim to change public perceptions of scientists, showcase role models for girls considering science and engineering, and raise awareness about opportunities and challenges for women in these fields.
For smaller non-profits such as ESWN, it is common for a community foundation like MCF to hold and manage the endowment. For ESWN, MCF is a perfect fit. Although ESWN is an international organization, the organization is incorporated in Wisconsin, and MCF is one of a very few community foundations that offers this generous type of endowment funding. ESWN is very grateful to MCF, and excited about this new step.
By establishing an endowment, the longevity and mission of ESWN can be advanced to serve generations of scientists. Many of the most urgent challenges facing society are connected to the geosciences, including energy production, responding to climate change, natural resource management, and natural disaster forecasting. Consistent with many other areas of science and engineering, women continue to be largely under-represented in the geosciences. This lack of diversity has implications for innovation, and limits the human potential applied toward science, problem-solving, and sustainability. ESWN increases retention of women in the geosciences by facilitating and supporting professional person-to-person connections. Personal networks result in a more rewarding professional experience for women, relieving feelings of isolation and building lasting support systems capable of sustaining careers.
All donations are tax deductible and eligible for donation matching programs run by many employers. To help ESWN reach the goal of raising $100K, visit http://eswnonline.org/give.
Congratulations to the winners of the first ever ESWN photo competition! In October, we announced our first ever competition, and amazing 40 photos were submitted and voted on by our members. The fantastic winning photos are featured below.
ESWN has created greeting cards featuring these photos taken by our members during their research. At the AGU Fall Meeting, bundles of these notecards will be given as a thank-you gift to ESWN’s donors (this could be you, just click here!). You can support women in science and receive great gifts for the holidays!
These greeting cards are a wonderful snapshot of the exciting science our members are working on! The following photos, all submitted by ESWN members, appear on the front of the greeting cards, and the descriptions are printed on the back side. The cards are blank on the inside. Thanks to everyone who sent us their photos!
“My brother took this photo of me servicing an eddy covariance tower in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, California above a rice field where we have been measuring greenhouse gas exchange for multiple years now. This was a special day because it was the first time my brother came to the field with me and learned about what I do as a scientist.”
Photo submitted by Patricia Oikawa, PhD. Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley
“This photo was taken near Bermuda in the Sargasso Sea (Atlantic Ocean) on a research cruise that occurred during my Ph.D. program. The laboratory was on the R/V Oceanus out of Woods Hole Oceanography Institute to investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of phytoplankton and bacteria in the surface oceans, and how the presence of trace metals and elements might affect their growth.”
Photo submitted by Stephanie Shaw, PhD. Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
“I took this photo of the Short Cloud Forest in 2008, on Pico del Este in the El Yunque National Forest in Luquillo, Puerto Rico. We were studying the effect of low and fluctuating redox potential on microbial carbon cycling and decomposition. This site is at the extreme end of an elevational gradient of rainfall and soil moistures, which receives an average of 4 meters of rain per year!”
Photo submitted by Kristen DeAngelis, PhD. Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
“These sea urchins have covered themselves in debris to hide during low tide at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area in Newport, Oregon. I visited the tide pools in March 2015 on a field trip with my introductory oceanography students from Portland Community College.”
Photo submitted by Sharon Delcambre, PhD. Instructor, Portland Community College
“This is a photo of hand-dyed batik fabrics made by women from a career training center in Navrongo, Ghana. I had the opportunity to take this photo while doing field work in the area. The research I lead in Ghana is investigating the ways people cook (traditionally over open fire), the smoke emissions from these activities, and how human health and air quality is impacted. Check out more about the project: Research Of Emissions, Air Quality, Climate, And Cooking Technologies In Northern Ghana (www.reaccting.com).”
Photo submitted by Christine Wiedinmyer, PhD. Scientist III, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
“Askja volcano in Iceland is an excellent place to study the deposits of eruptions that occurred under an ice sheet. The rocks that are exposed in the steep walls of the caldera were formed during the last glacial period. More recent eruptions have dramatically cut through the deposits to form the caldera, which now hosts a lake. Photo taken July 2010 during my PhD work.”
Photo submitted by Alison Graettinger, PhD. Postdoctoral Associate, SUNY Buffalo
Generous sponsorship of these greeting cards provided by Elsevier
Abstract: Recent high-profile events in the news have raised awareness of the problem of harassment (including sexual harassment) in science and academia. These events have highlighted the need for support mechanisms for the targets of inappropriate behavior, as well as the need for a suitable institutional response to deter continued misconduct. Harassment can affect the personal and professional well-being of scientists when perpetrated by people in positions of power upon those in more vulnerable positions. This professional misconduct often preferentially targets women, although men can also be victims of harassment. Research confirms the extent of harassment in academic environments and in disciplines with low diversity, where the lack of established support networks can lead to feelings of vulnerability and professional insecurity. Another problem identified by research on harassment is the scarcity of well-defined resources for reporting and responding to inappropriate behavior, and the perceived risk that the victims’ careers may be jeopardized if they speak out. This session will provide information on lessons learned from recent research on the prevalence of sexual harassment in the scientific community, and discuss examples of institutional and individual responses. This will be an interactive session, and will seek input from participants on suggested actions for the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and other scientific societies in helping to address and correct these issues. This town hall session is jointly sponsored by the AGU, the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), and the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN).
Confirmed Speakers- Leaders of the sponsoring societies (Erika Marín-Spiotta from ESWN) plus:
Dr. Christine Williams, Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Williams is an expert on gender, race and class inequality in the workplace and has done extensive research on sexual harrassment.
Dr. Meg Urry, Israel Munson Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Chair of the Department of Physics at Yale University, Director of the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics and President of the American Astronomical Society (AAS)
Dr. Mary Anne Holmes, Professor of Practice in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and author “Women in the Geosciences – Practical, Positive Practices towards Parity.”
The Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) is hosting two professional development workshops at the AGU Fall Meeting in 2015: Navigating the NSF System and Opportunities Beyond Academia. ESWN has been leading professional networking activities at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco since 2006. ESWN works to amplify the benefits of AGU, especially for women and early-career scientists. We structure effective and meaningful opportunities for networking, engagement, and learning, and we have become a major partner with AGU in their early-career and diversity activities since 2010. Both workshops below are FREE and open to all AGU Fall Meeting attendees through a partnership of the Earth Science Women’s Network and AGU Education. We hope to see you at ESWN’s professional development workshops or at some of our other events during the Fall Meeting!
This workshop is designed to provide information for creating effective submissions to NSF, learning more about new initiatives as well as early career specific options, and connecting directly with NSF program officers. The typical schedule is listed below. This workshop is open to everyone, and please come and go as you need.
0900 – 0915: Introduction and Welcome
0915 – 1020: What constitutes an effective review? How do you make your proposal as NSF-savvy as possible? How do you best describe your broader impacts? What is cutting edge in data management? How do you identify the best program for an application? How do you access available education and outreach funds?
1020 – 1100: What new initiatives have been launched at NSF recently? How are initiatives different than core programs? How can you design effective integrated research? What option are available for early career scientists specifically and what are the criteria? (e.g., post-doctoral fellowships, AAAS fellowships and CAREER awards)
1100 – 1200: Meet in small groups with program officers; get to know what they are looking for; and learn how to ask the right questions, give the right answers, and get funded. A list of program officers who plan to attend will be made available as soon as possible (likely very close to the meeting time as federal employees will not know if they can travel until we have a new, committed federal budget!).
Thinking about a career outside of academia? It can often be difficult to get help finding a job in a non-profit or government agency, within industry, or as a consultant – after all your advisor is an academic and most likely doesn’t have “first-hand knowledge.” Maybe you want to stay in academia but are interested in working as a consultant or even starting your own business. This workshop will discuss practical skills for making the transition to successful post-graduate careers (yes, there is life after the MS/PhD!). A panel of scientists with experience outside of academia will share their “lessons learned” and answer your questions about how to find and apply for jobs in policy, federal research labs, state agencies, NGOs, industry, and private enterprise. Geared towards graduate students and post-docs who are considering options outside of academia, as well as faculty who are interested; all are invited.
Dr. Kate Hibbert, Publisher at Elsevier
Dr. Alicia Newton, Senior Editor at Nature Geoscience
Dr. LaToya Myles, Lead Research Physical Scientist at NOAA/ARL/ATDD
Dr. Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist at ESRI
Dr. Vanessa Bailey, Deputy Division Director at Pacific Northwest National Lab
Dr. Benét Duncan, Associate Scientist at California Ocean Science Trust
Dr. Mona Behl, Director at Georgia Sea Grant College Program
Carolyn Wilson, Geoscience Workforce Analyst, American Geosciences Institute
Dr. Sarah Barrett, Earthquake Specialist, Swiss Re America Holding Corporation
Thank you to the generous sponsors of ESWN’s activities at AGU!
If you are going to AGU, check out the line-up of ESWN’s many exciting events! We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco. ESWN is hosting or co-sponsoring many exciting events, offering our members and colleagues the opportunity to see old friends and make new connections. ESWN works to amplify the benefits of AGU, especially for women and early-career scientists.
Thank you to the generous sponsors of ESWN’s activities at AGU!
Tour of the California Academy of Sciences
Sunday, December 13, 2:00 – 6:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences
Special Fundraising Event
Join ESWN for this exciting tour of CAS, a leading aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum all in one! Our tour will be personally led by Dr. Jon Foley – Executive Director and William R. and Gretchen B. Kimball Chair of CAS, star scientist, and long-time supporter of ESWN. Our mini-bus will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel. This amazing event is for a small group (20 max). A $100 minimum donation to ESWN is required per person to cover the cost of the mini-bus and provide much-needed revenue to support ESWN activities. Anyone is welcome to participate, whether ESWN members, guests, or others interested in science and diversity.
Network with your peers at this event made especially for early career female scientists and students. Not-so-early-career women are also welcome! This event is FREE and does not require a ticket, even though the AGU registration says it is sold out. Light refreshments will be served. This event is co-hosted by ESWN.
This workshop with NSF program officers will be particularly helpful to early-career and mid-career participants, especially graduate students, post-docs, researchers, and tenure-track faculty thinking about applying for NSF funding for the first time. FREE and open to all AGU Fall meeting attendees through a partnership of the Earth Science Women’s Network and AGU Education.
Career Opportunities Networking Lunch
Wednesday, December 16, 12:30 – 1:30 PM
San Francisco Marriott Marquis – Golden Gate C1-C3
Practice your networking skills and find out about careers in a wide range of employment sectors, from national labs and government agencies to industry, consulting, and non-governmental organizations. Here’s your chance to find out about a career you hadn’t thought of (or even heard of)! This lunch is co-hosted by ESWN and is ticketed by AGU ($5).
This workshop will discuss practical skills for making the transition to successful post-graduate careers in policy, federal research labs, state agencies, NGOs, industry, and private enterprise and is geared towards graduate students and post-docs who are considering options outside of academia, as well as faculty who are interested. FREE and open to all AGU Fall meeting attendees through a partnership of the Earth Science Women’s Network and AGU Education.
ESWN structures effective and meaningful opportunities for networking, engagement, and learning, and we have become a major partner with AGU in their early-career and diversity activities since 2010.
ESWN was featured in an article published in Research Professional about the value of informal networking. The article celebrates ESWN’s discussions about professional and personal matters, and the involvement of people around the world at various stages of their careers.
Meredith Hastings, an ESWN Leadership Board Member, has received a 2014 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award from the American Geophysical Union (AGU). This award recognizes the research contributions of exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences. Meredith won an Ascent Award “for increasing our understanding of the interlocking nature of the chemistry of the atmosphere, biosphere and climate and the role humans play in the interconnection.”
You can read more about the AGU Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Awards here.
– Member of Awards Committee: work to improve the number of women receiving awards by dividing and conquering the work of nominating. For example, one person leading each nomination, one person helping to draft text, one person contacting the letter writers. NOTE: AGU Union nominations due March 15 so this is a time-sensitive project, although other programs have nominations through the year
– Design and/or marketing volunteers: Help us design materials, write up information for our website, fundraising, reaching out to students and new members – designer, writers, or anyone with PR or marketing experience would be great!
– Event organizer: help organize a reception or a workshop at your home institution, or a professional meeting – this could be a small coffee gathering, or helping with larger ESWN events at AGU or EGU
– Diversity Coordinator: identify ways to effectively connect with other diversity groups in the earth sciences and broaden the reach of ESWN’s resources to increase diversity of all aspects in our disciplines.
ESWN member Laura Guertin, a blogger for AGU, recently featured ESWN in her post celebrating Women’s History Month.
“For the month of March, in honor of Women’s History Month, I am dedicating my weekly blog posts to the outstanding organizations, resources, and inspiring stories about women in STEM.
I can’t think of a better way to kick off Women’s History Month than to celebrate the incredible impact the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) has made on the careers of over 2,000 female students, faculty, and researchers across the globe.”
Colorado Front Range mentors needed for college-level women interested in higher education and careers in the geosciences
In the United States, men outnumber women in many science and engineering fields by nearly 3 to 1. In fields like physics or the geosciences, the gender gap can be even wider.
A team of geoscientists (including ESWN’s Dr. Emily Fischer, Dr. Rebecca Barnes, Dr. Sandra Clinton, and Dr. Manda Adams) and collaborators from collegiate psychology and STEM education departments will lead a study over the next five years to explore the benefits of mentoring for supporting undergraduate women’s interest, persistence, and achievement in STEM generally, and in the geosciences specifically.
The program will focus on mentoring female undergraduate students from Colorado State University, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and the University of Wyoming by providing access to professional women across geoscience fields.
We are looking for Front Range members of ESWN to act as local, in-person mentors for first and second-year female students from these academic institutions.
If you would like to volunteer as a mentor, please email your contact information and current institution/affiliation to email@example.com. Please reference “mentor” in the subject line.
If you are going to AGU, check out ESWN’s professional development workshops: Navigating the NSF System, Getting on the Tenure Track and Succeeding, and Opportunities Beyond Academia. ESWN is also involved in the workshop, Improving Your Success for AGU Honors: Tips, Tools, and Tactics. There will be an icebreaker on Monday at 6-8 PM and a networking reception for early-career women on Tuesday at 6-7 PM. All events are open to all and free! We hope to see you at AGU!
Improving Your Success for AGU Honors: Tips, Tools, and Tactics
10:00 – 11:30 AM, Monday, December 15
SF Intercontinental, Grand Ballroom, Open to All
AGU’s Honors and Recognition Committee, in partnership with ESWN (Earth Science Womens Network) and AGU volunteers, will host this inaugural workshop. The workshop is focused on discussing best practices for nominating or being nominated for AGU honors and will offer tools, tips, and tactics. The three topics of the workshop are: (1) how to increase diversity of nominations, (2) how to submit a successful nomination from the nominator’s perspective, and (3) what constitutes a good nomination package from a selection committee’s perspective. The workshop is open to all AGU members and stakeholders. It is part of a larger AGU effort to support all nominators and nominees and strengthen the long-term diversity of nominations and awardees of AGU’s honors and recognition program. Please join us for light snacks, drinks, and a healthy collaborative discussion with your colleagues!
AGU Ice Breaker
6:00 – 8:00 PM, Monday, December 15
Moscone South, Hall C: Exhibit Hall, Open to All
An opportunity to meet colleagues and new friends during the first day of the sessions. Look for the ESWN sign to meet up!
Networking Reception for Early-Career Female Scientists and Students
6:00 – 7:00 PM, Tuesday, December 16
Westin Market Street, Metropolitan Ballroom 1&2
Network with your peers at this event made especially for early career female scientists and students. Created in partnership with the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) and the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN), this reception will be hosted by Executive Director/CEO of AGU Chris McEntee, AGU President Carol Finn, and AGU President-elect Margaret Leinen. Tickets are free. Light refreshments will be served.
Navigating the NSF System
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Wednesday, December 17th
San Francisco Marriott Marquis – Golden Gate C2, Open to All
How do you make your proposal as NSF-savvy as possible? How do you best describe your broader impacts? What is cutting edge in data management? How do you identify the best program for application? How do you access available education and outreach funds? There are always new initiatives starting at NSF, beyond core programs. How do you identify and apply for these opportunities? How are initiatives different than core programs? How can you design effective integrated research? Answer these questions and meet in small groups with Program Officers, get to know what they are looking for, and learn how to ask the right questions, give the right answers, and get funded. This workshop is open to all AGU Fall Meeting attendees and will be particularly helpful to early-career to midcareer participants, especially graduate students, post-docs, researchers, and tenure-track faculty thinking about applying for NSF funding for the first time. Co-sponsored by the Earth Science Women’s Network and AGU Education.
Facilitated by Meredith Hastings
Featuring NSF program officers from across the Geosciences Directorate
Getting on the Tenure Track and Succeeding
1:00 – 3:00 PM, Wednesday, December 17th
San Francisco Marriott Marquis – Golden Gate C2, Open to All
The tenure track can seem mysterious: a few crucial years where new professors build a research program, develop a teaching portfolio, and hope to be promoted. In this workshop, we aim to de-mystify the process, and share secrets to success. This workshop is geared towards assistant professors on the tenure-track now, as well as grad students and post-docs considering an academic career; all are invited. This workshop is possible through a partnership of the Earth Science Women’s Network and AGU Education.
Moderated by Becca Barnes
Megan Anderson, Associate Professor, Colorado College
Maura Hahnenberger, Lecturer (tenure-track), Salt Lake Community College
Tara Hudiburg, Assistant Professor, Univ of Idaho
Maureen Long, Assistant Professor, Yale University
Caroline Masiello, Associate Professor, Rice University
Opportunities Beyond Academia
3:00 – 5:00 PM, Wednesday, December 17th
San Francisco Marriott Marquis – Golden Gate C2, Open to All
Thinking about a career outside of academia? It can often be difficult to get help finding a job in a non-profit or government agency, within industry, or as a consultant – after all your advisor is an academic and most likely doesn’t have “first-hand knowledge.” Maybe you want to stay in academia but are interested in working as a consultant or even starting your own business. This workshop will discuss practical skills for making the transition to successful post-graduate careers (yes, there is life after the MS/PhD!). A panel of scientists with experience outside of academia will share their “lessons learned” and answer your questions about how to find and apply for jobs in policy, federal research labs, state agencies, NGOs, industry, and private enterprise. Geared towards graduate students and post-docs who are considering options outside of academia, as well as faculty who are interested; all are invited. This workshop is a partnership between the Earth Science Women’s Network and AGU Education.
Moderated by Erika Marin-Spiotta
Kate Dennis, Product Manager, Picarro, Inc.
Jennifer Pett-Ridge, Research Scientist, Department of Energy Lawrence Livermore National Lab
Mona Behl, Research Coordinator and Climate Science Specialist Texas Sea Grant College Program, Texas A&M University
Jessica Thompson, Senior Geologist at ConocoPhillips
Julia Rosen, Freelance journalist
Dena Vallano, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Research Fellow at US Environmental Protection Agency
Katherine Hoag, Environmental Scientist at US EPA
Meredith Kurpius, Chief Air Quality Analysis Office at US EPA
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is hosting the ESWN Leadership Board this week! Come join us for many amazing events! If you can’t make it in person, you can still watch the webcast of the Weston Roundtable discussion. We look forward to seeing many of you in Madison!
4:00-5:15 The ESWN Leadership Board will present at the Weston Roundtable (a public seminar); “Building Communities to Build Careers – Lessons from the Earth Science Women’s Network” 1106 Mechanical Engineering, 1513 University Avenue. Coffee, tea, and cookies at 4:00 PM. This will also be available as a webcast! The link is at this URL: http://www.sage.wisc.edu/news.html
Friday, November 21
8:30-9:45 The Department of Geography and Women in Geography present: “Getting Out in the Field — How to create a positive field experience with a diverse team,” an informal discussion with the Earth Science Women’s Network. 175 Science Hall, 550 North Park Street. Coffee and bagels will be provided.
11:00-12:30 The ESWN Leadership Board hosts “Life after the Ph.D. — Q & A for current, recent, and future grads in science and engineering fields” Lunch provided. At Union South, check Today in the Union board for the room number.
5:30 ESWN Hangout (dinner, happy hour, etc.) at the Union South Sett, meeting point to be announced – check back here later!
New Non-Profit Launches to Promote Women in Science
Prof. Tracey Holloway, firstname.lastname@example.org Cell 608.443.6678
Prof. Meredith Hastings, Meredith_Hastings@brown.edu Cell 206.778.9656
PRESS RELEASE – Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Rarely is a new non-profit organization born with an international reputation, over 2000 members, and a mandate to improve the lives of women in science. But, that happened today, as the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) formally launched itself as an organization dedicated to the career development for women in the geosciences.
Although ESWN has been serving women in oceanography, atmospheric science, geology, and other branches of the earth sciences for over a decade, the transition to a non-profit is a major step forward for the group. Until now ESWN operated as an informal network of scientists, with activities coordinated by an eight-person leadership board of early- and mid-career women. Core activities include online discussions, peer mentoring, and networking events organized by members from Honolulu, Hawaii to Kiel, Germany.
Tracey Holloway, a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and co-founder of ESWN says, “It is amazing all the things we were able to do as a grassroots organization – until now, we never even had a group bank account!” For the past ten years, ESWN has received support from a wide range of organizations and universities, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The group has benefited from a wide range of in-kind support, including event co-hosting and web servers from the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and part-time staff support funded by the University of Wisconsin–Madison 4W Initiative for Women and Wellbeing. Without a standing budget, however, ESWN was not able to reserve event spaces, pay for website maintenance, or even cover the cost of a conference call.
Now, the group’s leadership hopes to engage donors to invest in the successful programs of ESWN, and to better serve the needs of female graduate students and scientists. Holloway says, “Now, we can do basic things like host meetings and maintain our website, as well as launch exciting new initiatives.” These include broadening access to professional development workshops, extending the scope of ESWN activities to include college and high school students, and providing small grants to overcome barriers to career success.
Meredith Hastings, a Brown University assistant professor and ESWN co-founder emphasizes how small investments can really make a difference. “I have two little girls, ages two and three — luckily my university [Brown] has provided some extra support for childcare for work-related travel… but this is really unusual. Many of our members have to limit career-advancing travel, like giving talks at major conferences or doing fieldwork because they cannot afford to bring their kids and care-provider with, nor can they afford to leave them at home and hire extra babysitters. It is a catch-22, where a small amount of support could make a huge difference.”
ESWN is led by a board of eight scientists, spanning career stages, work environments, and regions from Florida to Wisconsin, Colorado to Rhode Island. More information on ESWN is available at www.eswnonline.org.
Long-time ESWN Member Tami Bond has been awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. MacArthur fellows are “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction”(MacArthur Foundation).
Tami is an environmental engineer and professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research is aimed at understanding the effects of black carbon emissions on human health and climate. Black carbon is created whenever something is burned, but emissions vary considerably by source. Tami works at the interface between energy consumption and global atmospheric chemistry and measures black carbon’s physical, chemical, and optical properties. She was selected by the MacArthur Foundation in part because her studies have indicated that “global black carbon emissions are one of the most important contributions to anthropogenic climate change.” She translates her research to be more suitable for policy application, and is helping millions around the world breathe cleaner air.
According to Tami, while in grad school, she “wanted to know about the entire lifetime of combustion products, which begin in the heart of the flame, proceed through the tailpipe (or exhaust stack), waft into the atmosphere, interact with other chemicals or with solar radiation, and eventually get changed into another chemical or get stuck on raindrops, the earth, trees, lungs.” This interest in the entire cycle led Tami to receive an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. from the University of Washington with advisors from the departments of Civil Engineering, Atmospheric Sciences, and Mechanical Engineering. Tami’s sister, Robin Schneider, (also an ESWN member, and one of 7 siblings) thinks that “Tami’s interdisciplinary Ph.D. is a sign of her genius – she inherently understands connections without arbitrary limitations imposed by others/academia.” Tami is a passionate scientist, and we are proud that she is a long-time ESWN member.
You can read more about Tami’s work here and visit her website here.
In the United States, men outnumber women in many science and engineering fields by nearly 3 to 1. In fields like physics or the geosciences, the gender gap can be even wider. The Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) has been working to narrow this gap among early-career scientists since 2002. Now, three ESWN board members are working with a team to increase the number of female undergraduate students earning undergraduate degrees in the geosciences or continuing on to graduate school in these fields.
With a $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Dr. Emily Fischer, an Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University and ESWN Board Member, will lead the effort to try to close the gender gap in the geosciences or earth sciences, which encompass fields such as mining and geology, the atmospheric sciences, issues related to natural resource management, natural disaster forecasting, and oceanography.
In addition to Fischer, the team includes Rebecca Barnes, an Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences at Colorado College (ESWN Board member), Sandra Clinton, a Research Assistant Professor of Geography and Earth Sciences at the University of North Carolina Charlotte (ESWN member), and Manda Adams, an Assistant Research Professor associated with the University of North Carolina Charlotte who is currently on an appointment at the National Science Foundation (working with the geoscience project team as part of her Independent Research and Development program, ESWN Board member). The group also engages expertise in psychology and education, working with Silvia S. Canetto, a CSU Psychology Professor, Paul R. Hernandez, an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at West Virginia University, and Laura Sample McMeeking, the Associate Director of the CSU science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Center.
Mentoring female undergraduate students by providing access to professional women across geoscience fields and creating a peer-network of students with similar academic interests will be the program focus.
“We want to build the pipeline of female students entering the geosciences,” Fischer said. “Females are underrepresented in the geosciences –at about 16 percent of the workforce. That is the picture in my field too – women represent about 15% of atmospheric scientists. It’s even lower when you get into geology”
Starting in 2015, the team will recruit 50 first-year female students from CSU, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and the University of Wyoming to attend a workshop where they will learn about educational and career opportunities and meet peers with similar interests. The team will simultaneously recruit a cohort of students from the University of North Carolina Charlotte, Duke University, and the University of South Carolina.
From there, they will be mentored in person by local members of ESWN, a non-profit organization dedicated to career development and community for women in the earth sciences. In addition, female students will have access to a web-platform that will enable national-scale peer mentoring.
“We are patterning this intervention after outreach programs that we know have been successful with advanced undergraduate and graduate-level women,” Fischer said. “We want to see if this can work with female undergraduate students and get more of them interested in pursuing careers in the geosciences.”
Canetto, Hernandez, and Sample McMeeking will be also be evaluating the effectiveness of the program and whether mentoring is a good model for recruiting women into the geosciences.
“There is evidence that mentoring seems to be an effective tool for women in various disciplines, but there is no scientific data for women in the geosciences,” Fischer said. “We want to collect real data from these students. We want to understand whether mentoring works for undergraduate women in the geosciences and exactly how beneficial these efforts could be. My goal for the next 5 years is to design an effective and inexpensive recruitment and retention program for the geosciences that can be a model for other universities.”
Jessica Tierney is a 2014 James B. Macelwane Medal Winner. This medal is conferred to outstanding early career scientists in recognition of significant contributions to the geophysical sciences. Dr. Tierney is an Assistant Scientist and lead PI of the Molecular Paleoclimatology group at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Dr. Tierney’s work is certainly outstanding. Having received her PhD in Geology from Brown University in 2010, Dr. Tierney ‘s publications have already appeared several times in high profile journals, such as Nature, Nature Geoscience, and Science. Her research applies biomarkers to reconstruct past climates in places such as East Africa, Indonesia, and the glacial tropical Indo-Pacific. Before starting her position at WHOI, she was a NOAA/UCAR Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. ESWN members can connect with Jessica here.
R. Heather Macdonald is the 2014 Excellence in Geophysical Education Award Winner. This award is given to one honoree annual in recognition of “sustained commitment to excellence in geophysical education.” A professor of Geology at William & Mary, Dr. Macdonald is a household name in the geoscience community given her leadership of the On the Cutting Edge and several other NSF-funded programs to provide professional development for educators at the middle school, high school and college levels. Dr. Macdonald’s transformational contributions to improving institutional culture and the preparedness of our early career teachers and scientists will be felt for generations. Dr. Macdonald has received several awards for her teaching, including the Neil Miner Award from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers and the Biggs Award from the Geological Society of America Education Division. ESWN members can connect with Heather here.
Mioara Mandea is the 2014 International Award Winner. This award recognizes “outstanding contribution to furthering the Earth and space sciences and using science for the benefit of society in developing nations.” Dr. Mandea is currently the Solid Earth Programme Manager for the Directorate for Strategy and Programmes at the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiale, Paris. Dr. Mandea is General Secretary of European Geosciences Union, General Secretary of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy. Her research interests revolve around measuring, mapping, and understanding the multitude of magnetic fields encountered near Earth and similar planets. With > 200 research publications, Dr. Mandea also serves as President of the Geophysical Maps Commission of the Commission for the Geological Map of the World, and Chair of the Education Award Committee of AGU. To read more about Dr. Mandea’s work go here.
Katharine Hayhoe is the 2014 Climate Communication Prize Winner. This prize is given annually to one honoree in recognition of contributions to communicating climate science, highlighting “the importance of promoting scientific literacy, clarity of message, and efforts to foster respected and understanding of science-based values.” As an atmospheric scientist, Dr. Hayhoe’s research focuses on understanding regional and local-scale impacts of climate change on human systems and the environment. She has >100 peer reviewed publications and is a contributor to the US Global Change Research Program’s Second National Climate Assessment, the National Academy Report “Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia,” and the Third National Climate Assessment (2014). She has devoted significant time to communicating with the non-science community. Dr. Hayhoe is the founder and CEO of ATMOS Research, an organization that “bridges the gap between scientists and stakeholders to provide relevant, state-of-the-art information on how climate change will affect our lives to a broad range of non-profit, industry and government clients.” She also serves as the scientific advisor to several organizations, including the Citizen’s Climate Lobby and the International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative. She co-wrote A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions, a book that tackles many long-held misconceptions about global warming. Dr. Hayhoe is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. ESWN members can connect with Katharine here.
We have relaunched eswnonline.org to be easier to use, for members and future maintenance. Members can now view most recent activity all in one place with the “What’s New” button in the menu. And the menus themselves have been re-designed for easier navigability. Please poke around and make sure to give our web team feedback about what more you would like to see!