Dr. Diana Dalbotten works for the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota as the director of Diversity and Broader Impacts. The focus of her work has been on broadening participation of underrepresented students, and particularly Native Americans in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields. She collaborates with tribes in Minnesota and nationally to advance this work. Her work has been on understanding the practice of Community-Based Participatory Research (CPBR) on environmental issues and education in the geosciences. She has run programs that have supported over 200 students to do summer research at the University of Minnesota and with tribal communities since 2002 and directs the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) on Sustainable Land and Water Resources, a collaboration with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; Salish Kootenai College, Montana; and the University of Minnesota. This National Science Foundation program is unique in being both tribally-focused and incorporating CPBR. An amazing part of this journey has been learning about the Ojibwe culture and about manoomin (wild rice), the amazing “food that grows on the water” in our Minnesota lakes.
Diana also collaborates with Fond du Lac on the gidakiimanaanwigamig (Our Earth Lodge) Math and Science Camps, which have run since 2002. Hundreds of student participants have participated in gidakiimanaaniwigamig which focuses on graduation from high-school, college-readiness, and academic excellence. Working with strong women from the community, including Holly Pellerin, Lowana Greensky, Courtney Kowalczak, Cynthia Welsh, Rachel Breckenridge, Leslie Bucar and many others, has been an amazing, grounding, and knowledge-gaining experience that changed her life and her career.
Diana founded and directs the Geoscience Alliance (GA), a national alliance for broadening participation of Native Americans in the geosciences. The GA is more of a family than a professional society, and has brought many new friends and colleagues into her life, most notably her co-directors Antony Berthelote and Nievita Bueno Watts. The journey of the Geoscience Alliance began in 2007 with sessions at professional conferences, and has grown to encompass hundreds of participants. We will host our 4th national conference in 2019. The best thing about the Geoscience Alliance is watching all of the passionate, committed, intelligent students who are progressing in their careers, earning degrees, and going on to change the world.
Diana joined the Earth Science Women’s Network in 2016. It has been a catalyst for getting to remotely know many wonderful Earth scientists from all parts of the country via the website, listserv and Facebook site.