“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny” wrote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly….Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its borders.”
On this day, each year, Americans honor Dr. King’s achievements. Yet realizing his goal of peace, justice, and empathy remains a challenge in a diverse society that continues to sort itself racially, ethnically, economically, and geographically. It takes action year-round to advance Dr. King’s social justice vision.
There are many members of our AMS community who, in their own ways, are answering that call to action. The themes of Martin Luther King Day will be fresh on our minds next week at our 97th AMS Annual Meeting in Seattle–consider taking time to weave your way into that “network of mutuality” by attending some of the many presentations on diversity in the sciences. For example:
- PROGRESS: PROmoting Geoscience Research Education and SuccesS Through Deliberate Mentoring will present preliminary analyses of online surveys and interviews with female undergraduate student participants of a mentoring program aimed at increasing the interest, persistence, and achievement of undergraduate women in geoscience fields, including atmospheric science.
- Achieving Greater Diversity in Atmospheric Science: Translating Best Practices into Success will highlight the methods the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science used to increase diversity in atmospheric science, in hopes that they can be replicated in other geoscience departments across the nation.
- UCAR/NCAR Equity and Inclusion (UNEION): Addressing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at a Major National Laboratory addressed workplace climate through a 4-part intensive training series for employees, covering privilege, gender, race, and bystander intervention techniques to change attitudes towards diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
- Exposing Underrepresented Groups to Climate Change and Atmospheric Science Through Service Learning and Community-Based Participatory Research explains how Tennessee State University is participating with six other institutions in this NASA-funded project to expose high school students from racial and ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM to atmospheric science and physical systems associated with climate change.
- The New York City College of Technology has forged Federal, Local, Private, and Institutional Partnerships for Promoting and Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences as a way to train, equip, and retain students in the geosciences to successfully enter the geoscience workforce.
- Citrus College, a Hispanic-serving two-year public community college in northeast Los Angeles county, is Partnering for Diversity: A Year-Round Experiential Learning Project to Engage Community College Students in the Geosciences, working with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and UCAR to do the same thing as the New York City College of Technology but at the community college level. “A peak experience of the program is a ten-day mini-internship in Colorado where students are immersed in atmospheric research, training, and fieldwork,” the abstract of this presentation states.
There are posters, too, that look at diversity and programs that assist minority students and faculty teaching at minority-serving institutions:
- A Three-Year Success Story: AMS Climate Studies for the Diverse Student Population at the University of Hawaii West Oahu discusses the findings from three years of surveys of students enrolled in a meteorology course as a viable approach to STEM and Climate Literacy for a very diverse population of students.
- Improving Academic Performance and Retention for Environmental Sciences and Engineering Urban Students are the main goals of a partnership among minority and Hispanic-serving institutions in New York City, and results of the five-year program exemplify the successful coordination and integration of modular programs and intervention strategies.
- Latin American Network of students in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (RedLAtM) promotes the integration of young people towards a common and imminent future: Facing the still unstudied various weather and climate events occurring in Latin America and Mexico.
- The AMS Education Program highlights several initiatives Using Real-World Data to Train Faculty at Minority-Serving Institutions that promote the use of real-world data while increasing diversity in the AMS-related fields.