Diversity in Wetland Science
Promoting human diversity within wetland science can provide key opportunities to broaden insights into important ecological processes by incorporating multiple perspectives and, in many cases, linking cultural histories to critical scientific investigations, restoration agendas and environmental assessments. Members of SWS benefit from the success of the Society in bridging scientists from multiple professional backgrounds into proximity through annual and chapter meetings, publications and training opportunities. Linked implicitly to this within SWS is a strategic mission to increase exposure of nontraditional students to careers in wetland science and to promote diversity within the Society's multifaceted community.
The Human Diversity Program provides a framework for proposing, organizing and funding new initiatives to increase diversity within wetland science by leveraging Society membership and coordinating activities associated with the Society's annual meetings. The program has sponsored symposia addressing the role of human diversity in science and keynote and invited speakers who are actively engaged in promoting diversity within their research and work programs. The program also has organized mini-workshops for students interested in science careers and is actively engaged in mentoring undergraduate students at Society annual meetings.
Funding for many of these initiatives comes directly from the National Science Foundation through competitive grants. The program has benefited greatly by linking to established diversity programs within other scientific societies. Specifically, the SWS Human Diversity Program annually sponsors two students to attend the Ecological Society of America's SEEDS leadership training. These students are chosen competitively from among our past diversity awards recipients and frequently become effective leaders in their chosen field.
The Society also supports a booth at the annual MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences) conference. MANRRS provides a wonderful venue for introducing students to what wetland scientists do and encouraging them to apply to our SWS Multicultural Mentoring Program for a more directed experience.
The Human Diversity Committee:
- Recruits, reviews and selects 10-15 applicants each year for our National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Human Diversity mentoring program
- Provides a personal connection to mentees each year that often last well beyond our annual meeting
- Selects mentees to participate in ESA’s Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability: Diverse People for a Diverse Science leadership training each year
- Participates in the annual Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences conference
|Kwanza Johnson (Co-chair)||IBSS/NOAA Fisheries|
|Jacoby Carter (Co-chair)||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Alani Taylor (Past Chair)||U.S. Army Corps of Engineers|
|Dr. Vanessa Lougheed||University of Texas – El Paso|
|Leandra Cleveland||HDR Engineering|
|Eliot White||University of Virginia|