The Geoscience Alliance--A National Network for Broadening Participation of Native Americans in the Geosciences

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 9:30 AM
Diana M Dalbotten, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, Minneapolis, MN, United States and Antony R Berthelote, Salish Kootenai College, Hydrology, Pablo, MT, United States
The Geoscience Alliance is a national alliance of individuals committed to broadening participation of Native Americans in the geosciences. Native Americans in this case include American Indians, Alaska Natives and people of Native Hawai’ian ancestry. Although they make up a large percentage of the resource managers in the country, they are underrepresented in degrees in the geosciences. The Geoscience Alliance (GA) members are faculty and staff from tribal colleges, universities, and research centers; native elders and community members; industry, agency, and corporate representatives; students (K12, undergraduate, and graduate); formal and informal educators; and other interested individuals. The goals of the Geoscience Alliance are to 1) create new collaborations in support of geoscience education for Native American students, 2) establish a new research agenda aimed at closing gaps in our knowledge on barriers and best practices related to Native American participation in the geosciences, 3) increase participation by Native Americans in setting the national research agenda on issues in the geosciences, and particularly those that impact Native lands, 4) provide a forum to communicate educational opportunities for Native American students in the geosciences, and 5) to understand and respect indigenous traditional knowledge. In this presentation, we look at the disparity between numbers of Native Americans involved in careers related to the geosciences and those who are receiving bachelors or graduate degrees in the geosciences. We address barriers towards degree completion in the geosciences, and look at innovative programs that are addressing those barriers.