Exploring deliberate mentoring approaches aimed at improving the recruitment and persistence of undergraduate women in the geosciences

Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Ilana B Pollack1, Amanda S Adams2, Rebecca T Barnes3, Melissa A Burt4, Sandra M Clinton5, Elaine Godfrey5, Paul Hernandez6, Brittany Bloodhart4, Jennifer Sayers6, Heather Henderson6, Laura Beth Sample McMeeking7, Cheryl Bowker7 and Emily V Fischer8, (1)Colorado State University, Department of Atmospheric Science, Fort Collins, CO, United States, (2)National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA, United States, (3)Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO, United States, (4)Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, United States, (5)University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, United States, (6)West Virginia University, Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development, Morgantown, WV, United States, (7)Colorado State University, STEM Center, Fort Collins, CO, United States, (8)Colorado State University, Atmospheric Science, Fort Collins, CO, United States
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. Previous studies have identified the early college years as a critical point where many women exit STEM disciplines. An interdisciplinary team including experts in the geosciences, psychology, education, and STEM persistence have recently begun a 5-year project focused on understanding whether mentoring can increase the interest, persistence, and achievement of undergraduate women in the geosciences. The program focuses on mentoring first and second year female undergraduate students from three universities in Colorado and Wyoming and four universities in North and South Carolina. The mentoring program includes a weekend workshop, access to professional women across geoscience fields and both in-person and virtual peer networks. The first weekend workshops will be held in October 2015. We will present an overview of the major components and lessons learned from these workshops and showcase the web center, including the online peer-networking forum.