Creating and Connecting Champions for Diversity in the Geosciences: Hearts of GOLD

Authors: Grady Dixon*, Fort Hays State University, Kathy Quardokus Fisher, Florida International University, Eric Kaufman, Virginia Tech, LaToya Myles, NOAA, Carolyn Brinkworth, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Topics: Careers and professional development, Physical Geography, Field Methods
Keywords: diversity, leadership, change
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download



Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the geosciences can occur only when geoscientists take deliberate actions to redefine the discipline’s culture. However, scientific leaders often do not have the expertise in DEI to lead these culturally inclusive change efforts. Hearts of GOLD’s (GOLD: Geo Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity) professional development provides established geoscientists with the knowledge, tools, and skills to become DEI change leaders. By targeting scientists who are actively engaged and well-respected in the field, the project seeks to connect and expand the cohort of diversity champions who have power to make significant cultural shifts in their institutions, professional organizations, and across the geosciences community. The project held two summer sessions led by the Knapsack Institute. These “GOLD Institutes” engaged participants in lessons of diversity, equity, and inclusion and helped them plan specific actions to lead change in their home organizations. In this preliminary report, we use case study analysis to investigate how participants of the first session in July 2017 enacted change strategies. We frame our discussion by considering how change occurs in communities through socially-constructed adaption and adoption of new ideas. Results provide a landscape of practices that geoscientist leaders have used to become champions of diversity, from discussing DEI at faculty meetings to developing new organizational structures to support DEI. Future work on how these landscapes of practices can be capitalized to design DEI professional development sessions will be discussed.

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