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Mapping Potential Geoscience Exposure at HBCUs

Authors: Reginald Archer*, Tennessee State University, Adriana Martin, Tennessee State University
Topics: Earth Science, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Geography Education
Keywords: STEM, Geoscience, HBCU, GIS
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Geosciences represent the STEM area with the least Black representation. Despite some growth over the past few years, less than 1% of undergraduate geoscience degrees are conferred nationally to African Americans. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) are uniquely positioned to broaden participation of Black students who go on to pursue degrees and careers in science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) fields. In particular, HBCUs provide opportunities to introduce Geosciences to students from underrepresented and underserved communities. However, many STEM departments at HBCUs tend to relate more to environmental sciences broadly, rather than the more narrow physical geography, geoscience or Earth science majors. Many students who grew up in urban settings may not have experienced camping, hiking, or have ever been exposed to natural land features out in the field. The goals of this project are 1) to map STEM offerings, related to Geosciences, at every HBCU, and 2) to measure the proximity to national & state parks and other areas representing opportunities for Earth science field experiences. The project will develop layers of data depicting the environments in which the institutions are located, the offerings at each institution, and determine the nearby environments suitable to expose students to the Geosciences.

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