Statement of Current Condition
Much progress has now been made on these goals through the concerted action of many different groups of which WG2 was only one player. Below we summarize some of the important progress made.
- The general graduate curriculum and exam series has been restructured to increase transparency and equity for all students. This was a multi year process but was finalized in May 2022 and is now in place for 2022 incoming PhD students.
- The graduate core curriculum has been redesigned and now included elements that explicitly emphasize histories of inequity and DEI issues in Ecology and Evolution.
- A plan has been developed to incorporate more DEI training methods into 502 course for graduate TA training; this should be implemented beginning in 2022
- A website is now being created with the following:
- Tools and resources available to improve pedagogy related to DEI.
- A better system to share DEI pedagogical training resources with graduate students, postdocs and faculty.
- A plan has been developed for seminar organizers to specifically review PPF fellows pool every year and invite relevant fellows to the symposium.
- A plan is being implemented to add a DEI statement to all faculty profiles on EEMB page, which should help prospective students understand the nature of commitment from faculty to DEIW issues/
- Effort has been made to support undergraduate research through the following:
- Efforts are ongoing to revitalize the SEEDS club to provide additional mentorship and engagement opportunities for undergraduates.
- A first undergraduate symposium was held to assist undergrads to share their research; it is hoped this will become an annual event.
- A first lab open house was held to help increase transparency about what it means to be involved in a lab. It is hoped this will become an annual event.
- The application process for Schmidt and Worster awards is being redesigned to allow students who may be less familiar with the process and have not already paired with a mentor to apply, hopefully engaging more diverse students.
- Undergraduate curriculum and mentorship opportunities are being expanded
- A new coursework (90A and 90B series) has been developed specifically targeted to engage traditionally underserved students in STEM.
- A short-term hire was made through an external grant to hire an additional academic mentor to work closely with traditionally underserved students in environmental science
- A new program (FUERTE) has provided additional funding and training opportunities for traditionally underserved students; currently the funding for this program is only short-term
The EEMB DEIW Curriculum Working Group was convened in order to identify ways to best foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment in all formal and informal teaching and mentorship in the Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology Department of UCSB.
Strategies to Improve DEI Issues in Teaching and Mentorship
The working group on curriculum has not yet undertaken a comprehensive visioning exercise to explore long term objectives and goals. Instead, the WG has focused on near-term small to medium scale actions. To that end, WG2 suggests that pursuing the following actions, in partnership with other groups and committees in the department and the University, are high priority strategies to advance DEI goals in the sphere of curriculum and education resources in EEMB:
1. Increase availability and use of training resources that address DEIW issues in pedagogy available to all teachers and mentors and UCSB.
- Curating and maintaining a central list of resources and trainings available. This will necessitate finding funding for long-term curation and maintenance for these resources
- Ensuring wide dissemination of these resources across all teacher levels
- Collect data through annual faculty surveys about what training resources were utilized in the past year and what resources are planned to be used in future years. Use this data to decide how best to encourage or require faculty to participate in DEI trainings in future years.
2. Improve transparency and equity in graduate and undergraduate training series.
- Improve and formalize mentorship programs at both graduate and undergraduate levels.
- Undergraduate Level:
- Provide long-term support for staffing a mentorship position targeted at underserved position.
- Continue to support mentorship groups, through clubs, research symposia, including identifying support for these groups
- Graduate Level:
- Maintain and improve faculty to graduate student mentorship programs
- Maintain and improve mentorship training programs for graduate students
3. Develop new coursework and improve existing required coursework to better incorporate DEIW issues.
- Undergraduate Level:
- Create and maintain courses for students from traditionally underserved students in STEM, notably including identifying funding to support the maintenance of programming developed from the FUERTE initiative.
- Graduate Level:
- Incorporate and continue to develop DEIW module in teaching techniques course.
- Continue to provide resources for graduate teaching assistants to participate in DEI training.