Diversity programmes in the united states
AfricaArray is pioneering a pipeline programme for those U.S. students who traditionally have been less represented in geosciences by providing new opportunities at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels.
Supporting these innovative efforts is a broad coalition of industry, government and academic partners, including several minority-serving institutions. These partners understand the value and necessity of diversifying the geosciences for today’s global environment and also recognize the challenges involved.
Geosciences awards the fewest undergraduate degrees—less than 1 percent—of all of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, according to the National Science Foundation’s recent report on Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering (January 2009).
The picture doesn’t improve at the graduate level. Although the number of underrepresented minorities in science and engineering has increased in the last decade, they account for only 5.8 percent of degrees awarded in the earth, atmospheric and ocean sciences—the lowest in all STEM fields, according to NSF.
The goal of AfricaArray’s diversity programme in the U.S. is to graduate up to 25 African American, Hispanic and Native American students per year by 2014 with Bachelor’s degrees in the STEM fields. Supported by AfricaArray’s recruiting, training and retention initiatives, these students will have the required academic preparation in the geosciences to pursue graduate degrees in top geosciences departments across the country.