Department of Geosciences Diversity, Inclusion, & Accessibility Statement
The Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is devoted to providing an inclusive, accessible, and safe environment for everyone. Everyone includes faculty, staff, postdocs, and students, regardless of background including but not limited to physical ability, socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, political views, religious beliefs, national origin, sexual orientation, and gender.
The Department of Geosciences aims to:
- Increase retention and recruitment of diverse faculty, postdocs, staff, and students;
- Increase discussion of diversity and accessibility issues at all levels within the department; and
- Improve department climate and foster discussions and sharing of ideas among diverse members of our community.
All members of our community are responsible for achieving these goals.
We recognize that our department is stronger with people who have different perspectives and offer creative problem-solving strategies. As a department, we engage in a mission to promote a research and learning environment that is welcoming to all. We seek to improve inclusion within our community and to provide a welcoming atmosphere for new students, faculty, postdocs, and staff. We also commit to an environment free of discrimination, harassment, exploitation, and intimidation. This mission intersects with initiatives across the University of Massachusetts.
To meet our goals, the Department of Geosciences currently is and will undertake these actions:
- Creation of the Department of Geosciences Workplace Climate Committee, which meets at least twice a year to discuss issues and actions in our department related to diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility of our faculty, staff, postdocs, and students.
- Circulate a demographics survey for members of our department once per year to determine what diversity means to and looks like in our department; if efforts to increase diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility positively impact recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, postdocs, and students with a wide range of backgrounds; and how diversity within our department compares with national averages for geosciences.
- Convene focus groups during a professional seminar at least once a semester to foster discussion of challenges faced by different demographic groups (e.g., people of color, international students, first-generation students, people with disabilities) and how to change to a more accommodating and welcome environment.
- Create a Department of Geosciences workplace climate survey to assess issues and problems faced by faculty, staff, postdocs, and students related but not limited to harassment, bullying, sexism, racism, ableism, and classism. Identified problems will be addressed through appropriate channels.