"The only way to get a thing done is to start to do it, then keep on doing it, and finally you'll finish it."
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) is committed to making environmental sciences more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Our commitment will involve conscious actions to attract, recruit, and retain faculty, students and staff from underrepresented demographics in geosciences. Thank you for your willingness to participate and engage our entire community.
By establishing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Collaborative (DEIC) in August, 2020, UMCES provides a forum for a community of practice and will partner with the Faculty Senate as well as the Executive, Administrative, Staff, and Graduate Student Councils to effect institutional changes promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Establishing the Collaborative with an appropriate structure highlights our institutional values and communicates our commitment to our partners and funders. President Goodwin's Charge to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Collaborative outlines his vision and commitment to DEI initiatives at UMCES.
Given the level of interest and commitment across UMCES to this critically important issue, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Collaborative was established to be an inclusive and open space. The purpose is to coordinate, convene, and ensure everyone can contribute within their specific interests and without an undue burden on their time or mental energy. All members of the UMCES community are encouraged to participate in any DEI initiative that resonates with them.
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Collaborative is an inclusive and open process. Its purpose is to coordinate, convene and ensure everyone can contribute within their specific interests without an undue time burden.
Unit Directors (2 representatives, 1-year appointments that are rotated)
Russell Hill, Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Environmental Technology
Fredrika Moser, Director, Maryland Sea Grant
Faculty (4 representative with 1 from the Faculty Senate, 1-year renewable appointments)
Sook Chung, IMET and Faculty Senate
Lora Harris, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
Cindy Palinkas, Horn Point Laboratory
Cat Stylinski, Appalachian Laboratory
Faculty Research Assistant (1 representative, 1-year renewable appointments)
Annie Carew, Integration and Application Network
Staff (2 representatives, 1-year renewable appointments with 1 from the Staff Council)
Monica Chacon Gellene, IMET
Kurt Florez, UMCES Chief Information Officer
Graduate Students (2 representatives, 1-year renewable appointments with 1 from GSC)
Nick Colemen, CBL
Claire Nemes, AL
Members at Large
Stuart Clarke, UMCES Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Rona Kobell, MDSG
Anita Shelton, MDSG
Anna Windle, HPL
Current UMCES Diversity-Related Activities and Collaborations
- NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC): IMET, our Baltimore unit, supports 3 to 4 graduate fellows per year, for up to three years each, using funds from the NOAA-supported LMRCSC. The LMRCSC aims to train the next generation of marine scientists from underrepresented communities. Current LMRCSC graduate fellows are working with mentors at IMET and CBL.
- IMET Undergraduate Summer Internship: Annually, IMET hosts a 9 week summer internship program for students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the marine sciences. The program includes laboratory work and a variety of science seminars.
- Maryland Sea Grant Research Experience for Undergrads (REU): The REU Program has intentionally diversified over the last few years, pulling in more students from backgrounds underrepresented in the marine sciences. Of note, LatinX students have been increasingly represented as have other students of color. Additionally, women now represent the majority of REU interns.
- Centro Tortuga: Centro Tortuga is committed to developing partnerships among research and non-research institutions and government and nonprofit institutions to build a sustainable and effective education center focused on Puerto Rico’s coastal ecosystems. The project includes a diverse interdisciplinary team of scientists and educators from both the mainland United States and Puerto Rico. The team and center are committed to increasing marine science learning opportunities for underrepresented and underserved students.
- Campus Climate Assessment Survey: UMCES is actively working with two outside organizations to conduct a comprehensive campus climate survey. We hope to use this data to make recommendations for improvement, including potential future training.
- PROMISE AGEP Participant: UMCES has actively participated in the Summer Success Institute over the last few years.
UMCES DEI-Related Campus Groups
- Appalachian Lab (AL) DEI subgroup - students, faculty, and staff meet biweekly during the academic year and weekly during the summer to discuss and implement actions that promote a more welcoming, equitable, and inclusive lab environment and enhance our relationships with the broader western Maryland community.
- CBL American Association of University Women (AAUW): Our chapter is committed to promoting and celebrating diversity at CBL, encourage personal growth of chapter members, provide respectful and open discussion platforms for members of the CBL community, and fostering within members an attitude of confidence, self-advocacy, and support towards self and members of the CBL community. We will plan on having monthly meetings through the summer 2021 on the third Tuesday of each month at 11 am.
- HPL Society for Women in Marine Science (SWMS): The Society for Women in Marine Science (SWMS) provides a framework for discussion, networking, and mentoring for young marine scientists. Our overall mission is to increase the visibility and retention of women in marine science, build inclusive professional networks, and create a community of marine researchers who acknowledge and address the difficulties facing women and minorities in the marine field.
- Integration and Application Network (IAN): A small committee of science communicators at the Integration and Application Network meets on Friday afternoons to discuss DEIJ initiatives that can be undertaken at the IAN level. We have a DEIJ mission statement on our website and are discussing paths forward on an environmental justice index for the Chesapeake Bay.
- IMET: IMET has an integrated program to significantly contribute to the Diversity Equity and Inclusion in Environmental Science. Russell Hill and Monica Gellene provide updates during faculty meetings about this program and the UMCES DEIC meetings.
- MDSG: The Maryland Sea Grant DEI committee meets each Friday. The committee works hard to ensure meetings are a safe space for dialogue, and discussions include policy and hiring practices, training for MDSG staff and Extension around DEIJ issues, and speakers and webinars about DEIJ topics. The committee helped craft language for the MDSG website and revised strategic plan, revised some hiring and fellowship recruiting practices to be more inclusive, and has intentionally focused on recruiting underrepresented members for panels and reviews. We list major religious holidays on our calendar and avoid planning meetings on those days.
- Unlearning Racism in Geoscience Movement: Members of the UMCES community participate in three separate URGE pods using the journal-reading and policy design curriculum and guidance offered by the Unlearning Racism in Geoscience movement (https://urgeoscience.org/). These three pods were organized around learning and policy creation at the Horn Point Laboratory, Maryland Sea Grant as part of a National Sea Grant program pod, and as part of the SEAS Islands Alliance. Because of the different institutional structures of these organizations (an UMCES unit and laboratory, Sea Grant, and a collective impact Alliance focused on broadening participation), each pod developed unique policy deliverables that are specific to the missions, visions, values, and specific implementation needs of each URGE pod. The topics of the URGE deliverables are universally valuable to explore and apply across the institution whether related to recruitment and hiring policies or incorporating elements of social justice into community engagement.
Current and Upcoming Events
Also known as Freedom Day, Emancipation Day, and Liberation Day, Juneteenth has been celebrated by African-Americans since the late 1800s, traditionally on June 19. The University System of Maryland will recognize this holiday by closing all campuses on Friday, June 18, 2021. Click here for a partial list of Juneteenth celebrations and events taking place around UMCES campuses.
Pride Month - June 2021
Although not the first battle, the Stonewall Riots in June 1969 marked a major turning point in the fight for LGBTQ+ civil rights. Celebrate the rainbow of diversity by taking part in a Pride event near you; click here for a partial list of happenings in your area.
Next All-UMCES DEIC Meeting:
August 2021, Exact Date TBD