Promoting Access and Inclusion in the Geosciences through International Community Engagement

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The promotion of access and inclusion in the geosciences for students and geoscience practitioners with disabilities has increased over the past decade, perhaps partially due to the National Science Foundation’s definition of traditionally underrepresented groups, which now includes mention of individuals living with disabilities. In response to this growing area of research, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the Geological Society of London have each partnered with the International Association for Geoscience Diversity (IAGD) to host meetings focused on breaking down barriers and increasing awareness of access and inclusion in the geosciences for students and geoscientists with disabilities.

One such meeting, hosted by AGI, was a forum dedicated to increasing awareness of the barriers that geoscientists with disabilities face in our academic institutions and when transitioning and persisting within geoscience careers. The forum, which occurs annually, brings together the leadership of AGI’s membership societies to catalyze discussions about broad, up and coming community-wide topics, and develop strategies for addressing various deficiencies. An outcome of the 2014 forum was the development of a community consensus statement regarding access and inclusion for individuals living with disabilities. This document was completed during the summer of 2015 and has since been adopted by nearly one-half of AGI’s member societies.

This presentation will discuss the recent efforts of the American Geosciences Institute, the Geological Society of London, and the International Association for Geoscience Diversity to create and promote inclusive opportunities to broaden participation in the geosciences for individuals with disabilities.

  • Christopher Atchison
  • Heather Houlton*
  • Geological Society of America Annual Meeting 2015