Underrepresented Minorities in Geoscience Occupations

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Examination of detailed geoscience occupational data for 2006 reveals that the participation of underrepresented minorities varies greatly by job-type and race/ethnicity. Native American participation is greatest in natural sciences manager occupations (7.2%), African American participation is greatest in environmental engineering occupations (4.5%), and Hispanic participation is greatest in petroleum engineering (5.1%) occupations.

Participation of underrepresented minorities in geoscience occupations (2006). Source: AGI Geoscience Workforce Program, data derived from NSF's SESTAT 2006 Restricted Access Database.

Trends in underrepresented minority participation in geoscience occupations is closely linked to participation rates in geoscience academic programs (see Geoscience Currents #30 for data on the percentage of geoscience degrees conferred to underrepresented minorities). Effective recruitment programs, retention efforts in these academic programs, and assistance in bridging the transition into successful geoscience careers are needed to boost diversity in both geoscience university programs as well as the geoscience workforce.

View an in-depth discussion of this information in the corresponding Geoscience Currents Discussion Webinar.