I'm pleased to be able to announce that I'll be serving as the Geological Society of America's next Science Communication Fellow! I'm excited about this as a next step in my career, but I'm also really looking forward to using this position to help advance GSA's diversity and equity goals. The geosciences remain one of the least diverse STEM fields, for many systemic reasons ranging from hyper-masculine stereotypes about who fits the image of 'a geologist' to the historically-white use of outdoor spaces. To help push our field further, I'm planning to focus my efforts on providing coverage on Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other underrepresented groups' research as much as possible. My main task is to produce monthly press releases for other journalists to run with, but I'm definitely excited to write longer pieces for scientists whose stories really resonate with me.
Getting more visibility and representation for these scientists is a small but important step to improving diversity in the geosciences, but making role models visible is a key way to encourage underrepresented people to explore a field, or to stick with it once they're in. We have to demonstrate that yes, you can be successful in geology even if you're not a beard-wearing, backpacking-enthusiast, white dude. But because the geosciences skew white and male, we have to be intentional about who we represent and how they are visible to society more broadly; if we just rely on "Who's publishing research now?" to inform geoscience media, coverage will continue to reflect the demographics as they are now, rather than encouraging demographics in STEM to shift to more accurately reflect the population. It's not enough to just cover cool research - we have a responsibility to be active in our efforts to combat systemic racism in higher education. Writing about scientists of color is one small way to do that.
SO! If you're publishing some cool research with one of GSA's journals (GSA Bulletin, GSA Today, Geosphere, etc.), shoot me an email and we can chat! I'm looking forward to getting to know my geoscience community better.