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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

Faculty Diversity Initiatives

SEOE Diversity Committee 

Faculty, students, and staff across the SEOE have formed an ongoing committee to support diversity, equity, and inclusion within the school. Please contact Dr. Jessica Barnes for details or if you are interested in participating

Latino and Hispanic Faculty Caucus

Dr. Raymond Torres leads the Latino/a and Hispanic Faculty Caucus. The LHFC is an advocacy and leadership organization established April 2016 to address critical issues in higher education that focus on the recruitment, retention, promotion, and advancement of Latino/a & Hispanic faculty at the University of South Carolina.

The Oceanography Society JEDI Committee

Dr. Meyer-Gutbrod is a member of the TOS Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee. This committee serves to advise the TOS Council, generate resources for the oceanography community, broaden participation and combat discrimination in the field.

The International Association for Geoscience Diversity

Dr. Katherine Ryker is an Executive Counselor for the International Association for Geoscience Diversity (IAGD). The IAGD is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to improving access and inclusion for people with disabilities in the geosciences.

Environmental Justice Research and Outreach

Dr. Monica Barra and Dr. Dean Hardy are collaborating on a new initiative to plan and develop a Carolina Center for Environmental Justice. 

Past Initiatives

GeoScholar Scholarship Program

From 2015 through 2021, Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson ran the NSF-funded GeoScholar Scholarship Program, which provided financial and academic support for underrepresented students who have demonstrated financial need and were pursuing undergraduate degrees in the geosciences at the University of South Carolina.


URGE pod

SEOE students, staff and faculty formed a discussion group in spring 2021 to participate in the Unlearning Racism in Geoscience program, supported by the NSF and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Over the course of the semester, the URGE pod met biweekly to discuss readings and interviews. The pod developed a series of deliverables, designed to initiate an anti-racist strategy and set of policies for the SEOE community. 


Anti-Racism and Building Community Workshop 

In fall 2020, as part of the College of Arts and Sciences Theme Semester on Justice, the Collaborative for Race facilitated a four-part workshop for undergraduates in the SEOE on Anti-Racism and Building Community in the Environmental Field. 


Science Quest

Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson ran ScienceQuest, an after school informal science and technology program geared towards elementary and middle school students (ages 7-14). Teams met once a week for 1.5 hours over a course of 10-12 weeks to explore a science topic that they identified at the beginning of the program. Each team used small-scale experiments, demonstrations, and science technology to investigate their topic, culminating in the development of an on-line website depending on the group's age. The program was designed to increase the number of minority and female middle school students considering a career path in the geosciences.


Last updated spring 2021

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