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Earth DEI Initiatives

Fall Preview

  • Starting in 2014, we host an annual event for prospective students who contribute to our mission of improving inclusivity and diversity in our department
  • Usually an all-expenses paid opportunity to explore graduate education, participate in admissions workshops, meet our faculty and current graduate students, and learn about life in Ann Arbor for ~15 participants
  • In Fall 2020, we offered a virtual Fall Preview for 23 participants from across the US and countries around the world.


  • Opportunities for informal mentoring & community building
  • Self-organized around topics e.g. dealing with imposter syndrome, international students, broad disciplinary areas spanning multiple lab groups, first generation students, Latinx students, etc.

Student Mentoring

  • Grad student peer mentoring, e.g., first-year graduate students paired with more senior students as peer mentors
  • DEI office hours to hear input and suggestions from departmental community
  • Grad Application Workshop for interested undergrad majors/minors in the fall
  • Professional development opportunities through student-run Career Workshops
  • Facilitating broadening of mentor-mentee networks among undergraduate, graduate students, postdocs and non-advisor faculty

DEI Mini-grants

Award up to $500 per graduate student for activities related to DEI & professional development:

  • Attendance at SACNAS, NABG or similar conference
  • Outreach activities with groups underrepresented in science
  • Attending or organizing BAJEDI-related workshops
  • Bringing in speakers who can broaden departmental knowledge on DEI or career development

DEI Book Club

Our department is committed to promoting learning (and unlearning) about different BAJEDI topics that impact everyone in our community and society at large. This DEI book club was created to explicitly tackle subjects including (but not limited to) racism, feminism, bias, and inclusivity. Everyone is encouraged to participate as well as bring ideas of other books and articles to discuss.

First Book: So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo

Second Book: Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer 

Third Book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot [planned]

DEI corner (under development, delayed due to COVID): NUB 3504

Physical space for a DEI library and bulletin board with resources on:

  • Professional development
  • Careers in science
  • Bias & racism
  • Learning/cognition differences
  • Women in science
  • Understanding local area history and local communities

We welcome suggestions for additional initiatives from everyone!

DEI Working Groups

Faculty, staff, & students coming together to review what we’re doing, where there are opportunities to do more, and come up with proposals & strategies for future actions (started July, 2020)

Topics include:

  • Support for international students
  • Mentoring undergraduates
  • Revising our curriculum
  • Highlighting outreach opportunities
  • Forming an accessible field course requirement
  • Inclusive teaching; diversifying lecture series

These efforts have been formalized through policy proposals developed by an Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE) pod.