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Abstract Detail

Broadening Participation - Recruiting and Retaining Outstanding Scientists in the Botanical Science

Herrera, Jose [1].

Talking about leaving - botany and related disciplines, an NSF perspective.

Hidden in many of the statistics about the lack of participation by Underrepresented Minority (URM) students is the worrisome detail that most URM students, who are successful in STEM, disproportionately choose careers in health-related fields. The reasons URM students opt not to pursue a career in field-related or botanically-focused professions are numerous, interrelated and complicated by sociological, economic and cultural considerations. Yet, solving many of the most pressing contemporary ecological problems will require ideas and the intellectual capital of the fastest growing demographic of our nation. Many STEM disciplines, including botany, lack a diversity of viewpoints that has limited our ability to manage important scientific challenges. This talk will remind the audience of several common misconceptions about URM students and describe a few of the widespread challenges that prevent or stifle URMs from considering STEM careers that ultimately undermine their needed contributions to such fields. Several federally-funded programs have shown promise to mitigate these challenges and the talk will focus on highlighting place-based strategies that engage URM students in STEM and encourage their entry into field-based and botanical careers. Moreover, since many of these strategies are place-based we will endeavor to enter into collective and interactive conversations with the audience to share some commonly-used strategies used in a diversity of institutions by a variety of professionals within biology. Finally, the talk will briefly describe programs within the National Science Foundation (NSF) that directly or indirectly fund innovative and evidence-based strategies to recruit and retain URM students within STEM and highlight several examples of NSF-funded projects that have successfully addressed the need to encourage URM students to pursue non-health related careers.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - National Science Foundation, Division of Undergraduate Education, 4201 Wilson Bvld, Arlington, VA, 22230, USA

Science Education
Broadening Participation
National Science Foundation.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY03
Location: Versailles Ballroom/Riverside Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Time: 10:15 AM
Number: SY03007
Abstract ID:204
Candidate for Awards:None

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