iUTAH’s Diversity Enhancement team looks for opportunities to increase the individual, disciplinary, institutional, and geographic diversity of STEM activities in Utah to address the water sustainability issues facing Utah and the Mountain West.
About Diversity Enhancement:
Utah is an increasingly diverse society. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18% of the state’s population is comprised of people who identify as Hispanic, African American, Native American, and Pacific Islander, and the minority segment of the population is growing fast. Yet the percentage of under-represented minorities in college in Utah is less than 10%, and percentages at Utah’s research institutions is smaller still. Similarly, women are under-represented in science, with only 20% of STEM degrees in Utah awarded to women. That’s why iUTAH’s diversity enhancement efforts are looking for ways to improve minority and women’s participation in water and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers.
iUTAH activities specifically target women, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans and rural audiences. We have hosted workshops designed to help iUTAH students, researchers, and their colleagues gain state-of-the-art knowledge about diversity issues, with emphasis on recruitment and retention of under-represented groups in water science. Taking Learning Outdoors, our place-based learning program for elementary and secondary teachers, is helping educators in rural southern Utah learn to use the natural world as a teaching tool. Author and educator Nancy Bo Flood uses Water Runs Through This Book to bring water awareness to diverse communities, including the southeastern corner of Utah, conducting workshops, readings, and lectures. Another iUTAH-sponsored program, iUTAH WaterGirls, offers middle school girls a chance to explore water and the natural environment doing field activities alongside female scientists so that their natural curiosity is nurtured and they recognize that science is indeed for girls as well as boys. We have led STEM career sessions at events targeted to minority high school students, and have hosted Native American students from Utah State University’s campus in Blanding in iUTAH labs during the summer.
Diversity Enhancement News and Highlights:
October 28, 2016
June 13, 2016
Students from Utah State University Eastern’s Blanding campus presented posters showing what they learned during this summer’s Native American STEM Mentorship program held on USU’s Logan campus. Two students, Leander Rockwell and Read More...
December 4, 2015
iUTAH collaborated with other EPSCoR jurisdictions this fall at two national conferences; the 2015 Society for Advancement of Read More...
December 3, 2015
In an effort to bring demographic and diversity issues to the forefront of iUTAHns’ minds, 72 participants met for an All-Hands Read More...
August 5, 2015
One of iUTAH’s core missions is the education and diversification of the next generation of our state’s STEM workforce. To help us achieve this mission, iUTAH has supported the production of a new book on water by author/educator Nancy Bo Read More...