Just like in all other STEM disciplines, the biodiversity sciences has a human diversity, inclusion, equity, and access problem. iDigBio feels strongly that diversity is a strength and that we all have work to do to make the biodiversity community a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment for all. iDigBio is committed to doing our part to directly support marganilized people in biology, specifically BLAANA (Black/African-American, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American) as well as other under-represented people in STEM while also working with our community to create change. We are working to do so through multiple initiatives:
Funded through NSF, the goal of this program is to leverage the existing collections network created by iDigBio and ADBC to engage undergraduate students from underserved communities with authentic research experiences in natural history collections (NHCs) with the goal of exposing them to the variety of career opportunities and required skill sets related to the biodiversity sciences. In this effort, we are offering 10 summer internship positions at the Florida Museum of Natural History collections in Gainesville, Florida in 2021. Learn more here.
iDigBio and the Office of Academic Support (OAS) and Student Support Services (SSS)/TRIO Program at University of Florida (UF) have co-organized a free Biology Career Conference and Fair since 2019. The goal of this event is to give students the chance to explore opportunities in biology and paleontology through workshops, panels, career shadowing, and tabling. This event is open to both undergraudates and high school students from all around the country. Learn more in this STEM4ALL Video Presentation
NSF-Funded Workshop Series
Broadening Diversity in the Biological Sciences: A Series of Workshops for Undergraduate and Graduate Students included three workshops for undergraduate students and recent graduates that focused on opportunities for careers and graduate study in field and environmental biology, biodiversity, ecology, and evolution.
A follow-up to the first series was recently funded. This time iDigBio is collaborating with multiple groups including Central Michigan University, BLUE, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and La Brea Tar Pits & Museum.
STEM Inclusive Teaching Practices Webinar Series (2020)
EDSIN (Environmental Data Science Inclusion Network), B(ui)LDS (Biological Universal and Inclusive Learning in Data Science, BLUE (Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education), iDigBio (Integrated Digitized Biocollections), and QUBES (Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis) are organizing a new webinar series entitled “Inclusive Teaching Practices in STEM Education.” The purpose of this series is to initiate discussion on topics related to inclusive teaching practices while building community among a diversity of STEM disciplines interested in creating a more inclusive learning environments for undergraduate students. Our partners represent very different communities in the world of STEM, but we are all really interested in fostering more diverse and inclusive communities, so one goal of this project is to raise awareness of the existing knowledge base and resources that exist.
Moving the Needle Initive: Broadening Participation in the Biodiversity Sciences
A working group to develop best practices and help synergize current efforts in broadening participation has formed based on a collaborations with Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education (BLUE), the iDigBio Education and Outreach Working Group, Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN), and the Small Collections Network (SCNet).