DAES/ASRC Statement of Solidarity and Commitment to Equity
Dear DAES and ASRC community,
The terrible events over the past weeks, and the racial injustices that have long preceded, have caused tremendous heartache and frustration for countless people. We in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Science (DAES) and Atmospheric Science Research Center (ASRC) hear those suffering and calling for action, and stand in solidarity with the Black community.
These events demand all of us to expand our knowledge of racial injustice, evaluate our own biases and privileges, and take actions for meaningful change.
We recognize that DAES/ASRC and the larger geoscience community have a lot of work to do to increase representation of Black and Brown people (Bernard and Cooperdock 2018), and fight racism (Dutt 2019). We acknowledge that systematic racism and biases unfairly impede the advancement of students and professionals of color. We also firmly believe that lack of inclusion within the geosciences hinders the full realization of our scientific endeavors. We are ready to listen, learn, and address these inequities.
We have taken important first steps to improve diversity and inclusion in our department. In 2019, we became an AGU Bridge Program member to improve our recruitment and support of students from underrepresented racial groups in our graduate program. We are partnering with the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science bridge program to augment mentorship and provide research opportunities for undergraduates from underrepresented groups. We will continue to reach out to high school students from underprivileged areas within the Capital District (e.g., Weather and Climate Camp and Rise High) to cultivate interest in the geosciences and encourage greater participation of underrepresented groups in STEM fields.
We will develop a roadmap of recommendations and actions and be held accountable, not only in this moment, but in our actions going forward. Our department’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee will work on this roadmap, and publish it in the near future, so that we may be held accountable in matching words with deeds.
If you have concerns or ideas about how we could do more, please reach out to the Inclusion and Diversity Committee, chaired by Professor Brian Tang ([email protected]), or the Department Chair, Professor Ryan Torn ([email protected]).
DAES/ASRC Inclusion and Diversity Committee Faculty Members:
Andrea Lopez Lang