UWyoming adds diversity class in....geosciences department?
University of Wyoming Professor Dario Grana added a diversity course in geosciences meant to address a lack of diversity within the field.
Research shows that the lack of diversity may be attributed to individual preferences and job outlook, rather than racism within the field.
As universities expand their course offerings, some are offering classes with a specific focus on diversity, including in geosciences departments.
According to Grana, the inspiration for offering this course was the result of a diversity survey conducted by the university in which 50 percent of students and 67 percent of faculty responded that diversity, equity, and inclusion classes should be required for all students.
Additionally, Grana was inspired by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Grana has continued to push the message of systemic racism being prevalent “in our society." Noting that, “students from underrepresented minorities are often the target of microaggressions on campus," Grana mentioned a lack of diversity within the geosciences, claiming that it is difficult to recruit a diverse student body because people perceive the field as “less inclusive” than other fields, according to UW.
Grana further stated that since geologists travel to collect data, challenges occur when students travel to "rural areas, where diversity is not valued."
Geology as a whole is only projected to grow 5 percent in the next 10-years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also noted that as of 2019, only roughly 32,000 geologists were employed.
A research paper by University of Maryland professor Lisa Dickson on the effect of race and college major choice found that although claims have been made about Black Americans being underrepresented in science and engineering, “they appear to make major choices similar to White college graduates."
Dickson argued that “the low levels of Blacks and Hispanics with degrees in the sciences and engineering may be due to the low levels of blacks and Hispanics graduating from college.”
Campus Reform reached out to Grana for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.