The geosciences are amongst the least diverse of the STEM disciplines. The lack of diversity could be related to the role that the intersection of identities (such as gender identity, sexual identity, race, and ethnicity) have related to an individual’s perception of self. To explore this idea, the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity was adapted to collect information (through an online questionnaire) from current geoscientists regarding their geoscience identity, gender identity, sexual identity, and race to understand how these factors may affect one’s identity as a geoscientist. A total of 157 responses were collected. Results suggest that 39% of the participants do feel that their gender identity positively influences their identity as a geoscientist and 20% of participants feel that their sexual identity positively influences their identity as a geoscientist. Free-response questionnaire items reveal themes related to inequity, inequality, privilege, community climate, sense of belonging, and geoscience identity. The results from this project align with previous research that suggests students that hold multiple marginalized identities may experience isolation and other unique barriers to persisting in geoscience and other STEM disciplines. Future research and projects focused on underrepresented gender and sexual identities will help geoscience educators formulate more inclusive learning/work environments in support of diversifying the geoscience community and STEM workforce.
- geoscience education
- undergraduate students
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences