AAA/CASCA Executive Program Committee
Executive Session - Oral Presentation Session
Diversity and inclusion efforts at mainstream scientific institutions are on the rise, leading to more participation in the sciences by marginalized minority groups, including Indigenous Peoples. However, efforts aimed at increasing diversity are often still judged by mainstream metrics of success that are bound by the epistemology and ontology of the dominant scientific system. We argue that to effectively judge the success of diversity and inclusion efforts, these efforts must be evaluated by those they are intended to serve.
We present findings from interviews with Native students and junior scholars about their experiences in different scientific contexts and resulting insights for assessing diversity and inclusion efforts. We look specifically at interviewees’ experiences with a program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Rising Voices is designed to facilitate intercultural approaches to extreme weather and climate events, climate variability and climate change.
Insights about why many Native students struggle, leave, or never make it through completion are shared in their own words, from their own truths, and with great hope and provocative critique. There are careful assessments, thoughtful suggestions, and some hard truths about systemic problems within mainstream sciences and how that directly impacts Natives’ experiences in scientific arenas. The interview project and forthcoming report flips the dynamic by placing control of inquiry and assessment on Native scholars in the atmospheric and related science fields.