Diversity in Wetland Science

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Promoting human diversity within wetland science can provide key opportunities to broaden insights into important ecological processes by incorporating multiple perspectives, and in many cases, linking cultural histories to critical scientific investigations, restoration agendas, and environmental assessments. Members of SWS benefit from the success of the Society in bridging scientists from multiple professional backgrounds into proximity through annual and chapter meetings, publications, and training opportunities. Linked implicitly to this within SWS, is a strategic mission to increase exposure of non-traditional students to careers in wetland science and to promote diversity within the Society's multifaceted community. SWS has members in academia, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private consulting fostering wetland conservation and management.

SWS student participating in ESA SEEDS leadership workshop

The Human Diversity Program provides a framework for proposing, organizing, and funding new initiatives to increase diversity within wetland science by leveraging Society membership, and coordinating activities associated with the Society's annual international meetings. The Program has sponsored symposia addressing the role of human diversity in science and keynote and invited speakers who are actively engaged in promoting diversity within their research and work programs. The Program has also organized mini-workshops for students interested in science careers, and actively engaged in mentoring undergraduate students at Society annual meetings.

Funding for many of these initiatives comes directly from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through competitive grants, and the program has benefited greatly by linking to established diversity programs within other scientific societies. Specifically, the SWS Human Diversity Program annually sponsors two students to attend the Ecological Society of America's SEEDS leadership training. These students are chosen competitively from among our past diversity awards recipients. Students chosen often become effective leaders in their chosen field.

The Society also supports a booth at the annual MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences) conference. MANRRS provides a wonderful venue for introducing students to what wetland scientists do and encouraging them to apply to our SWS Undergraduate Mentoring Program for a more directed experience.


Mentoring program at 2012 Orlando meeting.



Additional information:
Day, F. 2002. President's address: "Who are the Wetland Scientists?" Bulletin of the Society of Wetland Scientists, Vol. 19, No. 44, p. 3.

Taylor, A.M. 2010. Efforts of the Human Diversity Committee remind students that SWS is more than just our journal. Wetland Science and Practice, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 39-41.[PDF]

Marshall-Gillespie, K., D. Hernandez, E. McIntyre, S. Rainford, F. Reyes, N. Rozet, & J. Sahu Teli. 2011. SWS Diversity Mentoring Award: Supporting the advancement of minorities in wetland science through engaging undergraduates. Wetland Science and Practice, Vol. 28, No. 3., pp. 18-21. [PDF]

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