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Diversity in Wetland Science

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 nontraditional students to careers in wetland science and to promote diversity within the Society's multifaceted community.

mentoring 1SWS 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 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 also has organized mini-workshops for students interested in science careers and is actively engaged in mentoring undergraduate students at Society annual meetings.

Funding for many of these initiatives comes directly from the National Science Foundation through competitive grants. 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 and frequently 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 Multicultural Mentoring Program for a more directed experience.

The Human Diversity Committee:

Committee Members

Alani Taylor (Chair) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Christopher Solek Southern California Coastal Water Research Project
Leandra Cleveland HDR Engineering
Dr. Vanessa Lougheed University of Texas – El Paso
Scott Perez Land Consultant
Christian Anderson  University of Texas at El Paso