ESA Shows its Support for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in College Admissions

ESA voices its strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and support for its members. The Supreme Court ruling today reversed decades of progress under affirmative action by severely limiting the use of race in college admissions. The ruling is misguided, harms society and affects historically excluded students’ abilities to achieve and flourish within educational institutions.

Ecology is a field of study that celebrates diversity of all kinds. Our nation and the world face daunting ecological problems that require the best and brightest minds to understand ecosystems and develop solutions that benefit humankind.

Time and again, data shows that diversity improves society and strengthens the scientific enterprise. Creating space in educational institutions for historically excluded minorities directly increases the pipeline of those qualified to work in the biological and ecological sciences. Historically excluded students deserve the educational opportunities that address the inequalities of the past to create a just society.

The ESA Diversity Pledge, Diversity Committee and resources for DEIJ are foundational aspects to advance ESA programs. ESA pledges to strengthen and continue its efforts to support historically excluded communities at all career stages by removing barriers to participation and taking these actions:

  • Recruiting and Supporting Students in our SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability) Program – ESA’s flagship award-winning education initiative with a mission to diversify and advance the ecology profession through opportunities that stimulate and nurture the interest of historically excluded students to participate and to lead in ecology.
  • Providing Meaningful Connections through EcologyPlus – an alliance and an approach that connects diverse college students and early-career scientists with career opportunities and a community of peers and professionals in ecology and related careers across all sectors.
  • Expanding Participation in the Indigenous Voices program – a collaboration with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society to expand the participation of Indigenous scholars in the ecological sciences.
  • Transforming Ecology Education to 4D – a research network that catalyzes the alignment of undergraduate ecology education with ESA’s 4DEE framework, fosters inclusive pedagogical practices and supports faculty at community colleges and minority-serving institutions.
  • Collaborating with Minority-Serving Organizations – by participating in conferences for students from historically underrepresented backgrounds to introduce students to the field of ecology and the society’s programs. ESA has brought together these societies with other societies in ecology to help assess structural barriers to expanding diversity and bolstering inclusion in our field.
  • Identifying and Removing Structural Barriers to Inclusion -through its Diversity Committee and grant-funded research programs, ESA is investigating how key programs for STEM societies (including publications and conferences) can be modified to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive.
  • Elevating the research of early-career scientists from traditionally excluded or underrepresented groups in the ecological community through the ESA Excellence in Ecology Scholarship

Your insight and effort to continue and expand ESA diversity efforts will provide space for historically excluded students to achieve and positively impact our field. ESA is a home for all ecologists, and we support and celebrate diversity. Looking to the future, our commitment to historically excluded communities is stronger than ever.

Sharon Collinge
President, ESA