SEEDS Chapter Program Goals and Plans
Goals and Outcomes
Today, we face challenges that are unprecedented in scope and scale as the impacts of environmental change become increasingly felt across the nation. Yet, these environmental issues often have local or regional impacts that disproportionately impact particular communities of color, low-income communities, and indigenous communities. Increasing the participation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in ecology and environmental sciences is crucial to achieve relevant and effective results in the policies and management decisions that impact our air, water, food, energy, wildlife, natural resources, recreation areas and sacred spaces.
Achieving this will require trained ecological scientists representing all racial and ethnic groups in the workforce. In order to address the serious issues threatening our ecological systems at different scales, it is essential to engage our communities, foster divergent thinking and engender innovative solutions.
The proposed ESA SEEDS Chapters Engagement program will support and expand opportunities for many more students underrepresented in ecology, on campuses across the nation, to:
- Increase their understanding of ecological systems and functioning
- Learn about the wide spectrum of ecology and environmental science careers in all sectors
- Organize local or regional field explorations and community-oriented, culturally-relevant activities
- Develop their leadership skills in communication, policy and stakeholder engagement among diverse populations
- Expand their personal and professional networks in the field
SEEDS Chapter Engagement Plan
The SEEDS Chapters Engagement Plan will be driven by ideas proposed by SEEDS Chapters. We seek to establish consistent and regular communications with all SEEDS chapter leaders and advisers e.g. through Virtual Cafes to exchange ideas for chapter activities and fundraising.
Among the possibilities for SEEDS Chapter engagement, we envision:
- Regional undergraduate conferences that feature student research and career development activities
- Local or regional field experiences or campus Bioblitzes to encourage local ecological knowledge, and connection to local scientists and professionals
- Collaborative thematic projects to build a sense of cohesion in the SEEDS chapter network such as a water sustainability program or urban ecology project.
- And more!
We have reactivated the SEEDS Chapter Grants Program to support individual chapters and regional activities such as the above.
Be sure to sign up for the SEEDS monthly newsletter to receive timely information on all of SEEDS opportunities!
Our university chapters have been very vocal about how much the opportunity to have more of these excursions means to them:
“We were successful in providing a low cost [field] trip and engaging everyone who went with information about the environment around Tahoe….we learned about Lake Tahoe’s history and the ongoing research occurring there was especially productive because everyone, including those returning to Tahoe, was able to learn something new.
Because of the low cost per person a diverse group of students was able to go and experience this exciting outdoor adventure and get exposed to new ecosystems.”
~UC-Davis, SEEDS Chapter report