1. Letter from the Executive Director
Dear IAGD Community,
With a new year comes a renewed sense of promise and hope for the future. This year is no different. We are excited to see so many new members joining the IAGD network and sharing a fresh perspective of accessibility, with new opportunities to include students, researchers and geoscience practitioners. Among the expansion of students and faculty joining the network, even more middle and secondary teachers and university administrators are finding the IAGD community.
I personally believe that the best resource available is the IAGD Google Group. This community listserv is completely open for you to communicate anything related to access and inclusion in the Geosciences. If you have questions, or are in search of ways of accommodating a student in a specific class with a specific disability, post it. Have a new accessible opportunity or resource to share? Post it! Interested in working with students, or looking to hire someone into an accessible job position…POST IT! Feel free to share anything that would be of interest to the IAGD Community. The power of our network comes from the sharing of multiple perspectives, ideas, and resources as well as discussing how to overcome the physical, instructional, or administrative barriers students and faculty face in their particular environments. We each need to advocate for student success, and continue promoting full inclusion. Our network is strong because of each and every one of you. Don’t stop sharing your experience and expertise with others. If you are unsure how to overcome a specific barrier… ASK!
The IAGD network has the potential to shift the cultural perspective that persists among the traditional geoscience programs and pathways to the workforce. But just having a community full of “members” will not automatically create an inclusive classroom or field-site for students, or an accessible workplace for practitioners with apparent and non-apparent, permanent or even temporary disabilities. Have you been sharing the information and resources that is freely available through the IAGD website and being shared through social media with your colleagues? Promoting the community and sharing the powerful resources within the IAGD network will only benefit those who are either in search of instructional accommodation strategies, or provide the social capital necessary for a student to be encouraged to pursue an interest in the Earth Sciences. A quick mention about what is available might be all the difference for someone who is unaware that such support exists. Help us spread the word about the IAGD. If you would like to receive brochures, flyers or anything to distribute at any gathering you are hosting or attending, please email us at [email protected], and we would be happy to send you these materials, free!
Please also remember the IAGD Foundation in your annual charitable giving. My hope is that we are able to facilitate the continued participation of our diverse community through the promotion and support of the IAGD Foundation.
With much appreciation,