Dear IAGD Community,
I’ve been taking some time this week to reflect on the events and activities of the IAGD over the past decade, and wanted to share some of the highlights with you. We have a lot to be proud of.
At the end of 2009, we were still a small “national advisory” group of students, instructors, and disability studies researchers interesting in establishing a network to share accessible teaching resources and materials. The very first accessible field trip to Mammoth Cave National Park was still five months away. The conversation about expanding into an international organization (to include those interested in Canada) wouldn’t happen until the 2010 GSA Annual Meeting in Denver.
Over the past ten years, the IAGD has turned from a small grassroots idea into an international non-profit organization with a formal chapter, DiG-UK, in the United Kingdom. Over this time, students and faculty with disabilities have found a community of support, instructors and researchers have connected with collaborative networks, and the dissemination of research outcomes have continued to increase awareness of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the geosciences.
Formed in 2015, the IAGD Foundation is committed to sponsoring access and inclusion in the geoscience community. We are most proud of the fact that every dollar raised directly supports IAGD activities. IAGD accessible field trips and inclusive instructional design workshops have been provided at no cost, or highly subsidized, to over 150 students, geoscience instructors and teaching assistants. We have also honored faculty with the Inclusive Geoscience Education and Research (IGER) Award, and supported many students with travel grants to attend professional society meetings and participate in university Geo Club activities.
Since 2008, the IAGD continues to be driven by volunteerism. From our field trip and workshop leaders to the IAGD executive leadership and all of our fundraising efforts, our volunteers donate their time and resources to manage IAGD activities.
Thank you all for your dedication to the IAGD. Your support of this community is absolutely vital. As we move into the new year, and the next decade, we encourage you to contact us and get involved, or make a donation to support the mission of the IAGD as we collaboratively build a more inclusive and accessible science discipline.
On behalf of the IAGD and DiG-UK Executive Committees, Happy New Year!
Christopher L. Atchison, Ph.D.
Executive Director, International Association for Geoscience Diversity