The winner of the IAGD 2022 IGER Award for inclusive practices in the geosciences is Dr. Lis Gallant, a post doctoral researcher at the Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory. Dr. Gallant was nominated by both colleagues and students for efforts to make the discipline of volcanology more inclusive and accessible.
Dr. Gallant’s peers nominated her for efforts to make the discipline of volcanology more inclusive and accessible through service and scholarship. An excerpt from the peer nomination letter reads “Dr. Gallant weaves scientific rigor into addressing equitable access and inclusion in geosciences for members with disabilities and traditionally underrepresented groups…This is especially impactful because students and practitioners with disabilities might have multiple intersecting identities that compound issues of inclusion and accessibility. Her most recent coauthored publication “Volcanologists – Who are we and where are we going?” shows that discrimination related to gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, physical ability, and socio-economic background is occurring. Furthermore, she shows that intersecting discriminations compound the marginalization of aspiring volcanological community members.”
Students participating in the GeoSPACE field course nominated Dr. Gallant for demonstrating daily how to promote an inclusive culture in field courses. Dr. Gallant believes food has significant and underappreciated role in field courses, and efforts to ensure meals were nutritious, enjoyable and suitable for all special dietary needs were especially appreciated. Most importantly, the student-nominators wanted to emphasize how she made everyone feel supported and included. From the students: “As a teacher and mentor on the field course, Lis understood that while a disability does not define someone, it is still a part of their identity. Respecting someone’s identity can be as simple as asking about labels and preferred language. She speaks to folks about how they define themselves and how she should describe them to others, addressing their disabilities instead of avoiding the subject. Handling the topic in this way is very respectful, and acknowledging our differences like you would address anyone’s unique qualities is humanizing and affirming … She knew when to step back to allow for autonomy and never assumed that we needed assistance because we had a disability. At times, we worked too hard to prove to ourselves that we could do all the things! But Elisabeth was there to help with managing self-expectations when our bodies were telling us otherwise. These conversations shifted our self-talk when asking for a break … With her selflessness, patience, and keen ability to connect to other people, she is a shining example of what it means to be an ally to student scientists finding their footing in the geosciences.”
Congratulations to Dr. Lis Gallant!
Information about the IGER Award and how to nominate a deserving student or colleague can be found here: IGER Award for Inclusive Geoscience Teaching and Research