Diversity in Geoscience UK (DiG-UK) is the newly-established UK chapter of the IAGD. The IAGD is now an Associated Society of the Geological Society of London, and DiG-UK aims to expand the mission and vision of the IAGD while focusing specifically on the needs, values and resources in the UK. Within this context, DiG-UK will undertake to broaden its responsibility beyond disability to cover wider aspects of diversity including, but not restricted to, gender, race and ethnicity, sexuality and social class.
DiG-UK is co-lead by Dr Jacqueline Houghton (University of Leeds) and Dr Alison Stokes (University of Plymouth). Jacqui and Alison are active members of the IAGD community and Executive Committee, and members of the Committee of the Geological Society of London Higher Education Network. Alison is also a member of the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences, where she holds the portfolio for diversity and inclusivity.
DiG-UK launch event: 4th June 2018
DiG-UK officially launched on 4th June at the Geological Society of London with an event that was attended by approximately 30 delegates from academia, professional associations and industry. This inaugural meeting was themed around supporting learners with disabilities, and focused on facilitating networking and community building through a series of interactive workshops, discussions and presentations.
Cedric John (Senior Lecturer in Earth Science at Imperial College and Chair of the Department of Earth Science and Engineering Mental Health Action Team) delivered the first session of the day, which focused on the importance of providing mental health support for students and academic staff. This was followed by an open, interactive
session in which delegates shared aspects of their practice and experience, and included:
- Demonstrations of equipment for accessing fieldwork remotely, and through virtual reality;
- Discussions around providing support for geoscience training, embedding an inclusive curriculum, and perspectives from employers and professional bodies;
- An introduction to ‘Diversity Dash’, a game aimed at raising awareness of learner diversity.
For the final session, Chris Atchison (University of Cincinnati and Executive Director of the International Association for Geoscience Diversity) led an interactive workshop on advocacy and leadership for supporting diversity.
Overall it was excellent day which has generated some great feedback, and given us lots to think about. We anticipate some exciting developments over the next year! To follow our progress or keep in touch you can:
* Follow us on Twitter @DiG_UK_IAGD
* Follow us on Facebook @DiG.UK.IAGD
* Sign up to our DiG-UK mailing list