Education and scientific research are powerful and liberating social elevators, but unfortunately they are not equally accessible to everyone. See below for some of the ways I am contributing with initiatives in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI).
More than a meeting, DELTA H is a one-day immersion in landscape evolution studies followed by short courses and a field trip. The name denotes topographic change, and that is the focus of the meeting. DELTA H is a place for thought-provoking talks and an immersive scientific experience. It was initially born as a scientific meeting in the field of Geomorphology and Landscape Evolution, but it is now a community in which we promote EDI while seeking to advance the science of Landscape Evolution and Geomorphology in Brazil and South America.
DELTA H is supported by the Serrapilheira Institute. Thanks to their support, we have implemented these EDI strategies:
• We provide travel funds for students from underrepresented groups and geographic regions to attend the meeting.
• We invite leading scientists to deliver engaging and thought-provoking talks all the while encouraging them to engage with the attendees, especially students to help us break the barriers between students and successful scientists. We believe that this approach can plant a seed and motivate students, especially those from underrepresented groups, to seek their dreams of becoming a scientist in this field too.
• We use gender neutral language and create a respectful environment during the meeting by announcing and enforcing this practice during the meeting.
• We maintain a gender balance between invited speakers.
• We have in-meeting discussions with the students about building and working on inclusion in the community.
• Our pop-up session occurs during a happy-hour at a local restaurant/bar to remove the barriers created by an intimidating conference environment.
Ultimately we want DELTA H to be a hub for students seeking international opportunities and for recruiters to look at the DELTA H community as a potential international recruitment pool, again, with the goal of increasing the representation of South Americans in the international geomorphology community.
Some photos of DELTA H 2022
Science for those in need
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the underrepresented groups were set back for years to come, which will distance them from science even more. To help with this issue, I created the Science For Those in Need outreach project. In this platform, through online engagement on Instagram and YouTube, I engaged with scientists all over Brazil to post teaching presentations online and we capitalized on their own networks to harness donations to NGO’s helping underrepresented groups, animal rescue centers, asylums, etc. We captured ~R$2,000 in donations to various organizations during the pandemic.