Minorities and women still lack representation in the earth sciences. For diversity, equity, and inclusion to improve, outreach, attraction, and retention are essential. This is challenging and can only be addressed as a community. However, there are many things individuals can do to improve the diversity in earth sciences including (1) setting an example as a woman in science with a foreign background, (2) encourage students from under-represented communities to participate in my courses and research, and (3) enhance retention by creating a welcoming environment that acknowledges the existence of diverse backgrounds.
As a co-founder of the advocacy group Inclusion and Diversity in Earth Sciences (IDEaS) within the department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University, I have been involved in the improvement of the representation of women and minorities within the department as well as in the greater Earth Sciences community. I have also served as co-president of our Geoclub departmental graduate student association.
I believe science communication is essential aspect to facilitate the advancement of science and help diversify the field. To that end, I have contributed a piece to ‘Science in the News’, a Harvard graduate student organization that aims at bridging the communication gap between scientists and non-scientists with a piece titled “The Ghost of Climate Past: Lessons from a previous global warming”, focused on past global warming events and their application to understanding the future of climate change.
I also contributed to Earth and Planetary Times, a newsletter with updates from the department and from members of the EPS community, past and present. The piece, titled “Understanding the history of atmospheric oxygen: All scales required” focused on the tools I use in my research to understand the history of atmospheric oxygen.
Recently, I have taken part in Skype a Scientist sessions, during which I explained four 6th grade classrooms in Bogota (Colombia) how Earth scientists read the history of the Earth in rocks. We even covered the Great Oxidation Event! And they asked some of the hardest questions I have encountered in my career….
I am an avid climber!
While I have more experience with indoors climbing (bouldering, sport climbing, and lead climbing), I also have some outside experience. My goal is to climb in as many picturesque locations as my schedule allows, and one day (very far in the future) send a 5.13a on lead.