We recognized the need to increase the diversity of our membership early on, says ESA Executive Director Katherine McCarter. The Society took a number of steps towards this goal in which the SEEDS program has figured prominently.
McCarter notes that the ultimate measure of success has been in the great strides ESA has made in membership numbers of underrepresented populations.
In 1992, underrepresented minorities represented 5.7 percent of the Societys membership. In 2006, that number had grown to 11 percent. The number of American Indian/Alaska Native members more than doubled and that of African American members nearly tripled.
Its imperative that we draw from the talent of the broad spectrum of the U.S. population who will bring the range of creativity, skills, and approaches needed to address ecological challenges, says ESA President Christensen.
The Society has made a long-term commitment to continue the mentoring opportunities for students and members alike, particularly those organized and supported at the Societys annual meetings. It plans to dedicate the presidential award to supporting travel for underrepresented students to continue to attend the annual scientific conference and to participate in the mentoring activities sponsored at these yearly events.
|Contact: Nadine Lymn|
Ecological Society of America