ECo Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement
The Department of Environmental Conservation (ECo) at University of Massachusetts Amherst recognizes the existence of systemic barriers that decrease diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. ECo acknowledges those systems exist and works diligently to identify and dismantle them to broaden accessibility and involvement in
STEM fields. ECo strongly supports and is committed to being a diverse, equitable and inclusive community. ECo embraces the diversity within our department and supports community by welcoming all members regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnicity, national origin, socio-economic status, political views, physical abilities, and age. The ECo community recognizes that an equitable, inclusive and diverse department prepares students and scholars for the future, brings diverse perspectives, improves the learning environment, harbors diverse skill sets needed to address complex problems, and fosters a sense of community. Finally, a diverse and inclusive department improves our scholarly environment by empowering members, providing a safe environment to share new ideas, and allows members of the ECo community to grow not just as scientists but also as global citizens.
ECo’s JEDIA Committee
ECo has a Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (JEDIA) committee comprised of faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, graduate and undergraduate students that meets regularly to support departmental efforts to ensure ECo is a welcoming, inclusive and safe environmental for all members of our community. We are made up of a Leadership Team that meets for the academic year, and specific Task Force groups that work on specific tasks for as long as needed.
ECo’s JEDIA Leadership Team (2022-2023)
Chair: Meg Graham MacLean,
ECo JEDIA Research Assistant: Asha Ajmani
Faculty Reps: Kelly Klinger, Eric Thomas, Lena Fletcher
Staff Rep: Alexandra Renna
Postdoctoral Rep: Laura Figueroa
Graduate Student Reps: Sebastian Moreno, Samantha Myers, Amanda Suzzi-Simmons
Undergraduate Student Reps: Cameron Chin
Current Task Force topics:
- Organizing a diverse speakers list
- Improving the accessibility of ECo
- Conducting listening sessions
- Forming a mentoring program across many levels
- Organizing community events
Please contact us if you are interested in getting involved!
How to Contact Us:
Join our ECo JEDIA list-serv by emailing us or joining the group in Google Groups
Provide anonymous feedback by filling out this form
2022 DEIJ Award
Congratulations to our 2022 DEIJ Award winners for their outstanding contributions to DEIJ efforts in the department! Our four winners this year are:
- Armand Martinez (undergraduate)
- Tati Washington (graduate)
- Lexi Renna (staff)
- Grace DiRenzo (faculty)
Thank you for all of the amazing work that you do!
The JEDIA Committee solicits nominations each year for its DEIJ/JEDIA Award. The DEIJ Award recognizes the hard work put in to promote diversity and inclusion within the ECo community. We accept self and third-party nominations in the form of a short summary (500 words max) explaining the nominee’s contributions and dedication to promote DEIJ within the ECo community. Anyone can nominate a member of the ECo community (self-nominations accepted); the nominator does not have to be a member of the ECo community. The rubric for evaluating nominations can be found here. There are four Awards, one each to a faculty member, staff member or postdoctoral fellow, graduate student, and an undergraduate student. The student awards will come with a monetary prize of $500.
“Learning to Make Fieldwork More Accessible” Panel Discussion
Sponsored by the ECo, OEB, and GEO DEI committees, a panel on “Learning to Make Fieldwork More Accessible” was held on March 10 via Zoom. It was moderated by Professor Michele Cooke (UMass Department of Geosciences) and featured panelists:
- Freya McGregor – Coordinator/Occupational Therapist, Birdability
- Rachel Adams – UMass Assistant Director of Disability Services and Graduate student in Higher Education
- Marsha Allen – Graduate student, UMass Geosciences
- Grace Casselberry – Graduate student, UMass Environmental Conservation
- Aly Putnam – Graduate student, UMass Organism and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program
A video recording of the panel can be found here.
Fund for Supporting Diverse Student Applications to ECO
Thank you to all who donated to the Fund for Supporting Diverse Student Applications to ECo for the 2022-2023 admission cycle! Graduate school application fees can be prohibitive for low income applicants, both domestic and International. ECO aims to equitably and justly recruit and support diverse and talented graduate students regardless of their income. By supporting application fees, we aim to remove barriers and increase diversity in the applicant pool. This will create opportunities for all interested and qualified students. We hope to continue to lower the application barrier for students, so please be on the lookout for another fund for next year.
The 2020 ECo JEDIA Action Plan
Click here for the ECo Action Plan. This action plan was put together by the ECo Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and is a result of the conversations, ideas, and concerns expressed by community members during and after the ECo community forum on July 31, 2020.
Resources for the Community
Resource spreadsheet for grants and other opportunities (compiled by the IDGP DEI Academic Equity committee)
Toolbox for Inclusive Teaching (compiled by UMass Psychological and Brain Sciences)
Videos on “How to get into grad school” from *ALL* welcome in Science!
The ECo emergency relief fund provides small scholarships for graduate students with urgent financial need (up to $1000). Any graduate student affiliated with the Eco department is eligible, regardless of their graduate program.
Past JEDIA committee members
Toni Lyn Morelli