CERF Receives Grant from National Science Foundation

CERF Receives Grant from National Science Foundation

The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) is the proud recipient of a $47,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support "Broadening Participation in Coastal and Estuarine Sciences: A Workshop at the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Conference." The overall goal of this program is to promote opportunities for all underrepresented minorities while cultivating a culture that actively engages and leverages diversity of all types throughout our organization.

The funding will allow CERF to support the participation of ten underrepresented minority (URM) students and their mentors to participate in CERF 2017 – 24th Biennial Conference. The students and their mentors will participate in a workshop with expert panelists and key CERF members and partners who are leaders in diversity, with the goal of inspiring and motivating URM students to pursue career pathways in coastal and estuarine science. The Conference Mentoring Program is currently accepting student applications.

The NSF award also supports the "Building and Embracing CERF Diversity" workshop, open to all CERF conference registrants and led by Dr. Diana Kardia, of the Kardia Group LLC. Through facilitated and interactive exercises, workshop participants will learn valuable skills needed to help transform CERF into a more diverse and inclusive society. This includes how to recognize the multiple facets of diversity, capture the benefits that arise from diverse perspectives, and overcome hidden biases to create a culture of inclusion. The workshop will culminate with identification of near-term, mid-term, and long-term actions for CERF to achieve systemic change.

“Receiving this award from NSF is an honor and a testament to CERF's capacity for building diversity,” says Dr. Hilary Neckles, USGS Research Ecologist, CERF President-Elect, and chair of the committee that developed the proposal. “There are so many aspects to broadening participation, from enhancing recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students, to training established professionals in inclusivity. This NSF grant will allow us to jump-start multiple, complementary efforts targeting these various components of becoming a more diverse and inclusive society.”

The NSF proposal was submitted as part of CERF's Rising TIDES (Toward an Inclusive, Diverse, and Enriched Society), a new comprehensive program for enhancing the diversity and inclusion of CERF and our conference. This grant provides a big boost to CERF's ability to promote diversity and inclusion within the Federation.

The NSF-supported URM conference mentoring program and diversity workshop are only the first in a series of CERF Rising TIDES activities and collaborations. CERF is already a partner in the NSF INCLUDES Program "Supporting Emerging Aquatic Scientists (SEAS) Your Tomorrow" project, led by Dr. Kristen Wilson Grimes at the University of the Virgin Islands. Furthermore, diversity initiatives are planned throughout the CERF 2017 conference, including an Inclusion Luncheon. The NSF-funded CERF 2017 activities will provide a critical springboard for CERF's comprehensive plan for infusing diversity and inclusion throughout CERF. “We are thrilled that NSF has recognized CERF as an important partner in their goal to increase participation in science, technology, engineering, and math from underrepresented groups and diverse institutions,” says CERF Executive Director Dr. Susan Park.

Learn more about Rising TIDES: www.erf.org/risingtides

Apply for the Rising TIDES Conference Mentoring Program: www.erf.org/rising-tides-mentoring-program

Register for the “Building and Embracing CERF Diversity” workshop (space is limited) via the conference registration form, visit www.erf.org/registration-2017-conference

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