Addressing the Lack of Racial Diversity in Environmental Science

journalcoverEnvironmental and earth sciences have among the largest racial shortfalls in degrees earned and in faculty positions in higher education. According to the U.S. Census, across 16 physical and life science classifications, the bottom five occupational groupings in terms of non-white minority representation include atmospheric and space sciences, environmental and geosciences, and conservation and forestry. Minorities make up only 11 percent of the total faculty in environmental sciences in U.S. higher education.

A new study by Adam R. Pearson, professor of psychology at Pomona College in Claremont, California, and Jonathan Schuldt, a professor of communication at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, offers suggestions on what can be done to increase racial diversity in the field of environmental studies.

The authors recommend:
• Enhancing funding and support for basic research on climate STEM diversity;
• Establishing the scientific study of climate diversity as a sub-specialization within the climate sciences;
• Expanding opportunities for disseminating diversity research at scientific conferences, as well as between academics and non-academics; and
• Using diversity research to guide climate advocacy and reform efforts.

“To effectively address the diversity crisis in climate science requires a more comprehensive and coordinated response between behavioral scientists and climate researchers,” according to the authors.

The article, “Facing the Diversity Crisis in Climate Science,” was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. It may be accessed here.

Related Articles


  1. Lord knows how many positions I have been passed over for my last name for some blond girl with a couple more years of classes. Imagine fixing her broken instrumentation her poor data and providing dissection instructions and she gets the permanent position its a joke and its not funny

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania Placed on Accreditation Probation

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education stated that the university fell short in meeting requirements in financial planning and budget processes and compliance with laws, regulations, and commission policies.

Two Black Women Scholars Who Are Taking on New Assignments in Higher Education

Penelope Andrews was appointed the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School and Angela D. Dillard, the Richard A. Meisler Collegiate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan, was given the added duties of the inaugural vice provost for undergraduate education.

Tuskegee University Partners With Intel to Boost Black Presence in the Semiconductor Industry

Participating Tuskegee students will have a chance to gain hands-on skills in engineering design, semiconductor processing, and device fabrication technologies and an overall valuable experience working in the microelectronics cleanroom fabrication facility at Tuskegee University.

K.C. Mmeje Honored by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Foundation

K.C. Mmeje is vice president for student affairs at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The NASPA Pillars of the Profession Award acknowledges remarkable individuals within the student affairs and higher education community who demonstrate exceptional contributions to both the profession and the organization.

Featured Jobs