Diversity and Inclusion

The Diversity Committee is devoted to promoting access, increasing diversity and fostering inclusivity within the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University. We always do much more than we can talk about, but we always accomplish less than would like. We are committed to updating these pages going forward, so stay tuned and reach out to us, as many of you have been doing, to get involved. The Faculty Committee was formed in 2013. As of 2020, the Diversity Committee includes a postdoc and a graduate student representative.

If you like to bring issues to the attention of the University that transcend but include our Department, send an email to this address with a copy to us. If you like to remain anonymous, go here. Also note the resources offered by the Princeton University's Ombuds Office.

News and Events

Going to the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting? Watch for the (inter)national Day of Anti-Racist Action in Geoscience on Tuesday October 27, 2020.

Initiatives & Activities

[1] The Geosciences graduate program no longer uses GRE scores in making admission decisions. Do not submit your scores - they are not accepted. Our assessment of applicants has always been holistic, but it has now evolved to including a standardized online interview with a small group of faculty advisors. Domestic applicants are encouraged to visit us on campus at any time during the application process. If your application has been shortlisted we will provide financial assistance to make that happen.

[2] The Geosciences graduate program is committed to making sure that application fees do not impose unnecessary financial hardship on our applicants. The Graduate School now has an easy way for applicants to request fee waivers. Contact our graduate program administrators if you have any questions or experience any issues with this aspect of your application.

[3] The Geosciences graduate program participates in the Predoctoral Fellowship Initiative. Members of groups that have been historically and are presently underrepresented in the academy are encouraged to apply as part of their application for the Ph. D. program. We are eager to make this program a success, and we advise you to speak to us early about your eligibility. Contact our graduate program administrators so they can give you appropriate advice and connect you to one of our Faculty members or others in the Department knowledgeable about the application process. 

[4] The Department is eager to promote applicants for the Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellows Program, which recognizes and supports scholars who can contribute to the University’s diversity, broadly defined, including members of groups that have been historically and are presently underrepresented in the academy or in particular disciplines, such as racial and ethnic minorities and women in STEM. The Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellows Program is meant to encourage early-career scholars to pursue a career in academia by supporting their postdoctoral work at the University. Please directly contact a prospective Faculty mentor at any time, irrespective of posted deadlines, so that we may coach you on your application, and help you direct it to the right place.

[5] The Department supports the activities of the Princeton Women in Geosciences (PWiGS). Its primary mission is is to increase the retention and boost the morale of women in the Earth Sciences through the development of an active peer network and the fostering of mentorship. PWiGS strives to create a support system for female scientists at all career levels that values academic achievement and satisfaction, promotes work-life balance, and initiates positive conversations about both.

[6] The Department supports and encourages its members, including undergraduate students and graduate students, to engage in public service. Many of these activities are centrally coordinated at the University level, but our Faculty and staff are eager to help you find meaningful opportunities with domain-specific angles, and will support and recognize your individual and collective engagement. Students, talk to your advisors - and do contact one of our Committee members if you have any questions related to this important aspect of your education.

[7] The Department maintains a very active schedule of workshops, seminars, lectures, and other events by visitors from the world at large, both academic and professional. Seminar organizers and event coordinators rotate among Faculty, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students. Contact them with your suggestions for speakers that will enhance our commitment to diversity, access and inclusion, and reach out to one of our Committee members if you have ideas, suggestions or specific requests that you would like to put our keep on our collective agenda. 

[8] Our Faculty are keen on participating in outreach events where we can share and amplify the message of the Geosciences being a vibrant, active and societally relevant field of research and education open to all. Inquiries, e.g., requests for speakers, mentors, advocates, and facilitators, from membership organizations serving underrepresented communities, undergraduate conferences, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, community colleges, and other such entities, are very much welcomed, and can be directed to one of our Committee members for further follow-up.

Departmental Demographics

 The Office of Institutional Research maintains a public Diversity Dashboard with demographic data at the University level.

Here are the most recent data for our Department as identified by the search term "Geosciences" in the database to which direct public access is restricted: FacultyPostdocGraduateUndergraduate | Doctoral. Comparisons on doctoral degree completion with other research-intensive universities by Race/Ethnicity and Gender. Please contact Shawn Maxam with any questions or to request access.

Departmental Code of Conduct for Field Work

At one point or another, even the most theoretical geoscientist ventures out into "the field" for research or education. Princeton University's Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities apply while traveling every bit as much as on campus. The added provisions for responsible conduct and leadership in the field are spelled out in a document that is signed by all field trip participants prior to departure, and a survey of all participants is conducted after every field experience.

Committee Members:

Supporting the Committee:

Former Committee Members: