Center for Ocean Mapping & Innovative Technologies Webinar Series

dr. Brandon Jones

Dr. Jones presented on October 27th, a recording of his webinar can be viewed here.

Diversifying the Geosciences

Abstract: To truly diversify the geosciences, a community that provides the space for all individuals to express their cultural perspectives can progress the science further. As Medin and Lee (2012) describe, diversifying science gives diverse perspectives that are correlated with diverse research focus and new discoveries but must do so with the cultural practices of these individuals that bring the perspectives. The current culture in the geosciences can make it difficult to fully embrace individuals because of historical attitudes linked to the disciplinary practices. Additionally, current disciplinary research approaches are invasive and extractive mainly through entering regions to conduct research and subsequently compromising the community without going through the appropriate channels to carry out the studies (Cartier, K. M. S, 2019). Examples of these colonizing practices include but are not limited to working in native lands or regions and not consulting with elders, entering low-income high-risk communities to study coastal erosion without interaction with the community, or even extracting materials (e.g., mineral samples) without considering possible environmental implications such as polluting nearby water sources. Broadening geoscience to more individuals who can bring other ways of knowing and conducting research would make the discipline stronger which will result in better science.

Biography: Dr. Brandon Jones is the Program Director for education and broadening participation efforts in the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Geosciences. At NSF, he oversees programs that focus on undergraduate and graduate workforce preparation for the Geosciences and supports initiatives related to increasing diversity and enhancing inclusion and belonging in STEM.

Brandon received a BA in biology from The Lincoln University (PA) in 1991 and his MS & PhD degrees in Marine Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. He taught five years of high school science in the interim between his MS and PhD matriculation.

Brandon is a recent board member of the American Geophysical Union and a current board member for the Environmental Leadership Program. He is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. He continues to be an active mentor for early career STEM scholars who are members of historically excluded communities.