Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB)

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) and the teaching area of Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE) hold central the value that all members of our community are treated with respect and are provided equal opportunities for success in our educational and work environments.

The Council

Societal and institutional changes arising during calendar year 2020 have prompted a re-evaluation of the EPS/ESE efforts to advance collective progress in the areas of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB). Increased engagement among many cohorts of our wider community; heightened awareness of the need to set concrete, defined goals; and desire for organizational accountability together motivated a new structure of departmental programs to capture and act on these needs. The organization described below – to be called the Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Council (hereafter “the Council”) – replaces the former DIB Standing Committee, adopts its Mission and Values Statement, and absorbs its existing activities plus other ad hoc efforts ongoing within the EPS department and ESE program. The Council supersedes the DIB Committee, effective May 2021.

DIBCouncilMembers_Summer2021

Mission and Values

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) and the program in Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE) hold central the value that all members of our community are treated with respect and are provided equal opportunities for success in our educational and work environments. A more complete statement of our shared values is maintained on the EPS Department website, here. As part of our efforts to build and maintain a diverse and inclusive community, the Council plays a fundamental role in implementing strategies, policies, and initiatives to advance diversity, inclusion, and belonging. 

The Council is charged to work with the EPS Academic Programs Manager to identify and help implement opportunities to fulfill this central mission. Its activities include, but are not necessarily limited to: spearheading initiatives to recruit, support, and retain a diverse and inclusive community of scholars and staff; collecting community-sourced feedback and suggestions; serving as a resource and reference for issues related to harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, country of national origin, visa status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability handicap, pregnancy status and other legally protected categories; leading community-wide events around issues of diversity and inclusion; and advising and consulting with the EPS and ESE Area Chairs on possible actions related to the above goals.

Council Composition

The Council will ordinarily be composed of the EPS Academic Programs Manager plus ten other members, reflecting when possible the core constituencies of our EPS and ESE community: undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows/researchers, faculty, and staff. The EPS Academic Programs Manager is the organizer, while the Council members are composed of the leaders (Chairs and Co-Chairs, if applicable as listed below) of five goal-oriented DIB Working Groups: 

  • Undergraduate Student Recruitment & Retention - to be recruited
  • Graduate Student Recruitment & Retention - co-chaired by Mona Dai and Hannah Nesser
  • Graduate & Undergraduate Research Opportunities - co-chaired by Nadja Drabon and Ann Greaney-Williams
  • Workshops, Resources, & Colloquia - co-chaired by Emily Bowman and Dave Johnston
  • Imagery, Signage, & History of Racism - co-chaired by Jonathan Proctor and Steve Wofsy

Membership and Recruitment

The Working Groups and Council should seek to achieve a balance of demographic representation and a commitment to active participation. Further elaboration of procedures for recruitment and service, as developed with guidance from Science Division Equity and Inclusion Fellow, Benita Wolff, are given in Appendix 1. of this document outlining the organization and mission of the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Council.

  • The Council will be administratively coordinated by the EPS Academic Programs Manager, who will serve as the EPS Department DIB Officer; this individual will consult with and be guided by the EPS Chair, ESE Area Chair, the FAS Associate Dean of DIB, and the SEAS Assistant Dean of DIB. The EPS Academic Programs Manager, acting as DIB Officer, will meet with the above leadership group at the beginning of each semester to review programs, agendas, Council and Working Group membership, and other matters as needed. 
  • Council representatives are the Chairs and Co-Chairs of the five working groups.
  • Working groups consist of the appointed Chair and Co-Chair and unlimited volunteer membership. 
  • At least two faculty members, including at least one with an ESE affiliation, should be on the Council, implying leadership roles for faculty within multiple Working Groups. 
  • An individual should be a member of the EPS/ESE community for at least 6 months prior to becoming eligible for a Working Group leadership role (and therefore a seat on the Council) but may join as a Working Group member at any time. 
  • During the recruitment process to Working Group leadership, preference will be given to members who will help balance representation within the Council (including diversity in gender, stage in career, EPS vs. ESE, or other constituencies).

Suggestions, comments, or corrections? Please email estherkjames@fas.harvard.edu.