Department of Geological Sciences
Geneseo’s Department of Geological Sciences (GSCI) is a highly student-centered department that houses the programs for the B.A. in Geological Sciences, the B.A. in Geochemistry, the B.A. in Geophysics, an Earth Science Adolescent Certification Program and the GSCI minor. Each of these programs provides Geneseo students with a strong foundation in the geosciences. Our graduates are highly successful in finding positions in teaching, industry, and graduate programs.
Students graduating from Geneseo with one of our degrees are invaluable to New York State since we are educating geoscientists who will be future teachers, professional geologists and environmental scientists. The B.A. in Geological Sciences is a certified state-licensure qualifying program for Professional Geologists in NYS. Students who earn this degree are highly competitive in the job market and they are able to pursue professional licensure sooner than students from institutions that are not certified.
The respected and active GSCI faculty and staff are invested in providing all Geneseo students with a broad interdisciplinary approach to studying geology and our environment. We aim to foster a curiosity of how the Earth works and an appreciation how geology and society are interconnected.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity
The Department of Geological Sciences (GSCI) at SUNY Geneseo is committed to providing a welcoming, safe, inclusive and equitable environment for all students, staff, faculty, and others. We seek to cultivate cultural pluralism in our community that supports and celebrates all regardless of (but not limited to) ability, age, socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, political views, religion, national origin, military status, sexual and gender identity or expression.
In contrast to this pluralistic ideal, geoscience has a complicated history with race, class, gender, and ability that we often fail to discuss and is at present, one of the least diverse, equitable and inclusive fields of science and engineering in the United States. Members of our community have faced harassment, exclusion, and/or disadvantage because of their race, ethnicity, sexual and gender identity, and disability status. In addition to underrepresentation and exclusion of people with marginalized identities, the field of Geoscience has benefited from colonialism and the exploration and exploitation of natural resources that has resulted in genocide, war, theft and other atrocities. Furthermore, some people with power and privilege pervert evolutionary theory to justify racist, sexist, homophobic, and ableist ideas and policies that assuaged this theft and perpetuate oppression. We confront this difficult history and the resulting injustices by ending our collective silence, committing to antiracism, and changing the way we work, teach, and support students.
As members of an interdisciplinary and engaged department, the GSCI faculty and staff support ongoing antiracist initiatives within the SUNY Geneseo and geoscience communities. With the willingness to learn and change, we commit to prioritizing and celebrating antiracism, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and we will undertake actions to promote a departmental environment that is welcoming and supportive to all and that is free of discrimination, harassment, exploitation, and intimidation. Our commitment statement is a living document and we will revisit and reaffirm it annually and update it as needed.
Action Plan (1/2021)
The Dept. of Geological Sciences at SUNY Geneseo pledges to:
- Support the vision and goals of the Department of Geological Sciences DEI Task Force. This task force is composed of faculty, staff and undergraduate students that meet monthly to identify and guide DEI and antiracist actions in courses, learning spaces, and in the department community.
- Identify and decrease (with an aim to remove) physical, financial, and social barriers to participation courses and classrooms, lab rooms, and research and field experiences that are limiting student participation and success. We aim to increase accessibility and opportunity for all persons regardless of background.
- Develop and implement actions that will aim to increase diversity within our undergraduate geoscience community. We will work with the SUNY Geneseo Admissions Department on this initiative. Specific actions include (but are not limited to) expanding our outreach to the public and primary/secondary education programs, modify/market existing admissions materials to better appeal to under-represented groups, and advertising existing scholarships for underrepresented minorities in geosciences, etc.
- Development of a positive STEM identity for BIPOC geoscientists and other underrepresented geoscientists such as women, LGBTQ+, and those with different abilities in our courses, guest speakers, and research.
- We will also intentionally add to our curriculum content that relates to antiracism and social injustices in our global environment. We will also highlight antiracist themed GSCI classes with the administration.
- Increase training for undergraduates, faculty and staff on DEI in the geosciences, in academia, at SUNY Geneseo, and beyond.
- We will write a GSCI-specific or STEM-wide grant proposal that will seek funding for scholarships and opportunities that will support URM and 1st generation students.
The DEI task force will work to achieve the above objectives throughout the coming weeks, months, and years as an ongoing mission of the department. The entire faculty, staff, and current student body in the Department of Geological Sciences are committed to these goals. We acknowledge that the actions taken must be part of an evolving process that will take time. It will also require personal and professional introspection and growth for all who are involved. We want and need this kind of growth in our department and value it.