DEIR Plan

The Department of Environmental Science andTechnology established DEIR (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect) goals and priority areas. In ENST, we seek to: 1) prioritize a culture of inclusion within the department as a foundation for implementation of all other goals, 2) seek grant opportunities to provide funding to sustain new DEIR initiatives within the department, 3) actively increase the opportunities for DEIR engagement with our students in the department, building upon the current DEIR teaching initiatives already in place, and 4) improve marketing and visibility of our DEIR efforts to enhance the diversity within the department at all levels. Each of the four priority areas have action items, how each goal will be measured, and who is accountable for ensuring work. The goals and action items are listed below in order of priority. The ENST DEIR priorities areas will be evaluated annually.

This document will serve as a living document, as we continue to refine and enhance our DEIR initiatives and align our priorities with the University of Maryland and College of Agricultural and Natural Resources’ DEIR initiatives and activities. The priority areas were developed and refined by 10 members of the ENST Diversity and Mentoring Committee, with written feedback received from the circulated draft ENST DEIR document by 23 stakeholders, including 11 faculty, 5 staff members, and 7 graduate/undergraduate students. The ENST Community voted 37-0 in favor of the priority areas during the November 18th, 2020 faculty/staff meeting.

Goal 1: Enhance ENST Culture and Climate within the DEIR Context

Action Item 1: Define DEIR as it pertains to ENST. Incorporate DEIR statements, definitions, action items, and purpose that are consistent with University-wide language into our ENST Strategic Planning document. This document is currently being developed to establish, engage, and document our efforts to reach our 5-year goals. The ENST Strategic Plan will be released in early 2021 and will be displayed on our website.

  • Measurement: Hold a Brown Bag or seminar to solicit input on DEIR definitions, as it relates to ENST. Publication of Strategic Plan on the website by 2021, with DEIR initiatives and definitions fully integrated into the departmental goals and plans.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Strategic Planning Chair

Action Item 2: Creation of DEIR tab on the ENST website that defines DEIR, outlines the initiatives approved by the department, tracks each goal’s progress, links to additional resources, and provides a platform to highlight the work of the initiatives listed below.

  • Measurement: Publication of DEIR page on website by the end of 2021.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Webmaster

Action Item 3: On the created webpages, provide university resources for students, faculty, and staff to document instances of hate, bias, and discrimination. Additionally, create an anonymous Suggestion Box survey link on the ENST webpages to offer suggestions for improving our departmental culture, reducing implicit bias, and resolve conflicts that do not reach the level of University reporting but could improve our culture, if addressed. (Note: AGNR will be in charge or conducting a yearly climate survey to supplement this effort).

  • Measurement: Publication of Suggestion Box survey on website by the end of 2021.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Webmaster for creation of suggestion box. ENST Diversity Chair for addressing and providing feedback on suggestions given.

Action Item 4: Support and create new DEIR clubs and initiatives within the department, such as book clubs, women’s support group, DEIR brown bags, and encourage participating in college and university-level initiatives, such as MANNRS and SOARE.

  • Measurement: Creation of two new groups within the department (in 2020 or 2021) and hold two brown bags a year devoted to DEIR initiatives.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Diversity and Mentoring Committee Chair

Action Item 5: Support and provide DEIR training opportunities for faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students in staff and faculty meetings, graduate seminars series, in the required graduate course ENST 602: Research Principles and Methodology in Environmental Science & Technology, and within in undergraduate clubs.

  • Measurement: One DEIR session per year in the graduate seminar series, two class periods devoted to DEIR and implicit bias training in ENST 602, at least one DEIR training session held for ENST faculty and staff, update the graduate handbook to include our DEIR initiatives by 2022, and work with undergraduate clubs and their advisors to increase DEIR training opportunities.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Diversity and Mentoring Committee Chair and ENST Graduate Committee Chair

Action Item 6: Keep track of the demographics and trends for undergraduates, graduate students, PTK, and tenure-track faculty. Conceptualize and gauge our demographics and trends to other Research 1 Universities with environmental science programs.

  • Measurement: Receipt of demographics and trend data by 2021, with annual documentation of trends.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Department Chair

Action Item 7: Enhance graduate students, staff, and professional track faculty (PTK) mentoring and training. Quantify baseline and increases in mentoring activity.

  • Measurement: An increase in the creation of mentoring program or mentoring committees for staff and professional track faculty PTK faculty and peer mentoring program developed within our Graduate student organization: GATES based on baseline data (prior to 2020) and yearly evaluations.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Chair of PTK Committee, Director of ENST Human Resources, and ENST Graduate Committee Chair.

Action Item 8: Include environmental justice and service to diverse communities in the Faculty Review and Salary (FRS), with 10% of the faculty evaluation score devoted to service.

  • Measurement: Implement FRS procedural change and change Plan of Governance document by 2021.
  • Person Accountable: ENST FRS Committee Chair

Goal 2: Enhance and Sustain DEIR Initiatives through Securing Grants and Resources

Action Item 1: Apply, execute, and sustain funded programs with integrated DEIR initiatives and goals from programs/agencies, such as National Science Foundation, US Dept of Agriculture, Maryland Water Resources Research Center, Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES), and Delmarva Seed grants, in collaboration with HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions.

  • Measurement #1: An increase in applying for and executing grants with environmental justice and DEIR research incorporation, evaluated yearly.
  • Measurement #2: An increase in applying for and executing grants in collaboration with HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions, evaluated yearly.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Research Committee Chair

Action Item 2: Faculty training on how to effectively engage and partner with HBCUs and Minority- Serving Institutions.

  • Measurement: Faculty training provided on HBCU engagement during faculty meeting or seminar by 2022.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Department Chair

Goal 3: Increase Integration of DEIR into Course Content

Action Item 1: Each ENST specialization meet and review concentration requirements and course syllabi to document and highlight how DEIR is already being addressed in their courses and how more DEIR classes and requirements at the concentration level, and more diverse authors, environmental justice, and DEIR themes can be added at the course level. Ensure that the TLTC Diversity statements are included in syllabi.

  • Measurement: Track and document courses that integrate DEIR concepts on our ENST specialization sheets and website.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Undergraduate Committee Chair

Action Item 2: Create new courses and highlight existing courses that weave DEIR initiatives throughout the course content, encouraging interdisciplinary courses or content, where appropriate.

  • Measurement: Create two new courses or modify existing courses to further integrate DEIR into course teachings (Note: one is already planned).
  • Person Accountable: ENST Undergraduate Committee Chair

Action Item 3: Student internship credit for work/presentations at local, diverse high schools, especially those that have graduated from those schools, and/or environmental justice work.

  • Measurement: Five interns complete internship credit using high school outreach methods or environmental justice outreach/research by 2022, with at least two interns per year participating in this program.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Internship Chair

Goal 4: Enhance Visibility of our DEIR Initiatives to Aid in Recruitment

Action Item 1: Create professional handouts and website content to highlight on-going and new Diversity and Environmental Justice work in ENST, including marketing ENST via various external and internal channels, especially entities that work with diverse populations, to increase its visibility and the overall awareness of ENST within local, regional, national, private, and governmental/non- governmental communities.

  • Measurement: 5 new pieces of content developed by 2022.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Marketing Chair and ENST Webmaster

Action Item 2: Market our current scholarship opportunities to retain and recruit diverse students in our program and soliciting more of these types of opportunities.

  • Measurement: Develop a website advertising the scholarship by 2021.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Awards Committee Chair and ENST Webmaster

Action Item 3: Formalize ENST high school connections through annual advertising of research training and high school internship openings in ENST, with success stories of our current and former diverse high school interns.

  • Measurement: Annual advertising of internships, preferably at the beginning of the school year or prior to the school year starting. Two internship pieces developed on the website by 2022.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Marketing Chair and ENST Webmaster

Action Item 4: Increase the number of HBCU and Minority-Serving Institution scholars speaking at our ENST Departmental Seminars.

  • Measurement: Two HBCU and Minority-Serving Institution scholars present each year.
  • Person Accountable: ENST Graduate Committee Chair