Ecological Richness: ecologists from underrepresented groups

For more than two decades, ESA has been concerned about equity in its membership and has actively sought ways to increase participation by under-represented groups. In 1988, a committee was appointed to address this issue, and ESA still maintains a section on Diversity in Ecology on its primary organizational website.

The “Women and Minorities Committee” became a standing committee of ESA in 1991; it was later renamed the Gender and Minority Affairs Committee. This committee and others, through workshops and surveys, developed a series of initiatives that have helped move ESA toward a membership that “reflects the gender and cultural diversity in the general population of the United States of America.”

As a result of WAMIE I, ESA and its Education and Diversity Committee expanded its collection of stories documenting the career paths of ecologists to include more female and minority ecologists. (See our Women in Ecology series for examples of the growing contribution women are making in ecology.)

The SEEDS Program was established in 1996 and aims to “diversify and advance the ecology profession through opportunities that stimulate and nurture the interest of underrepresented students to participate, and to lead in ecology.”

Profiles of Ecologists from Underrepresented Groups