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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In the Department of Geosciences, diversity, equity, justice, accessibility, and inclusion are values that we embrace. We are creating an environment where our faculty, researchers, students, staff, and visitors can excel, regardless of their age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or other identity. We are firmly committed to these values because we believe having varied perspectives benefits the individual, our science, and society.
This mission to make our department a more diverse and inclusive environment is even more critical because the Geosciences has the lowest diversity of all the STEM fields
[National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, 2015].

Departmental DEI Goals

●      By the Fall of 2021, we aim to be a department that is comfortable having conversations about race, gender, sexuality, disability, and other topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

●      Five years from now we aim to be a department with a deeply ingrained culture of inclusion that manifests in all practices across our mission.

●      Ten years from now we aim to be an internationally exemplary department in diversity, equity, and inclusion, measured not only by our demographic diversity, but also our inclusive practices.

Ongoing Activities and Accomplishments

●      Fall departmental workshops on having difficult conversation around race and active bystander training

●      Participating Department in AGU Bridge Program

●      Removal of the GRE as a requirement for our graduate application

●      Diversifying our seminar series

●      Monthly seminars through WInGS (Widening Inclusivity in the (Geo)Sciences)

●      Faculty participation in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Institute (HHMI) Inclusive Excellence (IE) Faculty Scholars Program. Our HHMI faculty scholars are D. Sarah Stamps, Sterling Nesbitt, and John Chermak.

●      Formation of an Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE) Program Pod in the department. Our Pod page is here.

●      Adding DEI requirements to the graduate curriculum

Geosciences Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee:

Faculty Representatives:
●      Benjamin Gill (chair)
●      Rachel Reid
●      D. Sarah Stamps
●      Michelle Stocker

Graduate Student Representative:
●      Jess DePaolis

Undergraduate Representative:
●      Isaiah McKinney

If you have questions, ideas or feedback for the :

Also, please visit our VT Widening Inclusivity in the (Geo)sciences section.


We acknowledge the Tutelo/Monacan people, who are the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live, and recognize their continuing connection to the land, water, and air that Virginia Tech consumes. We pay respect to the Tutelo/Monacan Nations, and to their elders past, present, and emerging.


Read the VT Geosciences Department's Response to Black Lives Matter Protests