Inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA)

Land acknowledgment

We respectfully acknowledge that we live, learn, and work on the sacred ancestral lands of many Indigenous groups, including the Numu (Northern Paiute), Wašišiw (Washoe), Newe (Western Shoshone), Nuwu (Southern Paiute) peoples. These spaces continue to be gathering places for Indigenous Peoples and we recognize their deep connections to these lands. We endeavor to respectfully work in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples in all of our activities, both at home and abroad.

Hydrologic Sciences IDEA statement

We recognize that the Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences (GPHS), and the sciences in general, do not reflect the diversity of our Northern Nevada community or that of the United States. This lack of diversity represents systemic issues that are particularly prevalent in the geosciences community and continue to limit our program, preventing scientific understanding and inhibiting opportunities for high-quality education and training.

We are committed to increasing inclusivity, diversity, equity, and justice within GPHS so that individuals feel welcome, comfortable, and able to thrive within the University of Nevada, Reno and the Northern Nevada science community. Our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members are expected to foster an environment where all are valued regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, nationality, veteran status, socio-economic status, political beliefs, physical or cognitive ability, and age.

We have much to learn and must work to elevate underrepresented voices. On our journey ahead, we seek to create a program that reflects the diversity of our community and country. Below we outline specific, concrete actions to increase diversity and include underrepresented groups within the geosciences through time.

Near-term goals

  • Update webpage to facilitate applications and provide greater transparency of the admissions process
  • Request for donations of outdoor gear and field clothes that can be borrowed for free by students
  • Apply for the AGU Bridge Program
  • Please reach out if you would like to lead or organize any of the above initiatives

Ongoing goals and IDEA activity

  • Increase the diversity of invited seminar speakers from demographics underrepresented in STEM and give all speakers the option of devoting time during their science seminar to also share personal stories, successes, or failures related to IDEA. We implemented this in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 and have also had multiple speakers focusing on issues of environmental justice and environmental racism.
  • Work with faculty members to revise GPHS bylaws to include and value IDEA-related activities as part of the job description.
  • Work with our alumni, the Graduate School, and the University's development office to obtain both merit and need-based funding to support student costs.

Recent Updates

May 2021:

  • The Nevada DRIVE program, which is designed to promote Doctoral Research in Innovation, Vision and Excellence at the University of Nevada, Reno, allocated three semesters of funding to GPHS for applied hydrologic research and enhancing diversity.

January 2021:

October 2020:

  • The GPHS faculty votes to remove the GRE as a requirement for graduate admission. It is no longer needed to apply to the program. For context, see “Typical physics Ph.D. admissions criteria limit access to underrepresented groups but fail to predict doctoral completion,” by Miller et al. (2019).

August 2020:

  • The GPHS program creates a Diversity Endowment to increase IDEA within GPHS. It is now funded at $10,000. The goal is $100,000 to support a student.
  • The GPHS program in coordination with the Graduate School offers a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (TA) for a master’s or Ph.D. student to increase IDEA within GPHS. This GTA supports a student for a monthly stipend and a tuition waiver.

Interested in getting involved?

Students, faculty, and staff are all invited to be part of the GPHS IDEA Committee. If you’re interested in joining or would like more information, you are welcome to contact any of our committee members:

Spellings and pronunciations

  • Numu [nu-mah] (Northern Paiute)
  • Nuwu [new-wooh] (Southern Paiute)
  • Wašišiw [wa-she-shu] (Washoe)
  • Newe [new-wuh] (Western Shoshone)