Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

A recently published USGS Circular summarizes the work of more than 100 scientists from six groups across USGS, the largest participation in URGE of any federal science agency, representing a grassroots plan for making the USGS workforce more diverse and inclusive.

Cover of a USGS report with a collage of many individual people grouped around a map of the United States.
USGS Scientists from across the nation published a circular summarizing USGS participation in Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE) and presented recommendations for improving diversity in the USGS workforce. Summarizing the recommendations of over 100 USGS employees across the USGS who participated in URGE, this Circular represents a grassroots plan for making the USGS workforce more diverse and inclusive.

In response to the racial justice protests of 2020, a group of geoscience scholars launched a global, virtual National Science Foundation funded initiative known as Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE; The objectives of the 16-week facilitated curriculum were to explore the origins and scope of institutional racism and to educate the geoscience community on ways it can work to deconstruct institutional biases by building a culture that promotes and fosters diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). USGS URGE participants explored existing literature, listened to expert seminars, and held group (pod) discussions with the goal of building action plans (deliverables) to affect change within their home institutions. For USGS pods, the URGE deliverables reflect grassroots explorations and evaluations of the policies and practices of the organization that may not have been possible with a top-down approach.

Supported by the Civility and Inclusion Council (CIC), a smaller group of about 20 USGS scientists has worked since May 2021 to summarize the findings and solutions conceived of by all USGS URGE participants. This process resulted in presentations for the Workplace Equity, Engagement, and Excellence (WE3) Council in July 2021, the first USGS DEIA Grassroots Symposium in October 2021, and the USGS Executive Leadership Team (ELT) in September 2021 and November 2022. Additionally, USGS URGE participants presented summaries of USGS URGE deliverables to the broader geoscience community at two international geoscience conferences, the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in October 2021 and the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in December 2021. After a review process that exceeded what was required by Fundamental Science Practice (FSP) policies, the final publication was published in February 2024. The outcome of this effort and how it has already shaped USGS DEIA activities will be a topic presented at the upcoming 3rd Annual DEIA Grassroots Symposium taking place February 6-8, 2024.

More information:

Get Our News

These items are in the RSS feed format (Really Simple Syndication) based on categories such as topics, locations, and more. You can install and RSS reader browser extension, software, or use a third-party service to receive immediate news updates depending on the feed that you have added. If you click the feed links below, they may look strange because they are simply XML code. An RSS reader can easily read this code and push out a notification to you when something new is posted to our site.