Women continue to be largely under-represented in the geosciences. Female role models and mentors can play an important role in the lives of female students, especially when choosing and committing to a career path. The PROGRESS (PROmoting Geoscience, Research, Education and SuccesS) Program aims to recruit and mentor STEM undergraduate women into the Earth and Environmental Sciences through a combination of formal and informal, professional and peer mentoring. For this program we recruit first-year college women interested in the Earth and Environmental Sciences (from any STEM major) from institutions in two geographic regions: the Colorado/Wyoming Front Range and the Carolinas. Women involved with this program 1) learn more about careers in the Earth and Environmental Sciences, 2) meet peers with similar academic interests, 3) gain better self-awareness of their values, strengths, and liabilities for a career in the Earth and Environmental Sciences, and 4) expand their psychological, social and institutional resources for a career in the Earth and Environmental Sciences. Program participants have access to peer mentoring and resources through this web platform. They are also able to interact with each other in discussion forums via private social media groups. In addition, participants are matched with a local, in-person female role model (mentor) and are invited to regularly scheduled group networking events near their home institution.

The program involves partnership among five universities in the CO/WY Front Range (Colorado State University, University of Colorado – Boulder, University of Wyoming, Colorado College, and Metro State University) and four universities in the Carolinas (University of North Carolina – Charlotte, University of South Carolina, North Carolina State University, and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University).  The Front Range leadership team for the study is located at Colorado State University, and is spearheaded by Dr. Emily Fischer, an Assistant Professor in the CSU Atmospheric Science Department.  The Carolinas team is located at University of North Carolina Charlotte, and is lead by Dr. Sandra Clinton, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences.  This program is funded by the National Science Foundation (grant #: DUE-1431795).

How you can get involved

If you would like to be a mentor for this program, please contact Ilana Pollack. Mentors of all ages, background, career stages and Geoscience disciplines are welcome.  Mentors can be graduate students, postdocs, research scientists, faculty and staff.  Time commitment includes meeting with your mentee (in person or via social media) a few times a semester and being available for occasional electronic communications.