The Bio/Diversity Project. 2020 Program Report

Aug. 26, 2020

Research shows that creating environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable communities requires the inclusion of all members of society in discussions of environmental problems and the development of their solutions. However, environmental science fields and environmental organizations lack racial, ethnic, and gender diversity on par with the population. In response, the Bio/Diversity Project harnesses the power of University-community partnerships to create K-16+ and into the workforce pipeline aimed at diversifying the environmental sciences and our local environmental science workforce. Through a combination of K-12 outreach and structured training, mentorship, and paid work experience, we pique student interest in the environmental sciences and provide the support and opportunities necessary to sustain students as they move through their academic journeys and into the environmental science workforce.

The Bio/Diversity Project is made possible by a broad network of university and community partners. Primary program partners are the University of Arizona’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program, Saguaro National Park, and the Friends of Saguaro National Park. We additionally partner with local environmental organizations including the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Sky Island Alliance, and UArizona’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, in order to provide program participants with robust training in environmental education and biodiversity conservation.

The Bio/Diversity Project has been generously funded by the Agnes Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice (2016-18) and the University of Arizona Green Fund (2018-2020). In addition to the funds raised through grants and donations, partner organizations— the Women in Science and Engineering Program at the University of Arizona and Friends of Saguaro National Park/Saguaro National Park—contribute in-kind or matching funds of approximately $48,000 annually to support and sustain the program. Matching funds enable partner organization staff to participate in program administration, supervise and training interns and student workers, and complete robust program evaluations.