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WiSE Professions in STEM fields and In the Field


Explore career path, and the critical importance of empowered bystanders in field-based education and research through the 2021 Women in Scientific Professions Speaker Series.

ESF Women in STEM Fields, and the ESF Alumni Association will celebrate Women's History Month with a career path panel discussion March 11 from 1 to 2 p.m. featuring recent alumnae working in STEM fields. Panelists include Aislinn Brackman '13 (paper Engineering), change agent/continuous improvement specialist, von Drehle Corporation; Olivia Liu '15 (Landscape Architecture), assistant landscape architect, New York City Parks; Hilary Niver-Johnson '11 (Environmental Science), proprietor, sustainable viticulture systems; Emily Thiel '14 (Environmental Communications), education and outreach coordinator, WNY Prism.

This session is a collaboration of the Alumni Association, Career Services, Admissions, and ESF Women's Caucus, for current ESF students and employees as well as for prospective and incoming students.

WiSE Professions will then shift focus to those planning, training, and conducting field research with Building a Better Fieldwork Future, in two independent but related sessions.

"Fieldwork is an essential component of training and research in many scientific disciplines. However, the imbalanced power structure of academia coupled with the remote and informal nature of field sites heightens risks of sexual harassment and assault during fieldwork, especially for women and other at-risk groups. Limited existing research suggests that incidents are widespread and insufficiently addressed by protocols developed for office and classroom settings."

Scenario-Based Bystander Training to Prevent Sexual Harassment and Assault in Field Settings. On March 31, from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. (register here), in conjunction with the Perspectives on Career and Gender graduate seminar, Melissa Cronin, University of California, Santa Cruz, will discuss the development and assessment of the 90-minute workshop she, Roxanne Beltran and Erika Zavaleta developed with support of the Thoreau Foundation and Center to Advance Mentored, Inquiry-based Opportunities (CAMINO). The program has expanded to include 28 trainers at eight other institutions.

Workshop: Building a Better Fieldwork Future: Preventing & Managing Sexual Harassment & Assault in the Field Science. On April 15, 7 to 8:30 p.m. (register here) Space is limited. Certified trainer Dr. Amanda Adams, conservation research program manager, Bat Conservation International and lecturer, biology, Texas A&M University, will introduce "the unique risks posed by fieldwork and offer a suite of evidence-based tools to prevent, intervene in, and respond to sexual harassment and assault. A series of practical intervention scenarios, the workshop guides participants on how to be an active and engaged bystander, report incidents, and plan field settings to minimize risk. Armed with these tools, participants can play a role in ensuring that field settings are safer, more equitable, and more welcoming for the next generation of field scientists.

This workshop will bookend a series that launched during the winter break with a screening of Picture a Scientist, in which "biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all."

The screening culminated in a discussion January 21 with Dr. Mary Collins(assistant professor, environmental studies), Jennifer Keating(project coordinator, Choose Action Network); Nicole Williams '05(finance and operations director, Ocean Outcomes) and Rebecca Hoda-Kearse (Title IX/Affirmative Action officer), moderated Dr. Malika Carter, chief diversity officer. Screening and panel were presented by the ESF Alumni Association in collaboration with the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity; ESF Women's Caucus; and the Choose Action Network.

The WiSE Professions Speaker Series is a program of the ESF Women's Caucus, presented by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with the assistance of other groups and offices across campus. For more information, contact Heather Engelman at engelman@esf.edu.