We are proud to announce that the University of Nebraska at Omaha has been awarded an NSF INCLUDES Grant. “The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued 27 new awards through its NSF INCLUDES program, aimed at enhancing U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations through a commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
The principal investigator PI is Dr. DeeDee Bennett of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the CO PIs are Dr. Lori Peek, who is the director of the Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado-Boulder, Dr. Hans Louis-Charles of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Dr. Terri Norton of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
The NSF release is located here: http://bit.ly/2gw5cgY
It is titled Scholars from Under-Represented Groups in Engineering and the Social Sciences: Minority SURGE Capacity in Disasters, or SURGE.
The release contains a list of this year’s awards, including the project:
Scholars from Under-Represented Groups in Engineering and the Social Sciences: Minority SURGE Capacity in Disasters.
This NSF INCUDES Design and Development Launch Pilot will increase the recruitment, retention, and matriculation of racial and ethnic minorities in STEM Ph.D. programs contributing to hazards and disaster research. Increasing STEM focused minorities on hazards mitigation, and disaster research areas will benefit society and contribute to the achievements of specific, desired societal outcomes following disasters. The Minority SURGE Capacity in Disasters (SURGE) launch pilot will provide the empirical research to identify substantial ways to increase the underrepresentation of minorities in STEM disciplines interested in hazards mitigation and disaster research. Increasing the involvement of qualified minorities will help solve the broader vulnerability concerns in these communities and help advance the body of knowledge through the diversity of thought and creative problem solving in scholarship and practice. Utilizing workshops and a multifaceted mentorship program SURGE creates a new model that addresses the diversity concerns in both STEM and disaster fields, and make American communities more resilient following natural disasters. This project will be of interest to policymakers, educators and the general public.
The Minority SURGE Capacity in Disasters (SURGE) NSF INCLUDES Design and Development Launch Pilot will enhance the social capital of racial and ethnic minority communities by increasing their networks, connections, and access to disaster management decision-making among members of their community from STEM fields. The four-fold goals of SURGE are to: (1) increase the number of minority graduate researchers in STEM fields with a disaster focus; (2) develop and guide well-trained, qualified disaster scholars from STEM fields; (3) provide academic and professional mentorship for next generation minority STEM scholars in hazards mitigation and disaster research; and (4) develop professional and research opportunities that involve outreach and problem solving for vulnerable communities in the U.S. The SURGE project is organized as a lead-organization network through the University of Nebraska at Omaha and includes community partners. As a pilot project, SURGE participation is limited to graduate students from research-intensive universities across the country. Each student will attend workshops and training programs developed by the project leads. SURGE investigators will conduct project evaluation and assessment of their workshops, training, and mentorship projects. Results from evaluations and assessments will be presented at STEM and disaster-related conferences and published in peer-reviewed academic journals.