UMEB: Undergraduate Mentoring in Wetland Science with a Focus on Underrepresented Groups

Project: Research project

Project Details


NSF funding will support the participation of 10 undergraduate students from underrepresented groups in annual meetings of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS). SWS was established in 1980 to allow and promote the exchange of information related to wetlands. SWS is unique among scientific societies in that its members, from the academic, government and private consulting sectors, represent a variety of perspectives on wetland science. Attendance of a select group of undergraduate students from underrepresented groups at an annual scientific meeting can provide each student with a perspective on, and exposure to, the breadth and depth of wetland science that cannot be obtained at a single academic home institution. The annual meeting of the Society includes at least four concurrent sessions over four days, along with plenary and poster sessions. Because SWS spans academic, government and private consulting sectors, individual students will be able to tailor their daily activities to their own personal interests in wetland science. By pairing undergraduate students with graduate student or faculty mentors at the annual meeting, and by providing workshops and symposia specifically geared toward undergraduate students (including those from underrepresented groups), SWS will foster active participation and discussion, each a key component of advancing science and promoting intellectual development of undergraduate student scientists.

SWS recognizes the need to reach out to underrepresented groups to provide intellectual opportunities for personal growth and development. Attendance at a scientific meeting often can provide the intellectual spark, along with the opportunities to make contacts for the future, that encourage undergraduate students to continue their professional education beyond the Bachelor's degree level. Our goal is to open doors for undergraduate students in underrepresented groups. Each student participant will be assigned a mentor, who will function in many ways, including as a bridge-builder, introducing each student to SWS members whose professional interests are in line with those of the undergraduate student. The activities proposed here will complement existing SWS activities including its 'Teach the Teachers' program and its newly launched Human Diversity Initiative. We have devised a variety of strategies (workshops, symposia, social events, field trips, mentoring, follow-up) to ensure that undergraduate students will get the most out of their week-long SWS annual meeting experience.

This activity is funded by the National Science Foundation Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology (UMEB) Program.

Effective start/end date9/1/038/31/07


  • National Science Foundation: $42,000.00


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