Navigating learning ecosystems: Exploring students’ use of agency in marine and environmental sciences

Keshia Martin, Jane Robertson Evia, Karen Peterman, Kristin Grimes, Mónica Medina, Marilyn Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This case study shares feedback from program alumni who are from underrepresented groups in STEM and who participated in either an undergraduate internship program or a Bridge to Ph.D. program designed to broaden participation in the marine and environmental sciences. The internship program was hosted by a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), in partnership with local collaborators who hosted students. The Bridge to Ph.D. program was co-designed by faculty leaders from the HBCU and faculty partners at a primarily White institution (PWI) who hosted the program on their campus. Interviews were conducted one to four years after participation in one of the programs to learn whether students were still involved in the geosciences and to document the ways they used agency to navigate the marine sciences learning ecosystem. Almost all students were still engaged in the marine and environmental sciences, and all were still engaged in STEM fields. The agency included in their stories reiterates themes from the literature and demonstrates a range of successful pathways that can be encouraged and supported by those striving for inclusion in the geosciences. Results are described in relation to the importance of changing the shared social practices utilized within the geosciences to support inclusion, particularly regarding how success is defined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-427
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geoscience Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

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