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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

California dirt road during sunset
NCEAS recognizes that reaching a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just field for environmental data scientists is an ongoing journey. We are committed to staying on the path, being open to outside perspectives, and adjusting our course as needed.

We have a moral imperative to be inclusive for all, diverse in perspective, equitable in opportunity, and just in practice 

We at NCEAS value the diversity of expertise, backgrounds, needs, and experiences reflected among our residents, visitors, and broader communities. We acknowledge the historical and present-day inequities in the fields of ecology and data science and the larger systems of power and privilege that have contributed to these inequities, and we strive to actively redress them as an institution and as individuals. We are committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender identity, parental status, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, citizenship status, and nationality.

NCEAS enforces a strict code of conduct

Our Code of Conduct extends to all NCEAS events where individuals’ behavior affects the ability of others to participate. This includes all in-person onsite and offsite events as well as virtual events and online interactions (e.g. interacting on Center-related platforms such as Slack, Zoom, email or social media). NCEAS will make efforts to assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe as soon as possible, according to the request of any individual community member.

Translating values into action: Our DEIJ strategic plan

The NCEAS Strategic Plan was first developed in 2021 and is a living document that reflects our goals and actions to actively redress systemic inequities in environmental data science. Our plan is divided into five goals around diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice: culture, working groups, internal, external, and education. The NCEAS DEIJ Committee leads the review and execution of the strategic plan, with input from the entire NCEAS community. You can find details, including relevant links, in the full document or read our current summary below: 

The Five Goals of our DEIJ Strategic Plan

  • Culture: Foster an informed, welcoming, and inclusive culture at NCEAS

    Recent actions to achieve this goal include implementing a no-negotiation policy for salary discussions, hiring a new position where DEIJ service is a major job responsibility, and introducing a written expectation for NCEAS residents to spend one day a month on university or community service.

    More on Goal One: Culture
  • Working Groups: Support more diverse and inclusive working groups at NCEAS

    Recent actions to achieve this goal include adding opportunities for one on one office hours with each working group call, requiring diversity and inclusion plans in all proposals, and including these statements as part of the merit review in selecting working groups.

    More on Goal Two: Working Groups
  • Recruitment: Increase the diversity of NCEAS employees through equitable hiring

    To recruit and onboard internal diversity, we have recently created internal guidance for conducting interviews with reduced bias, added salary information to job postings, increased hiring in cohorts, and included DEIJ questions or prompts in applications and interviews.

    More on Goal Three: Recruitment
  • External: Engage with diverse perspectives and communities external to NCEAS

    Recent efforts have focused on our annual DEIJ in environmental data science seminar series, the Environmental Data Science summit, and an NCEAS led publication on best practices for inclusive data science teams. We hope to develop or contribute to more community outreach programs.

    More on Goal Four: External
  • Education: Improve access to environmental data science learning

    Recent actions towards this goal have included our Director's fellowship, which covers tuition and lodging for our "coreR" course. We have also developed new publicly available science communication resources and hope to expand these to include more data science materials.

    More on Goal Five: Education

Center Deliverables: Recent NCEAS Actions

  • Environmental Data Science Summit

    In 2023, NCEAS hosted the first Environmental Data Science Summit. This year's theme was "Harnessing Diversity in Environmental Data Science" and gathered 100 participants across sector, discipline, background, and career stages.

  • A photo of three women data scientists on the NCEAS terrace

    First Director's Scholarship Cohort

    We welcomed recipients (Maya Almaraz, Lena Capece, and Michelle Mohr) of the Director's scholarship to NCEAS for our April 2023 coreR class. The scholarship covers the five day programming course, including meals, lodging, & tuition.

  • Annual DEIJ Seminar Series

    Now in its third year, the annual (and virtual!) NCEAS DEIJ Seminar series brings researchers across ecological data science to discuss their research, perspectives, and experiences with science and diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

  • Ten Rules for Inclusive Data Science

    Led by former NCEAS postdoc Kaitlyn Gaynor, a team of NCEAS residents and students outlined ten simple rules to cultivate belonging in data science teams, from promoting skills to clear expectations to reproducible research.

Kudos Corner: Recent Individual Actions

  • A panel of five artists and scientists speaks to the public

    Carpenteria Women in STEAM Event

    NCEAS Data Training Program Manager Camila Poulsen Vargas was a panelist at a 2023 Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM), where she discussed her journey to data science with the local Carpenteria community.

  • Alex presents at the SB public library

    Santa Barbara Library Science Fair

    NCEAS Science Communication and Policy Officer Alex Phillips was a presenter at the 2022 Santa Barbara public library science fair. She tabled to K-12 students on her research in using Instagram to promote diverse women in STEM.

  • Carmen stands at the North Campus Open Space sign

    North Campus Open Space

    In 2021 and 2022, NCEAS Data Scientist Carmen Galaz-Garcia collaborated with UCSB's North Campus Open Spaces to help translate signs and native plants books to Spanish. These are not just for UCSB students, but also members of the local community.

  • a flier for a local science by the pint night

    Science by the Pint at Lizards Mouth

    In Spring 2022 NCEAS postdoctoral scholar Catherine Fong visited local Santa Barbara brewery Night Lizard for a community science presentation on her work with aquaculture and the relationship Californians have with their seafood.

I feel synthesis centers play an important role in contributing to equity in science.

Fiorenza Micheli, co-director of Stanford University's Center for Ocean Solutions, former NCEAS postdoc