Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice at NCEAS
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.
To create a welcoming and safe environment we expect you to:
- Treat all participants with kindness, respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions (including those you may not share).
- Communicate openly, with respect for other participants, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
- Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech directed toward other participants.
- Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert NCEAS staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
- Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, NCEAS-contracted facility, or any other venue.
- Respect people’s boundaries.
- Be considerate in your interactions with others and careful about the words you use. Consider if the language that you’re using can be perceived as discriminatory.
- Be mindful of how much time and space you take up. Be aware of the dynamics of power and privilege, and whether you may be taking advantage of it.
Reporting to NCEAS:
- Contact deputy director Courtney Scarborough (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the details of the unacceptable behavior you would like to report. If the incident is ongoing, please be sure to let us know so we can help ameliorate the situation immediately.
- If you would prefer to report to another individual in NCEAS leadership, please notify any member of the NCEAS Leadership Team who you feel comfortable communicating with directly.
Reporting to UCSB:
- Anonymous reports on campus climate issues (expressions of bias, hate speech, hate crimes, graffiti/vandalism, intimidation, bullying, physical violence, bias incidents, hostile climates) can be submitted to the University of California via the online Intolerance Report Form.
- For sexual harassment, sexual violence (sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking), and sex discrimination (including gender, gender identity/transition/expression, pregnancy, and sexual orientation), please report to the UCSB Title IX and Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance Office.
- For discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, age, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services, please report to the UCSB Equal Opportunity and Discrimination Prevention Office.
- For criminal conduct reports, please report to the UCSB Police Department.
- For whistleblower reports, please report to the UCSB Whistleblower Office.
- For research integrity reports, please report to the UCSB Office of Research Integrity.
- If you are unsure how you would like to proceed, you may contact the UCSB Office of the Ombuds for confidential, informal consultation.
How NCEAS responds to reports:
The NCEAS Leadership Team takes community safety, security, and inclusion seriously and will respond promptly to any reports of unacceptable behavior. The Leadership Team can direct people to all options available through the University of California system to assure that reporting is directed to the appropriate channels and treated with the appropriate level of urgency.
Potential sanctions include:
- Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately
- NCEAS staff (or their designee) or security may take any immediate action deemed necessary and appropriate, including removal from a meeting, event, online community (e.g. email lists, community calls, forums, community platforms or software), and future engagement without warning.
- Removal from the NCEAS public webpage
- Ending a presentation early
- Immediately suspend certain responsibilities and privileges the accused holds
- Notification of the proper authorities
Privacy and Confidentiality:
NCEAS will make every effort to maintain the privacy of everyone involved to the degree allowed under law. However, there may be instances when the University's responsibility to respond to reports of potential discrimination and the rights of the accused (when relevant) outweigh the need for privacy. While a person's wish for confidentiality is important, it must be balanced against the University's responsibility to respond. The University will limit disclosures to what is reasonably necessary to engage in an appropriate response and remedy.
UCSB Confidential Resources:
- Office of the Ombuds: (805) 893‐3285; Acts as a confidential resource for the UCSB community to discuss concerns with a trained mediator. They serve faculty, staff, students, parents, or anyone else with a campus‐related concern.
- Academic & Staff Assistance Program (ASAP): (805) 893‐3318; ASAP counselors promote the emotional health and well‐being of academic personnel, faculty, staff, and eligible family members in a confidential, cost‐free setting.
- Title IX Advocacy Liaison in the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (RCSGD): (805) 893‐4284; RCSGD has a staff member who is designated as a confidential resource for reports of Prohibited Conduct. They serve faculty, staff, and students.
Other Policies and Resources:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.