Diversity, Equity + Inclusion

You belong here.

Science thrives when diverse perspectives and lived experiences converge. We welcome and encourage talented individuals of all racial, cultural, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and persons with disabilities to join us as we engage with profound questions about the natural world, for the benefit of humankind.

Guided by our Principles of Community, EAPS is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our department, and in the geosciences more generally, through actions in the following areas: 

We seek to improve representation and participation of people from historically underrepresented groups at all levels in the department. 

Examples of current activities by our department members: 

We seek to ensure equity for all department members across key measures of success. 

Examples of current activities by our department members: 

  • Regular review of key metrics of graduate student success (publication rates, attrition)
  • First-year seminar and pre-thesis mentoring program for graduate students
  • Development of handbooks that clarify expectations and support structures 
  • Research group-level training in inclusive mentoring 

We seek to support the well-being and sense of belonging of all members of the EAPS community, and in particular those from underrepresented groups. 

Examples of current activities by our department members: 

  • Affinity groups including TIDE (Toward Inclusion and Diversity in EAPS), EQUAL (EAPS Queer Alliance) and WiXII (Women in Course 12)
  • EAPS REFS Peer-to-peer conflict resolution program
  • Peer mentoring programs for postdocs, undergraduates, and graduate students

We seek to foster ongoing learning about issues at the intersection of Earth science and society, and about ways to increase diversity and inclusion. 

Examples of current activities by our department members: 

  • Departmental participation in the URGE program (Unlearning Racism in Geoscience)
  • Reading group and lending library on environmental justice, racism, and accessibility in geoscience
  • Regular discussions on career pathways and DEI in Earth science by seminar speakers

We seek to regularly reflect and report on the status of diversity, equity and inclusion in the department with input from department members and external experts, and adjust our approaches as necessary. 

Examples of current activities by our department members: 

  • Associate Department Head for DEI and department-wide DEI Committee (DEI-C) provide clear accountability structure
  • Regular surveys of department climate and quality of life 
  • DEI-C Dashboard for sharing DEI-related data internally with the department (link requires MIT Touchstone/Kerberos login) 

EAPS Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Committee

The aim of the EAPS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEI-C) is to envision, coordinate and accelerate action toward making EAPS a place where people of all backgrounds and identities feel welcomed and supported and are treated with respect, and where our exploration of Earth and other planets is informed by, and mindful of, a wide range of perspectives and lived experiences. 

The EAPS DEIC will: 

  • Identify priorities, goals, action plans and resources required for EAPS action on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), including recruitment, retention, well-being and achievement of members of underrepresented groups across all levels of EAPS; inclusion and representation in the department’s research, education, and administration; and K-16 outreach efforts aimed at broadening representation in Earth science. 
  • Engage in regular reflection and learning to continue to build a deeper understanding of how to best build DEI into our department’s practices and culture.
  • Ensure coordination and communication of DEI and outreach efforts across the department, School and Institute.
  • Regularly share its work with and seek input from the EAPS community; measure and communicate progress toward goals.

Membership composition: 

  • Associate Department Head — Faculty Chair
  • Junior Faculty representative 
  • Administrative staff representative
  • Research staff representative
  • Undergraduate student representative
  • Graduate student representative 
  • Postdoctoral staff representative 

Read more about our DEI-C activities, meeting minutes, and data gathering (requires MIT Touchstone login)

MIT’s Institute Community + Equity Office

The Institute Community and Equity Office is MIT’s home for amplifying MIT’s sense of community, inspiring meaningful conversations, building skills, and supporting new inclusion initiatives. We convene and collaborate with students, staff, faculty, and postdocs on programs, projects, and initiatives that cross disciplines, departments, and identities. The ICEO is a steward and advocate for MIT’s shared values: excellence and curiosity, openness and respect, and belonging and community.

Discover DEI Programs Across MIT