Initiating Dialog Needed to Diversify Natural Resources Management

Monday, September 9, 2013: 1:40 PM
Marriott Ballroom C (The Marriott Little Rock)
Christine M. Moffitt , US Geological Survey Idaho Coop Fish and Wild Research Unit, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
Gender diversity in natural resource professions has increased significantly in the past 20 years, but still has room for improvement.  However, measures of racial diversity in our profession are still lacking.  Efforts are underway at multiple levels in academic, agency, and NGO environments.  Our professional society has made significant strides to establish tools to engage and recruit professionals and students from ethnically diverse backgrounds. However, questions remain about the process used, and to how to engage the recruiter and recruitee in a dialog of co-learning that can help change perceptions and methods of communication to enlarge the tent. The term conservation may actually be an impediment to making changes. What are we conserving? Do we think social structures should change or be preserved? I review lessons from my experience, and mistakes I and other have made and suggest the dialog that may be needed.