Actions and Dialog to Change Perceptions and Increase Engagement of Underrepresented Minorities in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (moved to Holladay Lobby)

Hispanics, African Americans, and others of color are poorly represented in our profession. Our professional society, state, provincial and federal agencies, have identified goals to increase the representation of underrepresented minorities in their institutions with limited progress. Our cultural demography is changing with increasingly multicultural communities, many of which face serious economic challenges. White majorities are soon to become white minorities, especially in younger cohorts. Natural resource agencies must incorporate diversity within their workforce and leadership in order to remain socially relevant within political and economic arenas. The impetus for change must come through appropriate dialog with those outside of our profession, in order to find out why they have not been attracted to this field, and our professional society. The session will engage with representatives from underrepresented sectors, provide a point counterpoint approach to discussion with a panel and audience discussion, facilitating interactions to identify ways to change our approach and to achieve demographic change in the composition of fishery scientists. We seek to honestly identify attitudes and perceptions others have of our profession, determine barriers affecting greater minority participation, and create some goals and discuss solutions that will help us increase interest in aquatic science. This discussion will target participants from outside our traditional clients, as well as from more traditional agencies, tribes and educational institutions.
Mamie Parker
Christine M. Moffitt
Gwen White, Laura Tesler, Steve Lochmann, Joy Young, Marybeth K. Brey, Ambrose Jearld Jr. and Amy Unthank
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