MGS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative

The Minnesota Geological Survey's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative is dedicated to enhancing the environment for diversity, equity, and inclusion across the MGS and broader field of geology/STEM.

Mission Statement

Canoe on the South Branch Zumbro River in Dodge County, MN

Our initiative will be guided through discussion and action within the MGS DEI Committee. The DEI Committee will meet monthly to discuss, communicate, and create collaborations in ongoing and upcoming initiatives and events that support the following objectives and more:

  • Ensure that our core value of creating geologic maps to foster stewardship of land, minerals and groundwater is not only inclusive, but focuses on creating geologic maps for underrepresented communities.
  • Provide resources, arrange training (through the University's Office of Equity and Diversity), and lead discussions to aid our staff members in becoming active allies in their personal lives.
  • Create a more robust public outreach program that specifically focuses on making our maps more accessible to communities and organizations that support communities of color and to increase awareness of the field of geology as a career option to a younger and more diverse audience.
  • Make progress towards creating a more diverse workplace in the future.
  • Healing our relationship with the Native American Communities.
  • Amplify the science and research done by geologists of color.

Featured Stories

Precambrian bedrock in an area ceded by the Chippewa to the U.S. federal government in an 1854 treaty, currently known as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeast Minnesota

Recognizing Geology's Colonial History for Better Policy Today

The Minnesota Geological Survey has contributed to the dispossession of homelands from Indigenous Peoples. The agency is creating more just policies.

Read more about this reflection and new policies in the recently published Eos article by Maddy Nyblade (UMN-Twin Cities, Earth & Environmental Sciences Graduate Student) and Jenn McDonald (MGS Quaternary Geologist) linked below.

Read Eos Article

Accountability

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Notable Actions by the DEI Committee and MGS

  • Gathered resources pertaining to general DEI topics and racism in the Earth Science community into a Google Drive folder shared amongst staff. Encouraged staff to periodically explore the resources to be active allies in their personal lives and continue to grow our collection of resources.
  • Created a section in the MGS Office Library for physical copies of DEI-related materials free to borrow from staff.
  • Anonymously polled staff on DEI topics and the current state of DEI culture at the MGS. Discussed results and used this information to better develop a plan of action.
  • Created a DEI Reading Club where participants consume a piece of media and gather to discuss. Past media include:
  • Committed ourselves to amplifying the science and research done by diverse authors through invited talks at MGS Seminars.
  • Reviewed our current culture of safety, both in the office and in the field, through a DEI lens to ensure diverse members of staff feel safe and welcome. We are currently working on new policies for MGS staff.
  • Developed and adopted a new formal policy for MGS mapping on tribal lands.
  • Reviewed current hiring practices and developed new procedures to help increase the diversity of our candidates. Noteworthy procedures include:
    • Compiling a list of diverse schools and organizations to contact and advertise new job openings.
    • Increasing advertisement of job openings on MGS social media accounts and website.
    • Reviewing job descriptions to include diversity-affirming language and to remove any unnecessary and exclusionary job requirements.
    • More closely partnering with UMN Human Resources to take advantage of their diversity-affirming hiring procedures and recruitment goals (e.g., SparkHire). 
  • Added a listing for a tour of the Minnesota Geological Survey on the UMN College of Science & Engineering's list of potential field trips as part of a broader advancement of outreach efforts.
  • Attended an Environmental Community Engagement Summit between the Earth & Environmental Sciences Department and Twin Cities environmental community organizations to build awareness, understanding, and capacity for community-centered research and engagement.

Additional Resources

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Volunteer Opportunities

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, Leadership (IDEAL) Professional Development at the Science Museum of Minnesota

The Science Museum of Minnesota's IDEAL Center helps professionals who are serious about equity and inclusion see their world differently and have the abilities, strategies and will to make it more just.


FIRST Volunteers

Volunteers work side by side with FIRST participants to build their leadership and problem-solving skills and, more importantly, their sense of belonging and self-confidence.


Fostering Opportunities and Relationships in Science Education (FORSE)

Do you have STEM experience and an interest in mentoring K-12 students? Opportunities are available to assist students with their research project. MAS provides mentors with the materials and curriculum needed to help young scientists master the skills of research and experimentation.


Million Women Mentors

Opportunities for women STEM professionals to inspire girls and women within Minnesota.


Minnesota Academy of Science

Volunteer or serve as a judge at one of our programs, intern in programming or communications, or serve on the Board of Directors.