NSF Grant awarded to DIGS professors Bakermans and Stoddard


The Global School

The National Science Foundation has awarded Marja Bakermans and Lisa Stoddard, along with their colleagues from NC Central University, funds for "Broadening Participation Research Project: Investigating the Efficacy of Data Science for Environmental Justice based PBL Modules for Improving Diversity in Environmental Science"

Environmental science is the least diverse STEM field in the US. Lack of representation harms the science, practice, impact, outcomes, and those interested in joining the field. Research shows that environmental science courses that engage with real-world issues of social inequity and justice can better represent the experiences and issues faced by a diverse US and student population. A more inclusive environmental science curriculum benefits the science, field, and education of all and can help draw and retain historically underrepresented and underserved student populations. Working with colleagues from NC Central University, Stoddard and Bakermans will develop project-based learning modules in environmental science that integrate issues of social inequity and injustice through data sets and data science. The goals are to make environmental science curriculum more representative and inclusive and to prepare and empower underrepresented and underserved students to utilize data to understand complex human-environment problems and to address environmental justice issues as environmental science professionals. 

Bakermans is a trained conservation biologist, and Stoddard's degree is in human-environment geography. They both teach and conduct research through the Global School and School of Arts and Sciences. This includes project-based learning courses in biology (Bakermans) and environmental and sustainability studies (Bakermans and Stoddard).  They both teach in the Great Problem Seminar program, including first-year project courses in global extinctions, food sustainability, water, global health, urbanization, and climate change. They will draw on their experiences and expertise in project-based learning, environmental studies, and sciences and their dedication to and continued education in inclusive pedagogies to develop, pilot, and revise these modules.