NORTHWEST SCIENTIFIC ASSOCIATION

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity in the Northwest Scientific Association

The NWSA Board of Directors pledged, on June 22, 2021, to foster diversity in the Association’s activities.

NWSA is less diverse than Northwest society at large. An effective NWSA needs wide-ranging expertise and perspectives within its network of professionals and amateurs, not just across scientific specialties and geographic locations but also among people of different races and ethnic groups, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and institutional and socio-economic backgrounds. Through its commitment the Board acknowledged that racism, sexism, and other systemic inequities within society at large extend into scientific communities, both nationally and in the Pacific Northwest. The Board will review, at intervals no longer than two years, the Association’s DEI actions and their effects.

Last updated July 19, 2021

Table of Contents

Initial NWSA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Plan

The list below is intended to help launch specific efforts and their assessment. Like the DEI policies, the plan is a living document to be updated by the DEI Committee, for Board review, at intervals of two years or less. The plan draws on strategies from a 2021 program [1], funded by the National Science Foundation, for increasing diversity in Earth sciences. Most of the opportunities listed below are doable with existing NWSA resources. Others will require extra commitment of funds and/or volunteered time. 

The NWSA Board of Directors approved a draft of this plan on June 22, 2021.

  1. Adopt a code of conduct and feedback procedures—These are posted below. Board members are to review them annually and revise them as needed—responsibilities shared by the Annual Program Committee, the DEI Committee, the Communications and Outreach Committee, and other committees, as appropriate.
  2. Collect demographic data—Begin voluntary collection of demographic data to track measures of diversity over time. Include optional confidential survey (not tied to specific individuals) with membership renewal and on registration for webinars and annual meetings. While bound to be imperfect, the results may clarify levels of diversity in NWSA activities, for appraisal of trends over time. The Webmaster will provide results to DEI Committee, which provides, at minimum, an annual summary to the Board. Findings will be mentioned in Board minutes and archived on an internal webpage.
  3. Adapt guidelines for engaging with and benefiting communities through scientific research—Develop a session on this topic for an annual meeting. Outcomes tailored to NWSA could include written guidelines posted on the NWSA website.
  4. Build DEI into NWSA annual meetings—Available avenues include outreach, invited speakers, special sessions, workshops, field trips, and joint meetings or collaborations with other scientific organizations.
  5. Find funding for free or reduced registration that helps diversify the meeting, as was done in Lewiston, Idaho in 2019.
  6. Encourage members to diversify their own meeting participation—The DEI Committee, through the NWSA website and NWSA meetings materials, should call attention to meetings of, for instance, the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Women of Color Empowerment, the Intertribal Timber Council, and the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society.
  7. Guard against bias in grants, awards, and journal reviews. For example, ensure that grants and awards are advertised to diverse audiences. Additionally, look for opportunities to include specialists in Indigenous science and environmental justice on the NWS editorial board, and consider these as topics for the Forum (discussion feature in Northwest Science), or in designing special sessions or other activities at the annual meeting or for special issues of the journal.
  8. In NWSA social media, call due attention to the work of scientists and natural resource professionals from underrepresented groups.
  9. On the NWSA website, add a DEI tab for the Association’s DEI policies and plans, other meetings (item e., above), and links to readings on racial inequities in science and on strategies for reducing them. In addition, add a “Contact Us” tab to help members and meeting participants to interact with the Board of Directors and meeting organizers and provide both general feedback on programs as well as specific comments and complaints.
  10. Highlight DEI policies and actions in the annual orientation for new Board members.
Last updated July 22, 2021

Code of Conduct for events of the Northwest Scientific Association

The Northwest Scientific Association (NWSA) organizes meetings and field trips that are meant to be respectful, inclusive, and collaborative. This Code of Conduct [adapted in part from 2] applies to every participant in an NWSA-sponsored event, in-person or virtual, and to activities connected with an NWSA meeting or event, whether in public or private facilities. The Code is intended to help ensure that all feel welcome in NWSA activities. Included are guidelines that are not specific to diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

The NWSA Board of Directors adopted a draft of this Code on June 22, 2021.

1)    EXPECTATIONS
a)    Participants
i)    Treat all meeting attendees with respect regardless of background, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, or religion
ii)    Intervene or report to a meeting organizer or Board member if you see a situation that raises concerns. Situations involving immediate physical danger should be reported to local officials
iii)    Respect your fellow participants. Use good practices for intercultural collaborations. Recognize tribal lands. Invite diverse groups to participate in meetings or suggest future meeting topics
iv)    Respect the rights of presenters not to make all aspects of their work public.  Do not copy slides or posters without permission of the presenter.
v)    Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, NWSA contracted facility, online platform, or any other venue
vi)    Participate in NWSA-related social media discussions in a respectful, professional manner
b)    Meeting organizers
i)    Identify problems, adjust policy and practice together. Encourage participants to report problems promptly to meeting organizers or NWSA Board members
ii)    Encourage participants to identify problems by requesting feedback in post-meeting surveys
iii)    Treat Code of Conduct violations seriously and investigate problems that arise
iv)    Protect anonymity of those reporting harassment or discrimination by using precautions in the NWSA Policies and Procedures for Feedback on NWSA Activities
v)    Monitor social media activity related to NWSA events to ensure healthy discussion
2)    RESPONSE PROCESS
a)    Participants not following this code of conduct will be asked to modify their conduct or leave the event. NWSA Leadership may take further action, such as excluding individuals from future events or membership, as warranted

b)    For additional information, please see “Policies and Procedures for Feedback on NWSA Activities

Last updated July 19, 2021

Policies and Procedures for Feedback on NWSA Activities

The Northwest Scientific Association welcomes feedback from members and participants about its activities. This document outlines procedures to encourage and evaluate the input received. The NWSA Board of Directors approved a version of this document on June 22, 2021, while requesting revisions that have been implemented here.

1)    By September 2021, the NWSA webmaster provides a “Contact us” tab on the NWSA website. This tab:
a)    Indicates that the Association wants to hear about what is going right, what needs to be fixed (complaint process), what can be improved, and what future programs should cover
b)    Encourages feedback on student grants, webinars, publication, and Board membership and decisions
c)    Facilitates e-mailing of feedback to the NWSA President; the Chair of the NWSA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Committee; and the rest of the Board of Directors.  
d)    Provides a link to a Google form or forms for providing feedback anonymously
2)    As part of the annual meeting, meeting organizers provide multiple avenues for input. For example:
a)    Mention the NWSA Code of Conduct in introductory remarks and enforce Code during meeting
b)    Identify meeting organizers and Board members on their nametags, to encourage immediate feedback on-site
c)    Provide, at minimum, three options for anonymous comments:
i)    A physical board and sticky notes for posting of comments
ii)    Anonymous paper feedback form provided on site to all participants
iii)    An e-mailed message, sent post-meeting to all participants, that provides links to an anonymous Google form hosted by NWSA
3)    The Board of Directors considers concerns reported, either at its earliest scheduled meeting, or  sooner if warranted by the nature of a complaint
a)    Any concern about diversity, equity, or inclusivity (DEI) reaches the Board through the Chair of the DEI Committee. The DEI Committee will have previously discussed the concern in a committee meeting convened promptly when the complaint has been received.
b)    Concerns dealing with general topics such as subjects for future programs will be presented to the Board by the Chair of the Program Committee.
4)    In case of serious infractions:
a)    If during an NWSA meeting or other NWSA activity, violators will be asked to modify their conduct or leave
b)    NWSA leadership may take further action, such as excluding individuals from future events or membership if deemed necessary
c)    Reported issues will be reviewed by the Chair of the NWSA DEI Committee, who will discuss the issue with the full DEI committee without identifying who submitted the report. The DEI Committee, while protecting confidentiality, will take up serious infractions with the Board.

d)    An individual who reports a problem can choose to request or opt out of being updated on further actions on their report. If updates are requested, the DEI Chair will contact the individual once action has been taken.

Last updated July 19, 2021

contact the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Committee

Please provide feedback! You can contact the DEI Committee here or anonymously here. Alternatively, you may contact individuals on the Committee through their profiles below.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software