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Research Partnerships: UC Davis Biological Invasions IGERT. Strategies to Promote Diversity Nobleboro, Maine 12 March 2007. Carole L. Hom Academic Coordinator, UC Davis Biological Invasions IGERT Western Regional Representative, Institute for Broadening Participation

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Research partnerships uc davis biological invasions igert l.jpg

Research Partnerships: UC Davis Biological Invasions IGERT

Strategies to Promote Diversity

Nobleboro, Maine

12 March 2007

Carole L. Hom

Academic Coordinator, UC Davis Biological Invasions IGERT

Western Regional Representative,

Institute for Broadening Participation

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UC Davis

  • Northernmost campus in the UC system

  • Land grant: research, teaching, public service

  • Fall 2006 enrollment of 30,500 students total

    • 23,500 undergraduates

    • 65% science majors

    • over 60% of undergraduates are non-white

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UC Davis

  • Interdisciplinary graduate study predominates (86 programs)

    • e.g., Ecology Graduate Group: over 100 faculty from over a dozen academic departments

  • Collegial student-faculty relationships

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UC Davis outreach and professional development: graduate

  • AGEP (University of California Alliance)

    • Incoming students: summer transitional program

    • Continuing students: academic year enrichment and mentoring

  • Professors for the Future

    • Fellowship program designed to develop the leadership skills of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who have demonstrated their commitment to professionalism, integrity, and academic service

  • Professional Development series: open to all students

  • Teaching Resources Center: teaching methods for faculty, grad students, and postdocs

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UC Davis outreach and professional development: undergraduate

  • McNair Scholars

  • Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program

    • Academic development, research, mentoring

  • Research programs for minority students in physical and agricultural sciences

  • Annual campus-wide undergraduate research conference

    • Annual, since 1989

    • Hundreds of participants in concurrent oral and poster sessions

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Outreach and professional development: undergraduate undergraduate

  • Summer Undergraduate Research Program (

    • UC Davis Graduate Studies initiative

    • research and academic development

    • housing and stipend provided

    • for students in any field, from any institution

  • REU at Bodega Marine Laboratory

    "...the REU program is your opportunity to explore

    and have fun during the summer. A todas las

    mujeres Latinas echenle ganas y puro pa' adelante."

    -Angelica Zavala, UC Davis

    2005 REU participant

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What are Biological Invasions? undergraduate

  • organisms that have evolved somewhere, been transported to someplace else, spread rapidly, and become problems in their new environment

  • exemplars of environmental problems

  • require interdisciplinary approaches to solve

Yellow starthistle has infested 32% of

California rangelands and created

environmental and economic problems

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IGERT research partnerships undergraduate

  • Between different academic units

    • Ecology

    • Molecular biology and genetics

    • Resource economics

    • Environmental history and cultural studies

    • Policy and law

    • and others

Ecology, economics, and history students in

the 2004 cohort found discrepancies between

strategies advocated by scientists to control

yellow starthistle and what cattle ranchers

actually use under constraints of available

information, time, and money

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Research partnerships… undergraduate

  • Between academics, agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

    • The Nature Conservancy

    • California Department of Food and Agriculture

    • California Invasive Plant Council

    • and others

  • Internships

    • Agencies and NGOs listed above

    • Gulf of Farallones National Marine Reserve

    • Ecological Society of America policy office (Washington DC)

    • The Davis Enterprise (daily newspaper)

  • Agency staff advise students on year-long student projects

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Products undergraduate

  • Publications

    • voluntary control initiatives in the horticultural industry (Burt et al. 2007, Biological Invasions)

    • Invasive plants’ impact on California Indian basketweavers (Pfeiffer and Huerta Ortiz, 2007, Fremontia)

Ely Huerta Ortiz (at left) participated in the basketweaver project as an undergraduate and now is working as an environmental educator before starting graduate study in ethnobotany

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Products undergraduate

  • Environmental documentary film

    • Envisioned, written, and filmed by trainees (

  • Fear and Fishing in Lake Davis vividly portrays the clash between a local community and state government over controlling the invasive northern pike.

  • "Fear and Fishing... superbly captures the complexity of issues surrounding biological invasions, and it clearly demonstrates that science alone will not lead to effective resource management if local stakeholders are not engaged." (Simberloff, review in the journal Biological Invasions)

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Products undergraduate

  • High school curriculum for environmental education

    • Intended for use by the Center for Land-based Learning (

    • Targets students in the greater Sacramento region; many English-language learners with over 30 languages spoken at home

  • The Center for Land Based Learning brings together students and adults from diverse ethnic and cultural communities to work as a team in learning about the environment and agriculture.

  • “It makes a difference to the community and it changes your attitude toward biology and science. It makes you want to go to class and learn.”

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Outreach and recruitment undergraduate

  • Augmenting the pipeline

    • Undergraduate researchers: research, mentoring, professional development

    • Cooperation with McNair Scholars program and other UC Davis outreach programs to target undergraduates from underrepresented groups

  • 2005-2006 undergraduates: now working in science or science education, or starting grad school at U Wisconsin or Harvard

  • Two Latina, one Native American/ disabled, one hearing impaired

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Outreach and recruitment undergraduate

  • BioInvasions faculty and grad students recruit at minority student events at professional society meetings

  • Faculty recruit at SACNAS, HBCU-UP, ABRCMS

  • Campus participation in California Diversity Forum (

    • Graduate recruitment fair that targets minority students

    • Fall: northern California, spring: southern California

    • 3 November 2007 at UC Davis

  • Strategies for Ecology Education, Development and Sustainability (SEEDS) chapter

    • program of the Ecological Society of America

    • Organized by UC Davis students and faculty, goal is to broaden participation in ecology

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Outreach and recruitment undergraduate

  • Partnership with Howard University (HBCU) and California State University, Fullerton (Hispanic serving institution)

    • sites of Undergrad Mentoring in Environmental Biology programs

    • UC Davis faculty visit for seminar, info sessions on graduate school

    • Howard and CSUF faculty and students do summer research at UC Davis

    • Howard and CSUF faculty and students attend UC Davis IGERT fall conference

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Retention undergraduate

  • Web of mentoring: faculty, staff, peers

  • Close-knit student community formed through coursework and challenges of year-long project

  • 100% retention in

    Biological Invasions


  • IGERT students from three cohorts at 2005 fall conference