Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Blog Post! Barriers to Inclusivity in Ecological Forecasting

Overview of DEI Group

The Ecological Forecasting Initiative recognizes that a diverse community brings different expertise and experience towards ecological forecasting; we see such diversity as a benefit, and necessary to the development of a diverse and inclusive community of interest and practice.  Thus, we welcome all participants, and encourage patience and tolerance among all, holding curiosity and respect as the cornerstones of personal and professional growth. 

An iterative approach works not only in the process of ecological forecasting, but if we adopt a mindset to continually engage with people of different backgrounds, get input, revise our efforts, we will become a more diverse community.

The Strategic Plan provides an overview of the steps the DEI Working Group is taking to promote diversity, accessibility, and inclusion in EFI.

DEI Working Group Schedule of Calls:
The DEI Working Group will meet on Mondays at 11am US Eastern on September 18, October 16, November 20,  and December 18. A new schedule of calls will be developed for January to May 2024. We are always open to people joining the calls, contact us at eco4cast.initiative@gmail.com

The EFI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group has been diligently developing this post over the past year. Our goal in the blog post is to spark perhaps new considerations for the EFI community about what the barriers to ecological forecasting are and ways to begin addressing those barriers. This is an ongoing and iterative process that we want input on from the EFI community. What part about the human component of ecological forecasting or the impact of ecological forecasts for humans do you most care about? Is it missing from the barriers or figures shared in the post? We welcome comments, suggestions, and feedback on these ideas presented. Our future goal is to turn this post into a manuscript that builds from these ideas and we invite anyone that would like to share comments or participate as a co-author in the manuscript effort to reach out to us in the comments on the post or at info@ecoforecast.org.

Book Groups

The EFI DEI Working Group hosts book groups that read books on topics relevant to diversity, equity, and inclusion academia, science, and ecological forecasting. Typically the book groups meet in June-July each year.

For 2023, the EFI DEI Working Group hosted a book club to read “97 Things About Ethics Everyone in Data Science Should Know” edited by Bill Franks in July 2023. The book provides short commentaries by contributors about experiences and lessons learned from collecting, managing, and analyzing data ethically. The goal of the book is to “help readers understand the importance of applying proper ethics to analytics and data science initiatives.” The goal of the reading clubs are to provide an opportunity to learn and discuss these ethical issues and consider how they apply to ecological forecasting and data science.

Previous books include:

DEI Resources and Blog Posts

Conversations on Diversity and Data Seminar Series
The EFI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group hosted a 4 part virtual seminar series to foster conversations, actions, and making community connections that help promote diversity within ecological forecasting. The 4 session topics and links to recordings of the panels and resources shared are listed below.

  1. What do diverse students need to thrive in data- and computer-heavy settings? November 19, 2020 at 2pm US Eastern time
    • A recording of this panel and the Q&A are available here.
  2. What does culturally competent data science training look like? January 20, 2021 at 12pm US Eastern time.
    • A recording of this panel and resources shared during the panel are available here.
  3. How can 4-year data-driven institutions and programs support students transferring from community colleges? February 19, 2021 at 1pm US Eastern time
    • A recording of this panel and resources are available here.
  4. What kind of online tools are useful and work well for remote learning and teaching? March 25, 2021 at 1pm US Eastern time.
    • A recording of this panel and resources are available here.

This Bibliography is a living document that provides resources for learning more about anti-racism and the diversity status of fields relevant to ecological forecasting.  These resources include lists of minority supporting associations, links to diversity and inclusion plans from professional societies, blog posts, publications, and compiled lists of resources from other organizations. If there are additional resources you have found useful, submit them through this Google form.

You can find the publications in the Bibliography tagged as “EFI DEI Paper” in the publicly-open Ecological Forecasting Initiative Bibliography Zotero group library

Blog Post and Video Resources

Anna Sjodin’s overview of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group’s activities for the EFI 2022 Conference held May 23-25, 2022.

Notes from Working Group Calls
Co-Chairs: Diana Dalbotten (University of Minnesota), Jason McLachlan (University of Notre Dame)

  1. August 14, 2023
  2. July 17, 2023
  3. June 12, 2023
  4. May 9, 2023
  5. April 11, 2023
  6. March 14, 2023
  7. February 14, 2023
  8. January 10, 2023
  9. December 7, 2022
  10. November 9th, 2022
  11. August 11th, 2022
  12. July 14th, 2022
  13. June 16th, 2022
  14. May 6, 2022
  15. April 8, 2022
  16. March 11, 2022
  17. February 4, 2022
  18. December 14, 2021
  19. November 16, 2021
  20. October 19, 2021
  21. September 28, 2021
  22. August 19, 2021
  23. July 15, 2021
  24. June 17, 2021
  25. May 17, 2021
  26. April 12, 2021
  27. March 22, 2021
  28. February 22, 2021
  29. January 25, 2021
  30. December 11, 2020
  31. November 20, 2020
  32. October 23, 2020
  33. September 25, 2020
  34. August 25, 2020
  35. July 28, 2020
  36. June 30, 2020
  37. June 2, 2020
  38. May 5, 2020
  39. March 30, 2020
  40. March 2, 2020
  41. November 21, 2019
  42. October 31, 2019
  43. September 17, 2019 – joint DEI and Education Working Group call
  44. July 12, 2019 – joint DEI and Education Working Group call