Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


Our department is committed to advocating for and advancing the adoption of policies that create a welcoming and inclusive working environment for all students, faculty, and staff, and to advance UCSB’s Principles of Community. Below are some of the initiatives that we are actively working on that are designed to uphold this commitment.


Land Acknowledgement

As a community that studies and appreciates the Earth we walk on and the landscapes around us, we must be mindful of and acknowledge those who have tended and lived on this land before us and still reside here today. We recognize that UC Santa Barbara currently occupies the unceded lands of the Coastal Chumash people, the traditional inhabitants and custodians of this territory. Among many lessons the Chumash can teach us, the principles of balance, sustainability, respect for, and relationship with, our natural environment are particularly urgent and inspiring today.


Action Plan

Our Strategic Action Plan can be reviewed here.


Faculty JEDI Committee

The Departmental Committee on Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, chaired by Professors Andy Wyss and Zach Eilon, is composed of faculty and staff driven to bring about change for greater justice, equity, diversity and Inclusion in our department and the geosciences in general. It works in concert with the Student JEDI Council. Our department's Diversity Officers serve as liaisons between the Department and the campus and advocate for individuals on JEDI issues. Professor Rioux is the Diversity Officer for undergraduate students. Professor Rudnick is the Diversity Officer for graduate students. Professor Wyss is the Diversity Officer for faculty, lecturers, researchers, and post-docs. 


Student JEDI Council

The student JEDI Council is composed of graduate and undergraduate students working together (and with the JEDI Departmental Commitee) to bring about change for greater justice, equity, diversity and Inclusion in our department and the geosciences in general. You can access their website (coming soon here). 


GEMSS (Geoscience Enrichment and Mentoring for Students by Students)

The Geoscience Enrichment and Mentoring for Students by Students (GEMSS) program is a peer mentoring program aimed at supplementing the undergraduate experience in the UCSB Earth Science department. Undergraduate students are paired with graduate or senior undergraduate student mentors, in order to help them navigate their undergraduate experiences at UCSB, particularly in the Earth Science department. Mentors provide guidance on applying to graduate school, finding and applying to internships, writing resumes and cover letters, reaching out to professors about getting involved with research, etc. The goals of the GEMSS program is to help undergraduate students network with senior undergraduates and graduate students, so they have someone to go to with all of their Earth Science career- UCSB Earth Science department-related questions.
GEMSS also hosts panels and workshops aimed at helping undergraduate students make informed decisions about their Earth Science career paths. For example, GEMSS has hosted panels and workshops on resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, careers in industry, and careers in academia. We also hope to hold social events to promote undergraduate-graduate student networking in the future.
If you are an undergraduate student who would like a mentor, or a graduate student who is interested in mentoring an undergraduate student, please email us at gemss@geol.ucsb.edu.

Diversity Officers

Diversity Officers are faculty members in each department who advocate for the inclusion of individuals and guide their department to recruit from diverse backgrounds. They recognize and intervene when individuals need assistance in their academic, professional, and social lives.The department's diversity officers for 2022-23 are:

JEDI Resources

A reading list of papers that motivate our actions and goals on JEDI issues can be found here

Too often, information and resources can be a barrier to equitable success and inclusion in the sciences. We believe that all students in our department should have access to the best advice, and the resources they need. Below is a list of useful links and contacts:


AGU Bridge

Our department was one of the first 13 selected by the American Geophysical Union to join its Bridge program during its inaugural year (see announcement).  AGU's Bridge program, part of the Inclusive Graduate Education Network, is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences through increased representation of Hispanics, African Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians in geoscience graduate programs.



UCSB Earth Science is a member of the California Consortium for Inclusive Doctoral Education, a partnership of faculty and administrators across doctoral programs at six California Universities, who aim to diversify the demographic composition of their programs. 


Graduate Admissions Policy

We no longer require (or will accept) GRE scores. Although this change may not be reflected on all of department materials, it is effective as of Fall 2020.