Graduate students launch Water Researchers of Colour database

Monday, August 17, 2020

A new initiative launched by two graduate students seeks to raise awareness and celebrate people of colour in water-related disciplines.

The Water Researchers of Colour database is a resource adding to numerous efforts in the last year to raise awareness of people of colour in the multiple disciplines intersecting with water. Among minoritized researchers, Black and Indigenous individuals in particular have been underrepresented and face unique barriers in public and professional life.

"At the moment, we are on the crest of a wave of the conversation of diversity in STEM, but the work lying ahead requires sustained and intentional effort to create an anti-racist academy and lift up researchers of colour."

Those at the intersections of multiple identities, including race, gender, sexuality, and gender expression face exacerbated barriers to participation and success. Social media has provided an effective platform for researchers of colour to share their research and stories.

Recognizing that success, this database will elevate water researchers both in and outside of academic in the following ways:

  • Increase visibility of these researchers to their peers (both minoritized and not) up and down the career ladder
  • Increase opportunities for connection and networking among people of colour who may feel alone in their field
  • Increase recognition of the excellence of research conducted by these individuals 
  • Facilitate nominations and recruitment of these individuals for awards, leadership positions, and paid positions

The purpose of this database is to contribute to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in water research. We encourage everyone to share the database with scientists at all career stages.

You can submit your information here and browse the Water Researchers of Colour database here.

The database was created by Danyka Byrnes and Tyler Hampton, two doctoral students in Prof. Nandita Basu's labDanyka Byrnes is interested in the effects of human activity on water quality. Tyler Hampton's research interests are at the intersection of hydrology, biogeochemistry and water management.

For any inquiries about the database please contact the creators Danyka Byrnes (danyka.byrnes@uwaterloo.ca) and Tyler Hampton (tyler.hampton@uwaterloo.ca).

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