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Building Equity and Capacity with Geoscience​

For a more inclusive science community and a broader understanding of geohazards to address social justice and equity issues in hazard mitigation 

The Building Equity and Capacity in Geoscience Integrative Group is working to identify the set of activities that are strategically useful and maximize the specific assets of SZ4D (i.e., geohazards, international, instrumentation, multi-institutional). Our goal is to transform the mindset of our geoscience community to embrace education, outreach, capacity building, diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice as critically important for the success of the scientific endeavors.

Key questions being addressed by this integrating group include: 

SZ4D BECG goals

Capacity Building

  • How can we leverage efforts into equitable international capacity building partnerships that improve capabilities (e.g. skills, data, software, technology, understanding) for all scientists and stakeholders involved?

  • To what degree will these improvements be sustainable?


Equity and Social Justice

  • Geohazards disproportionately affect specific communities. How can improved understanding of subduction zone geohazards be used to inform and address social justice and equity issues in hazard mitigation?

  • What considerations must be made to ensure equitable engagement of and outcomes for those communities?

Education, Assessment, and Inclusion

  • Educational efforts that are more inclusive and have measurable student learning outcomes are needed to equip and diversify our scientific community.

  • How do we identify, develop, and implement these strategies?

Outreach and Science Communication

  • Hazard monitoring and rapid response efforts inform decision-makers globally, requiring preparation and clear communication channels. Can we establish a distributed model of outreach by better training SZ4D community members to accomplish effective science communication, including information during rapid response events?

  • Would this model help the general public better understand geohazards and risk associated with them?

Belonging, Accessibility, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion - BAJEDI

  • Geoscience has lagged behind other disciplines in terms of BAJEDI. What can we do to enact transformative change in the geoscience community?

  • Can SZ4D be designed as a community science project to increase inclusivity and equity?

  • How can such a broad community science project be funded equitably and enact partnerships that are mutually beneficial for all stakeholders?

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

  • What are the best practices for interdisciplinary collaboration that break down the silos and improve understanding across disciplines?

  • How can SZ4D become a model for interdisciplinary efforts to enact equity-oriented engagements and outcomes in community science?

A Collective Impact Framework to achieve these goals

To help ensure these goals are achieved via SZ4D, BECG is recommending that SZ4D seek to establish a Collective Impact (CI) framework. CI is the commitment of a group of people from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem, using a structured form of collaboration. It is essentially the “how” to effectively achieve a big vision. CI has quickly grown in popularity and has been recognized as an important framework for progress on social issues by the White House Council for Community Solutions and the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine. CI is designed in contrast with the isolated impact approach in which single entities try to make the most impact with the fewest resources. Instead, SZ4D community members should be envisioned as playing a role in a larger cooperative effort that is seeking to accomplish long-term transformative impacts guided by the CI framework. Previous research has shown that successful CI initiatives typically meet five criteria: a common agenda, a shared measurement system, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and a backbone organization. When these five criteria can be met, the successful result observed involves cascading levels of linked collaboration.

SZ4D BECG Cascading Levels of Collaboration

Integrative Group Members

Beth Bartel (Michigan Tech University)

*Mike Brudzinski (Miami University of Ohio)

*Cailey Condit (University of Washington)

Tiegan Hobbs (Geological Survey of Canada)e)

Catalina Morales-Yáñez (Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Chile)

Carolina Muñoz-Saez (University of Nevada Reno)

*Madison Myers (Montana State University)

Patricia Persaud (Louisiana State University)

Steven Semken (Arizona State University) 

Brian Terbush (Washington State Emergency Management)

Aaron Velasco (University of Texas El Paso)

Lisa White (University of California Berkeley) 

* Steering Committee Member

Integrative Group Contacts

Cailey Condit - Condit (at)

Madison Myers - madison.myers (at)