- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Climatic Change
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Despite increased calls for the need for more diverse engineers and significant efforts to “move the needle,” the composition of students, especially women, earning bachelor’s degrees in engineering has not significantly changed over the past three decades. Prior research by Klotz and colleagues (2014) showed that sustainability as a topic in engineering education is a potentially positive way to increase women’s interest in STEM at the transition from high school to college. Additionally, sustainability has increasingly become a more prevalent topic in engineering as the need for global solutions that address the environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability have become more pressing. However, few studies have examined students’ sustainability related career for upper-level engineering students. This time point is a critical one as students are transitioning from college to industry or other careers where they may be positioned to solve some of these pressing problems. In this work, we answer the question, “What differences exist between men and women’s attitudes about sustainability in upper-level engineering courses?” in order to better understand how sustainability topics may promote women’s interest in and desire to address these needs in their future careers. We used pilot data from the CLIMATE survey given tomore »
Sustainability has increasingly become a more prevalent topic in engineering as the need for global solutions that address the environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability have become more pressing. However, few studies have examined students’ sustainability related career outcome expectations for upper-level engineering students, and, in particular, how these interests can be used to broaden participation in engineering. This time point is a critical one as students will be transitioning from college to industry or other careers where they may be positioned to solve pressing problems facing the environment, society, and the economy. To fill this gap, in this paper we answer the question, “What differences exist between men and women’s attitudes about sustainability in upper-level engineering courses?” in order to better understand how sustainability topics may promote women’s interest in and desire to address these needs in their future careers. We used data from a pilot of the CLIMATE survey given to 228 junior and senior civil, environmental, and mechanical engineering students at a large East Cost research institution. We asked the same questions as the previous study focused on first-year engineering students, “Which of these topics, if any, do you hope to directly address in your career?”more »
Climate change poses a multifaceted, complex, and existential threat to human health and well-being, but efforts to communicate these threats to the public lag behind what we know how to do in communication research. Effective communication about climate change’s health risks can improve a wide variety of individual and population health-related outcomes by: (1) helping people better make the connection between climate change and health risks and (2) empowering them to act on that newfound knowledge and understanding. The aim of this manuscript is to highlight communication methods that have received empirical support for improving knowledge uptake and/or driving higher-quality decision making and healthier behaviors and to recommend how to apply them at the intersection of climate change and health. This expert consensus about effective communication methods can be used by healthcare professionals, decision makers, governments, the general public, and other stakeholders including sectors outside of health. In particular, we argue for the use of 11 theory-based, evidence-supported communication strategies and practices. These methods range from leveraging social networks to making careful choices about the use of language, narratives, emotions, visual images, and statistics. Message testing with appropriate groups is also key. When implemented properly, these approaches are likelymore »
High levels of stress and anxiety are common amongst college students, particularly engineering students. Students report lack of sleep, grades, competition, change in lifestyle, and other significant stressors throughout their undergraduate education (1, 2). Stress and anxiety have been shown to negatively impact student experience (3-6), academic performance (6-8), and retention (9). Previous studies have focused on identifying factors that cause individual students stress while completing undergraduate engineering degree programs (1). However, it not well-understood how a culture of stress is perceived and is propagated in engineering programs or how this culture impacts student levels of identification with engineering. Further, the impact of student stress has not been directly considered in engineering regarding recruitment, retention, and success. Therefore, our guiding research question is: Does the engineering culture create stress for students that hinder their engineering identity development? To answer our research question, we designed a sequential mixed methods study with equal priority of quantitative survey data and qualitative individual interviews. Our study participants are undergraduate engineering students across all levels and majors at a large, public university. Our sample goal is 2000 engineering student respondents. We combined three published surveys to build our quantitative data collection instrument, including the Depressionmore »
Characterizing the landscape of plant science careers in the United States I: Government and private sector perspectives
Societal Impact Statement
Humans are dependent upon plants for oxygen, food, textiles, and medicines. Climate change and deforestation represent serious threats to our planet, causing significant disruptions to our ability to access and utilize these plant resources; this makes a botanically literate workforce and plant science careers more important than ever. Unfortunately, the current state of botanical career opportunities and training programs in the United States remains unclear. This study focuses on the current employment trends of government and private sector botanists and what skills future plant scientists will need to be successful in these careers.
Plant science plays a crucial role in our society and in ongoing efforts to address many global challenges, including food insecurity and climate change. Yet, despite a predicted increase in plant science career opportunities in the United States, the botanical career landscape outside of academia is not well understood.
To further our understanding of the training required for non‐academic botanical careers, the botanical sub‐disciplines used on the job, and career challenges faced by plant scientists, we surveyed 61 scientists working in government and 59 scientists working in the private sector in the United States.
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We discuss the implications of these findings and present several recommendations for preparing future generations of plant scientists and increasing the scientific community's botanical capacity.