Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion matters to NREM 

Just as biological diversity makes the biotic communities we study and steward resilient and vibrant, human diversity makes our department, our institution, and our professions stronger and better-equipped to confront the challenges facing natural resources and the people and communities that rely on them.  

In order to work together for a shared vision of a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive NREM, we seek a common understanding of the following words.  

Diversity comprises the breadth of identities held by all people. These specifically include internal dimensions gained at birth -- race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, social background, and mental or physical capabilities—and external dimensions acquired through life -- socioeconomic status, language, culture, religious commitments, age, (dis)ability status, political perspective, paternal status, marital status, appearance, work experience, and more. The complex juxtaposition of each of these unique identities each person holds is called intersectionality.  

Equity in higher education is an ideal that aspires to ensure all learners and employees gain equitable access to opportunities and experiences while recognizing people's needs may differ significantly.  

Inclusion is the ideal that all people, opinions, perspectives, and experiences are valued and embraced in an integrated way to strengthen the department and profession.  

DEI Resources at Iowa State

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee in NREM seeks to identify and work to break down barriers to achieving greater diversity, equity, and inclusion among students, faculty, and staff in NREM and to set an example for peers within our professions, our scientific and professional societies, and the institution.  

The committee helps the department achieve this goal through a variety of actions, structured into three primary focal areas: 

  1. Creating a strong leadership shadow, where faculty and staff model inclusive and supportive behaviors to all students. 
  2. Explicitly find ways to support underrepresented minorities within the department 
  3. Support efforts to explicitly integrate work in diversity, equity, and inclusion education and activities within all department functions, including research, teaching, extension, and service.  

Core Committee Responsibilities 

  1. Disseminate and promote educational resources and opportunities to support faculty and staff activities in areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion education in the classroom, lab, or extracurricular space.  
  2. Promote participation in professional development opportunities for faculty, staff, and students on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  3. Monitor progress on conditions for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the department through regular climate surveys and informal interactions with students, faculty, and staff.  
  4. Consult within the department and college on issues that arise relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion in department functions, spaces, or curriculum. 

Committee Activities

  • NREM Reads Initiative - community common read program on DEI topics in NREM.
  • Diversity Drop - weekly e-newsletter seeking to improve knowledge and visibility of DEI topics in NREM.
  • Office Hours -- Do you have ideas to improve the environment in NREM? Do you have an incident or concern to report? Visit with NREM DEI committee members during our weekly office hours.

Committee Members

The committee includes members of the NREM community, including faculty, staff, and students. Here you can find the current members of the committee.

Undergraduate Student
Outreach wildlife education w/ American kestrel
Graduate Research Assistant
Amanda Chung
Student Services Specialist II
Miranda Curzon
Assistant Professor
Adam Janke profile picture in red shirt
Associate Professor, Extension Wildlife Specialist
Mike Rentz
Assistant Teaching Professor
Suraj Upadhya
Postdoc Research Associate