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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Geology is 'rock heavy,' light on queer BIPOC mentors

Geology is "rock heavy," complained a geology major in a recent survey, reports Daniel Nuccio on College Fix. Classes are very light on "indigenous knowledge."

In her master’s thesis, Willa Rowan of Western Washington University found white students “had stronger geoscience identities than BIPOC male students, with much of the difference concentrated in the performance/competence domain of geoscience identity.” In short, whites -- especially white males -- were more confident. ("Geoscience" is the new name for geology.)

“Sometimes I feel like my professors don’t respect me for my knowledge and I am a bit self-conscious of how much geoscience knowledge I lack,” said one student in a survey.

“BIPOC students, especially female and non-binary students, were more likely to report struggles with mental health and feelings of inadequacy,” writes Rowan.

Students complained of not seeing "anyone like me" in the field. "I have so far had one BIPOC/API teacher who was queer, and one white queer teacher," a student said. "But I have never had a teacher with a mix like mine and is also transgender and queer like me.”

With all the new genders, I can imagine how difficult it would be to find a same-identity mentor.

In addition, field work was physically demanding and sometimes not accessible to the handicapped, said students. They also complained about the cost of field trips.

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