March 9, 2018
Six months ago, AGU, in collaboration with the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) and The Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), launched a virtual mentoring platform for Earth and space scientists called Mentoring365. Since launching, over 300 participants from 52 different countries have applied as a mentor or mentee. While we did have great expectations for the program at inception, we hadn’t expected such astounding international collaboration.
Mentoring365 has become a way for students and early career professionals to connect and share experiences from all around the world. Recently, Andrew Geary from SEG’s podcast Seismic Soundoff met with SEG’s Women’s Network Committee Maitri Erwin and myself, Leslie Marasco, AGU’s Student Programs Coordinator, to discuss the program.
Seismic Soundoff is a semi-regular podcast produced by SEG about once per month, covering a wide range of topics in geophysics. The host, Andrew Geary, is SEG’s Publications Outreach Editor, who conducts in-depth interviews with scientists in the geophysics community. Past episodes include interviews on investigations into human-induced earthquakes and a tsunami preparedness project with Geoscientists Without Borders®.
This month’s episode on Mentoring365 was released in celebration of Women’s Month and International Women’s Day. Women earn more than 50% of the bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields. However, they make up less than 25% of the STEM workforce, according to the National Science Foundation. The virtual environment of Mentoring365 has helped break down geographic and economic barriers faced by both women and men. Creating connections from around the world through Mentoring365 helps to build a robust network and create professional opportunities and improve retention. Other science associations are also seeing the value of Mentoring365. Program partners have expanded to include the American Meteorological Society and most recently the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology.
Leslie Marasco is the Student Programs Coordinator at AGU.