Friday, October 29, 2010 01:11 PM

OBFS Advancing Equity Award

The OBFS IDEA+ Committee promotes and encourages activities, programs and approaches that increase the involvement and engagement of underrepresented groups in field science.


OBFS Advancing Equity Award

The OBFS Advancing Equity Award (formerly known as the Human Diversity Award) provides recognition for unique activities, programs, or approaches (funded or unfunded) that increases the involvement, engagement, and sustainability of underrepresented groups in field science. Broadly speaking, underrepresented groups in field science may include, but are not limited to, ethnic minorities (African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, and others), women, first-generation college students, inner-city youth, disadvantaged rural communities, K-12 groups, tribal colleges, community colleges, undergraduate institutions with small programs, and citizen monitoring programs.

Advancing Equity may be accomplished by disseminating materials and using, rearranging, or creating infrastructure to facilitate and stimulate both applied and individualized approaches to experiential scientific learning. We will also recognize stations that demonstrate how retention and application of new scientific concepts are promoted to facilitate further discovery and increase scientific dialogue among diverse user groups. This may include a pedagogy for the basic knowledge needed by underrepresented groups to address the current challenges in environmental and natural resources management and research at all educational levels (K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education).

In addition to the honor and recognition of peers, the OBFS Advancing Equity Award includes a permanent plaque for the winning station; an official award letter that can be included in the official materials, grant applications of the winning station; a second traveling OBFS plaque that will record previous winners and be housed at the most recent recipients facility; and recognition on the OBFS website. The award may include a travel reimbursement of up to $1000 for the awardee to attend the annual OBFS meeting if travel funds are limiting for the winning institution. We acknowledge that COVID-19 may impact people’s ability to travel and can reallocate travel funds for the 2024 OBFS meeting if the winning institution is unable to attend the 2023 OBFS conference in person. The willing institution will be recognized at the 2023 OBFS conference.

Timing of Submission, Review and Award


A request for nominations for the award will be announced on the OBFS website and through the OBFS list server. Nomination of institutions by others as well as institutional self-nominations will be accepted.

June 16

Supporting material due.

Early September

OBFS IDEA+ Committee announces recipient as determined by members of the OBFS Advancing Equity Award Committee who are not from organizations with current applications and approved by the OBFS Board.


Award will be presented at the OBFS Annual Meeting. The OBFS Historian will photograph the representative(s) from the field station receiving the award at the 2023 Annual Meeting.

Send nominations and support material to Victoria McDermott (
[email protected]).

Nomination form & Rubric


Past Awardees:

2022 W.K. Kellogg Biological Station

2021 Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve

2020 Friday Harbor Laboratories

2019 Rocky Mountain Biological Lab

2018 Sitka Sound Science Center

2017 University of Akron Field Station

The University of Akron Field Station and their partners at the Buchtel Community Learning Center and Great Lakes Biomimicry have created a program bringing together multiple partners and funding sources to connect to a large population of underserved 7-12th grade students while also providing depth and quality of interactions.

2016 Santa Rosa Island Research Station 

Strong positive attributes include a deeply‐connected and integrated research, education, and public resource stewardship program that spans academic levels and socio‐economic groups creating a lasting community connected to the station.


2015 Powdermill Nature Reserve

By offering unique temperate zone ecology course and fieldwork opportunities for Latin American students Powdermill Nature Reserve, in partnership with the Instituto Nacionál de Ecología (Xalapa, MX), and other partners is broadening educational and professional experience significantly in the field of ecology by bridging the disconnect between North American and South American scientific-education programs.

2014 Harvard Forest

The Harvard Forest Summer Research Program provides a strong platform to attract and foster a diversity of summer program participants and mentors by targeting partnerships and outreach methods to diversify the summer research applicant pool, creating an inclusive and nurturing environment for program participants, and a commitment to track program outcomes with the aim to improve program diversity, sensitivity and effectiveness.

2013 Hawai'i Experimental Tropical Forest (HETF)

Through a variety of programs and a strong reliance on partnerships, the HETF provides opportunities for hands on experience in natural resource management and research. Programs target middle, high school and college level students primarily on Hawai‘i Island with an ultimate goal of diversifying the workforce of the USDA Forest Service.

2012 Grace Grossman Youth Collaborative, University of Massachusetts Boston Nantucket Field Station

This program serves urban schools throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, providing high-school and middle-school students with a week-long, all expenses paid trip to the UMB-NFS to learn about ecology, the environment, science, and history. 

2011 Sagehen Creek Field Station's Adventure Risk Challenge Summer Literacy & Leadership Program

The ARC program objective is to "improve literacy and life skills, expose youth to a range of natural environments and wilderness experiences, and inspire the confidence they need to envision and accomplish goals, succeed in high school, and become engaged, empowered citizens."

2010  Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO)

2009 - SUNY ESF Adirondack Ecological Center and Cranberry Lake Biological Station, New York

2008 - Llano River Field Station, Texas

2007 - Organization for Tropical Studies

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