The School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences values the strengths and professional experience that students, faculty, and staff bring to our community. We are committed to providing an excellent education to all of our students, regardless of their race, gender, class, nationality, physical ability, religion, age, or sexual orientation. We are proud of the different roles that our students, staff, and faculty play in the community of School and the College of the Environment. We also recognize that science is richer and the SAFS community is more vibrant when a diverse group of people participate in research.

To this end, we pledge to increase diversity among our students, faculty, and staff, and create a welcoming and supportive environment for learning and discovery.

Where We Are

1. Diversity and Equity Forum, a part of the FINS graduate student club. The purpose of this forum is to connect students to activities and resources at the University of Washington that relate to social justice, environmental rights, and equity. Examples of some actions organized by the forum include hosting lunch for Tent City 3, and contacting elected representatives to express support for indigenous rights and science-based environmental policies.

2. Students Explore Aquatic Sciences (SEAS), an outreach program that is open to all students, postdocs, research staff, and faculty. SEAS provides classrooms in the Seattle area with hands-on science activities designed around current SAFS research.

3. Holistic review of graduate student applications. Our admissions board members apply a holistic review of graduate student applications to recognize a wide set of achievements and to de-emphasize academic metrics (for example, GRE scores) known to foster systemic biases. We look across three main dimensions: academic achievement, potential for success conducting independent research, and evidence of motivation, persistence and leadership.

4. SAFS Diversity Hiring Tool, a resource designed to elevate concerns relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the hiring process. The SAFS Diversity Hiring Tool is a one-page document that consolidates basic definitions, example interview and rubric questions, and other suggestions for how to create and operate a hiring committee. It was created by synthesizing UW best practices for hiring, SAFS community feedback, and relevant literature. The Hiring Tool will be adapted for student admissions, staff hires, and faculty hires. Together, these activities seek to promote diversity when recruiting faculty, students, and staff. In addition, we hope to enhance access to marine and aquatic research and create a welcoming environment.

Where We’re Going

SAFS is creating a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, which will meet quarterly and oversee the SAFS Diversity and Inclusion plan. In addition, the committee will act as a liaison between SAFS, the College of the Environment, and other programs or departments within the University to coordinate activities and generate annual progress reports.

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