Diversity and Inclusion

The Paleontological Society Diversity & Inclusion Committee is composed of Society members who are committed to supporting and enhancing the diversity, inclusivity, and equity of the field of paleontology and lead efforts to align Society policies and practices with these goals and with our core belief in the inherent value of diversity to our community. We also strive to ensure that all Society sponsored functions are conducted in a professional manner in which all participants are treated with dignity and respect.

Email the D&I Committee

Statement Against Asian Hatred

The Paleontological Society condemns the violence, racism, misogyny, and discrimination that have been perpetrated against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Anti-Asian racism has a long history in the US. Hate speech and violence against Asian Americans have increased since the spread of COVID-19 began in the U.S. last year. Since then, reported hate crimes against this community have increased by nearly 150%. As a scientific society, we condemn the false, unscientific, and racist rhetoric surrounding COVID-19 that blames people of Asian descent for the pandemic. We must also speak out against anti-Asian rhetoric and violence because science cannot be separated from the people who do it, nor can science contribute to societal needs without confronting systemic societal injustices.

Asian Americans are underrepresented in the geosciences and have been subjected to racist and exclusionary behaviors from our community. The Paleontological Society asks our members to take direct anti-racist action that supports and promotes justice for the Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Reach out to your colleagues and fellow members to support each other and hold each other accountable.

Please revisit the Paleontological Society’s Policy on Non-Discrimination and Member Code of Conduct

We further direct you to the following resources:

Fred T. Korematsu Institute — Social Justice and Education Resources

Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Resources to Stand Against Racism

Hollaback! — Harassment Prevention and Bystander Intervention Training

Anti-Asian Violence Resources — Resources to Address Anti-Asian Violence

STOP AAPI HATE — Report and Respond to Anti-Asian Hatred

NAPABA (National Asian Pacific American Bar Association) Hate Crimes Task Force and Pro Bono Legal Resources — Legal Resources

two-page resource created by Asian American Arts Alliance - PDF with steps to stand up against AAPI hate

resources by the Asian American Feminist Collective

Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in Geosciences — new affinity group coming soon

The Paleontological Society Statement on Anti-Racism

Written by: Margaret Fraiser, Tristan Bariş, Robyn Dahl, Pedro Marenco, Pedro Monarrez, Dena Smith-Nufio, Shamindri Tennakoon, Carmi Milagros Thompson (June 2020)

The Paleontological Society affirms that Black lives matter. Anti-Black violence—including the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of white supremacist vigilantes, and the racialized threats made against Christian Cooper—must end. The Society stands in support of its Black members and calls all its members to action.

The United States was built on a foundation of white supremacy, and systemic racism and oppression continue to be expressed in many ways that negatively impact the lives of people of color. Unpunished police brutality of Black bodies and the disparagement of ensuing protests are manifestations of white supremacist culture in the United States.

No field of science is neutral or “colorblind”. The sciences, including paleontology, have participated in the discrimination, oppression, and erasure of people of color throughout history. Failure to acknowledge this foundation of racism and oppression is one of the reasons we are not yet the professional society that we aspire to be. But we have the power to transform our society and this country when we acknowledge our history and commit to change. The Paleontological Society asks our members to take direct anti-racist action that supports Black people and promotes equity.

Use our Paleontological Society How to Be an Anti-Racism Ally resources.

Reach out to your colleagues and fellow members to support each other and hold each other accountable.

Committee Members

  • Pedro Marenco, Chair
  • Jood Al Aswad
  • Paul Harnik
  • Pedro Monarrez
  • Peter Roopnarine
  • Endia Santee
  • Alycia Stigall 
  • Shamindri Tennakoon

The Paleontological Society needs enthusiastic and committed members from a range of career stages and types to serve on the D&I committee. Committee members serve for three-year terms. New member recruitment begins in late fall, so keep your eyes open for the announcement!

PS DEI Committee Initiatives:

As part of ongoing efforts by The Paleontological Society to increase diversity and inclusion in paleontology, a Committee on Diversity and Inclusion was created and tasked with developing a portfolio of activities and resources to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for Paleontological Society members. Towards this end, the Diversity and Inclusion committee has focused on revising the Code of Conduct, which included the addition of mechanisms for reporting allegations, developing an ethics committee and recommending sanctions; on developing activities that foster and support a community of scholars that is diverse and inclusive, and increasing recruitment and retention efforts through new grants programs, mentoring and support networks.

Conference Grants Program

Conference Grants to attend GSA (or NAPC)
The Paleontological Society is offering conference travel grants to help support the travel expenses of PS members who are from an underrepresented or at risk group (in a career transition, in adjunct, teaching, museum, or part-time positions), who would be unable to attend the GSA annual meeting or NAPC without some travel support.

Information about how to apply for 2021 GSA Annual meeting support coming soon.

Conference Grants to attend AISES, NABG, SACNAS

The Paleontological Society recognizes the importance of inclusion and belonging and nurturing scientists throughout their career paths and is offering conference grants to help support PS member participation in the annual conferences of AISES, SACNAS and the National Association of Black Geoscientists.  

Information about how to apply for 2021 support coming soon.

Webinar Series
Developed in collaboration with the PS student representatives to cover a range of topics in support of PS membership.

Past Webinars
May 28, 2020
October 1, 2020

“Work Life Balance – It’s a Process”
“Mental Health”


March 30, 2020 3pm 

“Mentorship – Student Perspectives”

“Mentorship – Faculty Perspectives”
Other upcoming topics: Navigating career/transitions, preparing for the job market (academic vs. non-academic paths, cover letters and CVs, writing diversity and accessibility statements, interviews, etc.), dealing with department climate and power dynamics, anti-racism and bystander intervention trainings, leadership development.

Awards in recognition of DEI champions – coming soon

We’d love to hear from you. Contact the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

This IS PS: Inclusive and Safe Paleontological Society

The Paleontological Society is committed to safe and inclusive events and meetings for all attendees. The Code of Conduct applies to all members of the Society and to all participants in Society and Society-sponsored events.

In this spirit, the Paleontological Society is implementing “This IS PS” (Inclusive and Safe Paleontological Society) to help ensure adherence to the Code of Conduct at Society-sponsored events. If you are the subject of or witness prohibited behavior at a Society-sponsored event, immediately notify any member of the This IS PS team. Team members can be identified by buttons with the This IS PS logo.

  • The This IS PS team comprises Society member-leaders who have been trained to receive and give reports of any incidences of prohibited behavior at Society-sponsored events.
  • This IS PS liaisons will listen respectfully without assumptions or judgment.
  • This IS PS liaisons will confidentially report incidents to the Society Ethics Committee to ensure that all parties involved receive appropriate consideration and follow-up.
  • Anyone subject to or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety or a criminal act should contact 911. Those witnessing a potential criminal act should also take actions necessary to maintain their own personal safety.

Those who violate the Paleontological Society’s Code of Conduct at an event may be asked to leave the meeting immediately, without refund.