Embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Published: 31 May 2023
Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Program Manager Jeff Stehr.
Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Program Manager Jeff Stehr.

At ASR and throughout the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are essential to our future, and they are cornerstones to effectively advancing the U.S. research and scientific innovation enterprise.

As most of us know, our country’s demographics are rapidly changing. As a result, more and more women and colleagues from a wide range of ethnic, cultural, and racial backgrounds are joining our research efforts and making tremendous contributions to climate science. Their perspectives and experiences are monumental.

May was Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (check out several ASR scientist profiles on ARM social media) and Jewish American Heritage Month. Pride Month begins on June 1, and Juneteenth (June 19) commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

More than dates on the calendar, these recognitions allow us to focus on what unites us all—our humanity. This edition of ASR News leads with two stories that help us do just that.

One features the science and passion of Howard University atmospheric scientist Osinachi Ajoku. An early inspiration for his pursuit of science was the thick haze of smoke obscuring the sun in his parents’ native Nigeria.

We also feature an early career scientist who, like Ajoku, is a first-generation American. Nahin Ferdousi-Rokib’s parents immigrated from Bangladesh to New York, where periodic brown, hazy smog sparked her early interest in understanding atmospheric dynamics. Today, this University of Maryland doctoral student is an awardee of DOE’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program.

I hope you take the time to read these stories.

I keep looking at the calendar, and it’s hard to appreciate that it’s just a few months until the ARM/ASR Joint Meeting (August 7 to 10 in Rockville, Maryland). Important information and deadlines can be found on the meeting website. I hope you are planning to attend!

Finally, I have emphasized the importance of timely and complete progress reports and no-cost extensions in recent columns. The Resources for ASR Scientists section of our website offers detailed information on project reporting. And, of course, if you have questions, my co-program manager, Shaima Nasiri, and I want to hear from you!

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Author: Jeff Stehr, ASR Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy

This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, through the Biological and Environmental Research program as part of the Atmospheric System Research program.