UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS

Statement of diversity, equity and inclusion

Terms and definitions

Diversity: Demographic representation and appreciation of individual, social, economic, and cultural differences. Alaska Sea Grant embraces individuals of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, cultures, religions, citizenship statuses, marital statuses, education levels, job classifications, veteran statuses, income, and socioeconomic statuses.

Equity: A state, quality, or ideal of being fair and just. Alaska Sea Grant is committed to fair and just opportunities for all persons, and works to challenge and respond to bias, harassment and discrimination.

Inclusion: A state, quality, or ideal of being a part of a group or structure where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized and respected. Alaska Sea Grant is committed to building inclusive programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, needs, perspectives and ways of knowing. Alaska Sea Grant cultivates a sense of belonging among all staff, partners and communities served.

Diversity recognition

Alaska Sea Grant recognizes the 22 distinct Alaska Native cultures and the 229 independent Alaska Native tribal governments of Alaska. Alaska Natives are the first peoples of Alaska and represent dynamic cultures. Alaska Sea Grant recognizes that Alaska is one of the most diverse states in the country, with residents who reflect varied and vibrant cultures, whether Alaskan-born or having settled here from other states, territories and countries. Diversity is Alaska’s strength.

Alaska Sea Grant, as part of the National Sea Grant College Program, champions diversity, equity and inclusion by recruiting, retaining and preparing a diverse workforce, and proactively engaging and serving the diverse populations of coastal communities. Sea Grant is committed to building inclusive research, extension, communication and education programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives and ways of thinking. Alaska Sea Grant encourages participation that is diverse with regards to age, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, culture, religion, citizenship type, marital status, education level, job classification, veteran status, income, and socioeconomic status.

Alaska Sea Grant, as part of the University of Alaska, does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, age, sex, physical or mental disability, status as a protected veteran, marital status, changes in marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, parenthood, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, or other legally protected status.
This affects employment policies and actions, as well as the delivery of educational services at all levels and facilities of the University. Further, the University's objective of ensuring equal opportunity will be met by taking affirmative action: i.e., making intensified, goal-oriented efforts to substantially increase the participation of groups where their representation is less than proportionate to their availability; providing reasonable accommodations to employees and students with disabilities; and ensuring that employment opportunities are widely disseminated to agencies and organizations that serve underrepresented protected classes.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion values

To achieve organizational excellence, pursue our vision, and adhere to our mission, Alaska Sea Grant maintains a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by seeking diverse perspectives and enhancing cultural understanding. Alaska Sea Grant works to create equitable access to resources and opportunities for Alaska’s diverse communities and seeks to incorporate underrepresented voices and priorities. Alaska Sea Grant’s values are informed by a commitment to a culture of inclusion, respect, long-term engagement and accountability.

Alaska Sea Grant’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion shapes the organization and our investments, practices and social interactions.
Specifically, we at Alaska Sea Grant strive to:

  • Create a welcoming environment, so that each person feels accepted, valued and safe.
  • Build community and learn from each other, honoring differences in background, experience, skills, interests and values.
  • Ensure the right of all people to live and work in a clean environment.
  • Address root causes of unequal exposure to environmental hazards and eliminate disparities in access to natural resources, opportunities and decision-making processes.
  • Nurture an atmosphere that encourages open, honest and respectful exchanges.

DEI goals and roadmap

Alaska Sea Grant commits to diversity, equity and inclusion in carrying out our vision and values as a practice in organizational excellence through the following ways. In striving to meet these goals, the staff and faculty of Alaska Sea Grant will:

  • Be welcoming and inclusive.
  • Attract, retain and advance a diverse workforce and leadership.
  • Maintain accountability and transparency in our sustained focus on DEI.
  • Support regular training and professional development on various aspects of DEI.
  • Recognize and mitigate implicit bias in ourselves and our programming.
  • Provide programming that facilitates science-based decision-making, and supports equitable access to available scientific information and data.
  • Provide programming that facilitates sound place-based decision-making based on relevant traditional and local knowledge.
  • Work with coastal communities that harvest wild resources important for food security and culture as part of the subsistence way of life under a dual (state and federal) management system.
  • Lead research and scholarship that address topics of value to diverse communities, and includes interdisciplinary scientific approaches and multiple ways of knowing.
  • Promote research and program development funding inclusive of diverse and underrepresented applicants.
  • Provide accessible summaries of research to the public in an equitable manner, using appropriate communication methods.
  • Train and educate an environmentally literate and informed public that is inclusive and reflective of diverse populations.
  • Provide professional development and fellowship programs that prepare a next generation of decision-makers and environmental professionals that is reflective of diverse populations.
  • Prepare a maritime workforce that is inclusive and reflective of diverse populations.
  • Create cross-cultural, equitable, and accessible information and communications products.

References and resources

DEI implementation

Alaska Sea Grant will work to achieve our DEI goals through the following actions and opportunities, and will continue to build on this foundation, reevaluating and updating efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Establish the Community Engaged Internship for Undergraduate Students. This internship provides opportunity for undergraduate students from rural communities in Alaska, Alaska Native students, and students from other underrepresented populations.
  • Seek diversity in the existing Alaska Sea Grant Fellowship program.
  • Promote the participation and inclusion of Alaska Native Tribes, graduate students, and other underrepresented groups in Alaska Sea Grant research funding opportunities.
  • Continue to conduct extension and education activities in rural coastal communities in Alaska. Commit to more diverse partnerships in our activities.
  • Continue to seek diversity in our own Alaska Sea Grant program workforce so that our program diversity reflects the diversity of Alaska.

Alaska Sea Grant DEI committee

2020–2021: Davin Holen, Gay Sheffield, Anne Gore, Dave Partee