STRONG Geoscience Identity at MSIs

UT Campus

STRONG Geoscience identity at MSIs:

2024 Summer Institute on Geoscience Identity Messaging and Mentoring

June 9 - August 2, The University of Texas at Austin

STRONG Geoscience Identity at MSIs-Strengthening Traineeship and Research Opportunities for Next Generation Geoscience Identity at MSIs  

The Strengthening Training and Research Opportunities for Next Generation (STRONG) Geoscience Identity at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) Summer Institute on Geoscience Identity will pair STEM students (proteges) from MSIs with early career scientists (mentors) who are committed to developing Geoscience Identities to students from MSIs to thrive in geoscience graduate programs. 



Enchanted Rock
STRONG Geoscience Identity at MSIs:
2024 Summer Institute on Geoscience Identity Messaging June 9 - August 2, The University of Texas at Austin
Strombolian blast

Benjamin R. Edwards

Strong Components

Inclusive Communication of Science

In addition to training on communication to other scientists through posters and talks, Institute participants will also develop inclusive communication of science skills to make research in the geosciences more accessible as a career choice to underrepresented populations.  Students will receive training on communicating science to non-scientists, targeting high school college counselors, parents, and high school students from communities where students are underrepresented in the geosciences.

Research Mentoring

Students will be introduced to the data analysis phase of research by the mentor using a recent data set of the mentor’s research.  Mentors will introduce students to the research via literature review of journals with the mentor.  The early career scientists will practice intentional mentoring with students, meeting the students where they are in the students’ knowledge of the research and academic preparedness for graduate education. Mentors will receive training from NAGT (National Association of Geoscience Teachers) on supervising undergraduate and graduate student research, collaborating on research with undergraduates and graduate students, and mentoring students from MSIs renowned for mentoring of STEM students.  To broaden the REU model of students focusing on completing a narrowly focused research project in two months, the Institute will follow the Research and ScholarshipTraineeship Experience (RSTX) model for undergraduates developed by the PI.  RSTX is based on the NSF NRT Programs (National Science Foundation Research Traineeship) that NSF states, “promotes graduate students developing the “skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers.”

Students will be introduced to research tools used for data analysis by geoscientists by learning how to analyze data sets with the early career scientist mentor.


Thriving Versus Surviving Graduate Training

Wellness training will be included throughout the summer that will prepare students for thriving versus just surviving graduate programs in the geosciences.  Thriving in graduate school will also be promoted by mentors encouraging a growth mindset of students learning new materials to prepare students to remain confident and persistent throughout their graduate education.

Eligibility, Details, Deadline, and Application

ELIGIBILITY: Students currently attending or transferred from a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) who will be enrolled in a geoscience related STEM program in Fall of 2023 as a Junior or Senior not graduating at the end of 2023 are encouraged to apply.  Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions.

PRIORITY DEADLINE: February 17, 2023  for rolling admissions

STIPEND: $6,000 Stipend ($750 per week for 8 weeks)

SUBSISTENCE: On campus room and board provided by the Institute

TRAVEL:  Provided by the Institute

south ocean National Geographic

STRONG Sponsors and Partners

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation


Center for Diverse Leadership in Science


National Association of Geoscience Teachers



Representative Research Topics

Volcanic Systems in Continental Settings

Development and evolution of volcanic systems in continental settings, examining the processes involved in the cycling of volatile elements through volcanic systems and the continental crust.


Ocean Dynamics at High Latitudes

Ocean dynamics at high latitudes and their far-reaching impacts on the global climate, focusing on the circulation of the Southern Ocean and its interactions with the cryosphere (i.e., sea ice and marine-terminating glaciers).

Bedform Formation and Dynamics

Processes of bedform formation and dynamics across environments and in ancient and inaccessible worlds.


Shield Volcanoes

Formation evolution of shield volcanoes on Mars and the morphology and propagation of lava flows on Earth and Mars

Carbonate Distribution

Understanding the controls carbonate factory type and distribution in ramp settings in the Upper Jurassic Smackover Formation, Gulf of Mexico and Upper Cambrian Point Peak in Mason, Texas.

Groundwater Sustainability

Isotope geochemistry insights to groundwater sustainability and resource resilience in support of Indigenous water sovereignty

Theory of Change

Problem Statement   How can geoscience graduate programs utilize the talent at MSIs to meet the increased national need for geoscientists and how can current early career scientists in the geosciences be encouraged to persist in academic careers. 

Theory of Change To have an impact on the long-term outcome of more STEM majors from MSIs entering geoscience graduate programs and more current early career scientist on the pathway to an academic career after earning the PhD, the following intermediate outcomes must be met. 

Intermediate outcomes  Early career scientists will be attracted and stay attracted to research and teaching careers that provide an opportunity to mentor future faculty and research scientists who attended MSIs. 

Undergraduates at MSIs will gain interest in academic careers in the geosciences by engaging with faculty and research scientists who intentionally mentor them. 

Early career scientists will have established relationships with MSIs to recruit research trainees from for their future laboratories. 

Early career scientist will persist and thrive in academic environments that have limited diversity networks of support. 

Great Sand Dunes

National Park Service-Patrick Meyers