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Keywords:

  • geoscience;
  • camps;
  • high school;
  • careers

Of the total U.S. population, 12.8% are African Americans, 16.3% are Hispanic Americans, and 1.1% are Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and Alaska Natives based on the 2010 census. Although they form about 6%, 4.5%, and 3.2%, respectively, of the total student population entering Title IV colleges and universities each year, recent statistics on underrepresented minority (URM) students show that African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans earn only 2.1%, 3.3%, and 0.6%, respectively, of the Ph.D. degrees awarded annually in the physical sciences [National Academies Press, 2010]. A report issued by AGU and the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) reported that ethnic minorities earned fewer than 4% of the Ph.D.s in geosciences over the prior 5 years [AGI, 2009]. The report also stated that in the past 31 years combined (1973–2003) only 313 Hispanic Americans, 135 African Americans, and 49 Native Americans earned Ph.D.s in any of the geoscience fields, including Earth, atmospheric, and oceanic sciences.