INCORPORATING HUMAN PERSPECTIVES INTO THE ROLE OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN WILDLIFE SCIENCE.
Bayan W. Ahmed; TWS-WS Diversity Committee; 6808 Castro Verde way, Elk Grove, CA, 95757; (916) 743-6600; bwa27@humboldt.edu; Jaclyn Aliperti, Chris Collier, Korinna Domingo, Ximena Gil
Studies have found that diverse workplaces are positively correlated with enhanced innovation, productivity, communication, and problem-solving. Inclusivity among individuals from underrepresented backgrounds allows for creative and effective approaches to conducting scientific research. Wildlife biology is a multidisciplinary science that would likely benefit from the inclusion of diverse people and perspectives; however, it has been suggested that the field of wildlife biology fails to adequately reflect the diverse communities it represents. The Wildlife Society Western Section (TWS-WS) Diversity Committee paired a short film with a digital questionnaire to bring attention to the various perspectives regarding diversity among biologists in the field and to examine whether these perspectives are adequately reflected in wildlife team composition and project goals. We filmed 7 projects and interviewed 19 students, professors, and project leads. The film will debut during the TWS-WS 2019 conference. The online questionnaire examines people's different social dimensions (demographics, economic status, barriers) and their perspective on diversity. We hypothesized that most wildlife biologists recognize the importance of increasing diversity but these ideals are not adequately represented in practice. We recommend researchers and employers change this by proactively incorporating diversity into team composition and management strategies. Follow the conversation using the hashtag #DiversifyWildlife.
Poster Session