ECo Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement

Wordcloud created with anonymous responses from members of the ECo community to a “Exploring who we are” exercise.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (ECo) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recognizes the existence of systemic barriers that decrease diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. ECo acknowledges those systems exist and works diligently to identify and dismantle them to broaden accessibility and involvement in

STEM fields. ECo strongly supports and is committed to being a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. ECo embraces the diversity within our department and supports the community by welcoming all members regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnicity, national origin, socio-economic status, political views, physical abilities, and age. The ECo community recognizes that an equitable, inclusive, and diverse department prepares students and scholars for the future, brings diverse perspectives, improves the learning environment, harbors diverse skill sets needed to address complex problems, and fosters a sense of community. Finally, a diverse and inclusive department improves our scholarly environment by empowering members, providing a safe environment to share new ideas, and allowing members of the ECo community to grow not just as scientists but also as global citizens.

ECo’s JEDIA Committee

ECo has a Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (JEDIA) committee comprised of faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, graduate and undergraduate students that meets regularly to support departmental efforts to ensure ECo is a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment for all members of our community. We are made up of a leadership team that meets for the academic year and specific task force groups that work on specific tasks for as long as needed.

ECo’s JEDIA Leadership Team (2023-2024)

Chair:  Meg Graham MacLean,
ECo JEDIA Research Assistant: Donald Fonseca
Faculty Reps: Kelly Klinger, Lena Fletcher, Laura Figueroa
Staff Rep: Daniel Warner
Postdoctoral Rep: Lucas Griffin
Graduate Student Reps:  Aliza Fassler, Sebastian Moreno, Aly Putnam
Undergraduate Student Reps:  Open

Members do join when they can who aren’t on this regular list. Please join when you can!

Current Task Force topics:

  • Organizing a diverse speakers list
  • Improving the accessibility of ECo
  • Conducting listening sessions
  • Forming a mentoring program across many levels
  • Organizing community events

Please contact us if you are interested in getting involved!

How to Contact Us:

Email ECo’s JEDIA committee:

Join our ECo JEDIA list-serv by emailing us or joining the group in Google Groups

Provide anonymous feedback by filling out this form

Tell us about JEDIA efforts connected with ECo here

Tell us about any accessibility barriers you have found in our ECo buildings here



Have you or someone you know been participating in JEDIA efforts? We’d love to hear about them and celebrate these efforts in our ECo community!  Please fill out this form to let us know.

“Learning to Make Fieldwork More Accessible” Panel Discussion

Sponsored by the ECo, OEB, and GEO DEI committees, a panel on “Learning to Make Fieldwork More Accessible” was held on March 10 via Zoom. It was moderated by Professor Michele Cooke (UMass Department of Geosciences) and featured panelists:

  • Freya McGregor: Coordinator/Occupational Therapist, Birdability
  • Rachel Adams: UMass Assistant Director of Disability Services and Graduate student in Higher Education
  • Marsha Allen: Graduate student, UMass Geosciences
  • Grace Casselberry: Graduate student, UMass Environmental Conservation
  • Aly Putnam: Graduate student, UMass Organism and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program

A video recording of the panel can be found here.

The 2020 ECo JEDIA Action Plan

Click here for the ECo Action Plan. This action plan was put together by the ECo Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and is a result of the conversations, ideas, and concerns expressed by community members during and after the ECo community forum on July 31, 2020.

Resources for the Community

Campus Accessibility Map

Resource spreadsheet for grants and other opportunities (compiled by the IDGP DEI Academic Equity committee)

Toolbox for Inclusive Teaching(compiled by UMass Psychological and Brain Sciences)

Reference Document for Holidays

DEIJ Faculty Resource Guide

Videos on “How to get into grad school” from *ALL* welcome in Science!

The ECo emergency relief fund provides small scholarships for graduate students with urgent financial need (up to $1000). Any graduate student affiliated with the Eco department is eligible, regardless of their graduate program.