DeBonne N. Wishart
Associate Professor, International Center for Water Resources Management, Central State University, Ohio, USA.
Challenges to Gender Diversity in the Earth and Environmental Science Disciplines (download presentation here )
Conference: Introducing the Gender Dimension to STEMM Higher Education
Dr Wishart emerged from Jamaica with 8 years of experience in commercial banking to a US-trained hydrogeophysicist and hydrogeologist with over 18 years of experience as a broadly-trained geoscientist. She is one of few women of color in the field geophysics and a mentor to minority women in the Earth and Environmental Sciences. Her professional expertise spans environmental geophysics; geoelectrical characterization of rock fracture systems; hydrochemical characterization of geothermal and hydrothermal systems; chemometrics; hydrogeology; geostatistics; geospatial modeling; and environmental site remediation. Faculty appointments following her Ph.D. Environmental Science (Rutgers University-Newark, 2008) and MSc. Hydrogeology (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, 2000) include the State University of New York at Buffalo and Illinois Wesleyan University.
Recently, she conducted hydrologic investigations and geoelectrical characterization of rock fracture networks of the New Jersey Highlands Province. Dr. Wishart is known for the design, development, and implementation of the azimuthal self-potential (ASP) technology in the field of hydrogeophysics since 2006. The focus of her current research work is the assessment of geothermal potential and characterization of Jamaica’s geothermal systems from thermal mineral springs. Additional research interests are landslide monitoring, sustainable agriculture in response to climate change, and medical geology. She serves as a ‘Reviewer’ for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowship Program that engages the nation’s best scientists and engineers in targeted research that complements EPA’s own outstanding intramural research program. Dr. Wishart is one of thirty-three scientists to receive the US National Committee/International Union of the Geological Sciences (IUGS) Travel Grant to the 34th International Congress in Brisbane Australia (2012) and one of five US professors to receive the 2013 ExxonMobil Bighorn Basin Field Award. Her professional memberships include Sigma Xi Honor Research Society; American Geophysical Union (AGU); Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society (EEGS); International Geothermal Association (IGA); American Meteorological Society (AMS); International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS); Geological Society of America (GSA); and the Society of STEM Women of Color (SSWOC).
Summary of talk for Gender Summit 6 Asia-Pacific:
The current and next generation minority women faculty in the earth and environmental scientists will require solid mentoring and creativity to sustain their retention and advancement at minority-served institutions (MSI’s). Six key factors for the retaining minority faculty are (1) the quality of mentoring; (2) encouragement of academic freedom; (3) alignment of faculty and institutional goals; (4) overall values consistent with the mission of the institution; (5) professional development; and (6) the extent of research support and collaboration. Cross–disciplinary and interdisciplinary research is needed to encourage faculty creativity and innovation. Innovative strategies are required for improvement mentoring and monitoring of underrepresented female STEM faculty and researchers at MSI’s. It must be understood that Institutions grow from the contributions of talented female STEM faculty. The world grows from faculty innovation and creativity.