2023 journal article
Diversifying the Field of Forestry Through a Graduate Fellowship Program: A Pilot Study on the Expectations of Students of Color
Journal of Forestry.
Abstract Overall interest and involvement in forestry is relatively low for students of color compared to other STEM programs. This exploratory study aims to further understand the reasons graduate students of color in a National Needs Fellowship (NNF) program decide to pursue a career in forestry. Initial survey data showed that graduate students of color are motivated by pursuing specific forestry topics in the field while also having differing expectations with regard to career and financial opportunities. The results of this study could provide ideas on opportunities NNF-funded and other programs can take to further support diversity in the field of forestry; however, more research is needed. Study Implications Given the results of this pilot study, it is important to note that students of color who accept a graduate fellowship do so with goals of exploring a particular interest in the field of forestry. An assumption also exists that their degrees and experiences in certain graduate fellowship programs will yield long-term benefits, such as employment opportunities and high salaries. However, additional information would be helpful in strengthening the results of this study, which could include increasing the number of participants for more quantitative data or collecting qualitative data to gather additional details and information on the survey responses.