Diversity and Inclusion
The Culver Conservation Genetics lab and the Wild Cat Center value the inclusion of students, interns, researchers, and citizen scientists from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Ever since its initiation, our lab has been committed to the training and mentorship of women, minorities, and students of underrepresented backgrounds. For almost twenty years, the Culver lab group has been one of the most diverse at SNRE.
We define science broadly as any method of collection or gathering knowledge of the natural world in systematic and observational approaches, using the scientific method which is hypothesis-driven, testable, falsifiable, and based on data. We acknowledge the broad range of approaches to acquire scientific knowledge including but not limited to observations, indigenous knowledge, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, natural resource management knowledge. A common theme among all these approaches is observations over time, and we do not see hard boundaries between different forms of ecological knowledge but rather as a group of flexible approaches that are inclusive, adaptable, and which complement each other.
Our inclusion and diversity goals include:
Supporting SNRE’s faculty and students in all their Diversity and Inclusion endeavors. Our lab supports the department’s mission to “encourage and promote a diverse, inclusive and equitable department by building community and supporting learning, facilitating information exchange, and developing and assessing policy.”
Collaboratively assigning lab and fieldwork mentorship appropriate to lab member’s backgrounds and closely aligned to their interest. All lab members are available for answering questions about lab issues, UA issues, or getting set up in Tucson.
Recognizing the longstanding history of Indigenous peoples in the land where our students and collaborators conduct their study and education, seeking our understanding and respect within that history. Our lab policy includes the formulation of appropriate wording for “land acknowledgment” for field study area lands, to be written in the “acknowledgment section” of published manuscripts, when relevant.
Nurturing the diversity of ideas and collaborative projects with academic discussions and encouraging lab projects. The lab organizes informal weekly coffee hour and at least one formal meeting per semester (virtual or in-person) where everyone feels comfortable discussing important topics for success and career development, such as time management, work/life balance, finances, networking, job seeking, and culture, all relevant to diverse students.