Promoting Diversity in Freshwater Science Through Mentoring: Celebrating Five Years of Instars

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Instars is a mentoring program for undergraduate students from under-represented groups who are interested in the study of fresh waters. This year, the program will include an orientation workshop and will sponsor a special session entitled, “Our freshwater futures: an educational session particularly for undergraduates”. Instars began at the 2011 meeting in Providence, RI with 6 Fellows and 3 graduate mentors representing 7 states and 8 institutions. Participation has expanded and at the Joint Aquatic Sciences meeting in 2014 there were 16 Fellows and 8 mentors. Three of the mentors were alumni of the program. A broad diversity of under-represented groups, including African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and First-Generation College students have participated in Instars, with at least 6 alumni continuing into SFS-related graduate programs. To date, funding has been provided by the Society for Freshwater Science for more than $50K with substantial assistance from partnering institutions. Institutions may help expand Instars by sponsoring undergraduates to attend the conference. We strongly encourage institutional sponsorship and are seeking resources to help provide stable funding for this growing program.


Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting (SFS)


Milwaukee, WI