SFS Instars: A Mentoring Program to Increase Diversity in the Next Generation of Freshwater Scientists

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Instars is a mentoring opportunity for undergraduates from under-represented groups interested in the study of freshwaters. The program provides opportunities for networking among graduates, faculty and professionals hoping to encourage diversity in our discipline. In addition to an orientation workshop, the 2013 program is sponsoring a special session, “The Future of Freshwater Science”. Instars was launched at the 2011 meeting in Providence, RI with 6 Fellows and 3 graduate mentors representing 7 states and 8 institutions. Participation expanded in 2012 with 11 Fellows and 8 mentors, representing 9 states and 15 institutions. A broad diversity of under-represented groups, including African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and First-Generation College students have participated, with three alumni continuing into SFS-related graduate programs. To date, funding has been provided by the Society for Freshwater Science for more than $20K with substantial assistance from partnering institutions. Institutions may help expand Instars by sponsoring undergraduates to cover registration, travel or other costs associated with attending 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)


Jacksonville, FL