NSF Proposal - 9. Broader Impacts
Support of this proposal will have an impact on the infrastructure
of education within the PIs institutions, communities and beyond.
We will develop a Web site dedicated to extending awareness of green
plant biology, diversity and genomics to the global scientific community
and the general public. On this site we will provide a synopsis
of current activities and make available a comprehensive morphological
database, including images.
We remain committed to providing enriching and supportive educational
experiences for undergraduate and graduate students. We stress teamwork
and support a mentoring network for all members of our laboratories.
We will seek additional funding for student participation through
the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. To broaden
the knowledge base and expertise, students and postdocs will be
encouraged to rotate among research groups for extended periods
of time. We are active participants in university and community
programs to provide research and professional experiences for elementary,
high school and undergraduate students. These activities are showcased
in our biographical sketches and will be expanded upon in the proposed
program. We will participate in existing summer programs for secondary
school teachers and students that focus on the use of computer technology
to address a range of biological problems, and that aim to increase
awareness and understanding of biological issues.
The PIs have previously been involved in a number of initiatives
that focus on facilitating and attracting underrepresented minorities
to science disciplines, e.g., through public outreach activities.
We have and will continue to actively increase the number of underrepresented
minorities (African- Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics and
the disabled) entering environmental biology disciplines. These
include pending NSF proposals to the Undergraduate Mentoring in
Environmental Biology program (enables minorities to attend Botanical
Soc. America meetings) and the Persons with Disabilities Program
(supports youths entering STEM-related disciplines). Moreover, the
international component of our proposed program will provide resources
and opportunities for students to explore collaborations with students
and scientists from a diversity of cultures and backgrounds.