Dr. Beard Heads NSF Project to Support Women Geospatial Academic Leaders

Professor Kate Beard is PI on a grant from NSF to advance careers of women in the Geospatial Sciences. The grant is referred to as TRELIS (Training and Retaining Leaders iSTEM – Geospatial Sciences (TRELIS-GS) to convey the concept of a human capital trellis or scaffold of support, and represent the reality of nonlinear career trajectories that move sideways, take leaps, and do not follow a single upward ladder.

The TRELIS grant supports workshops whose primary audience is women at different career stages in Geospatial science related fields in academic institutions.

The workshops are designed to:

  • Address the needs of women in the geospatial discipline and community by constructing professional structures for mentoring and leadership designed specifically for this academic niche which has not been the subject of research or substantial attention with regards to women’s professional development.
  • Encourage women to develop STEM skills relevant to their desired career track in geospatial sciences, and demonstrate by example the types of mentoring skills that will help them catalyze leadership training for other women in the geospatial STEM disciplines.
  • Increase awareness of the issues challenging women within the geospatial sciences by establishing a support framework for women considering a geospatial sciences career track by promoting female role models in geospatial post-secondary education
  • Sensitize and motivate the geospatial sciences interpersonal, departmental, and community cultures to nurture professional development and support networks for future generations of geospatial

scientists and the next set of leaders.

  • Catalyze a support network for women in the geospatial sciences that also improves retention rates in STEM disciplines

TRELIS has hosted two workshops in conjunction with the annual UCGIS symposium. The first workshop took place in Madison WI, the second in Washington DC, and the third will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii.   The first workshop focused on mid-career women, and the second on women early in their career in Geospatial science related fields.  The third workshop will also focus on the Early Career group.

The TRELIS leadership team includes:

  • Kate Beard-Tisdale, University of Maine (PI)
  • Laxmi Ramasubramanian, San Jose State University (co-PI)
  • Diana Sinton, UCGIS (co-PI)
  • Sarah Battersby, Tableau Software
  • Barbara Buttenfield, University of Colorado
  • Karen Kemp, University of Southern California
  • Elizabeth Wentz, Arizona State University

TRELIS is supported generous funding from the National Science Foundation (Grant #1660400).