Mission and Vision Statement
We envision a world with healthy watersheds that sustain a diversity of life and are part of a more equitable and just society. Fresh water is our most important natural resource. Rivers, wetlands, and lakes support extraordinary biodiversity and provide numerous services upon which people depend for their health and livelihoods. However, societal land- and water-use pressures, and the growing impact of climate change, are disproportionately threatening freshwater ecosystems, imperiling aquatic life and human well-being. There is an urgent need to understand how freshwater ecosystems work, address persistent and emerging threats to ecosystem health, and guide strategies for their restoration and protection.
Through basic and applied research, our work aims to inform solutions to global water challenges that sustain biodiversity, satisfy human needs, and promote environmental stewardship. Our research approaches are collaborative and impact-oriented. We work in teams that bring diverse perspectives, skills, and knowledge to problem solving. This involves working across disciplines and with partners outside of academia, including NGOs, tribes, and government agencies.
We are committed to fostering a positive community climate to realize our vision, guided by core values of respect, honesty, anti-racism, and commitment to service.
We treat each other, the natural world, and the communities in which we live and work with respect. The health, well-being, and safety of our community is our top priority and we are committed to creating a culture of care in the lab and in the field. Be generous and forgiving with each other and with yourself.
We conduct our work with honesty and integrity and hold each other to high standards of professional conduct and ethical behavior. We embrace critical feedback, share and celebrate failures and success, and support each other in achieving our personal and professional goals.
We recognize that our scientific fields have historically privileged certain voices, and we are committed to dismantling legacies of oppression and creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive spaces for research, teaching, and community engagement. We recognize that science is value-laden and we actively interrogate the ways in which our research intersects with social justice and systems of oppression. We also recognize the need to continually educate ourselves on the history of racism and settler colonialism in our research fields and our communities.
Our work is guided by a spirit of service. We recognize the difference between intent and impact, and we aim to advance research that not only avoids harm, but produces benefits for society, the environment, and communities in which we work. We embrace open-science principles and ensure our work is accessible to all. We seek opportunities to work in collaboration with community partners to accelerate progress toward a more just, equitable, and sustainable society.
- We commit to fostering a lab culture that embraces anti-racist principles and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- At least one lab meeting per semester is devoted to anti-racist learning and reflection.
- We require readings, and encourage participation in a course, on anti-racist scholarship for all members of our lab.
- We offer land acknowledgements in our presentations, seminars, etc. and understand why they are important
- We allocate community tasks equitably among all members of the lab
- The PIs work to achieve funding equity among our students and among our postdocs
- The PIs donate annually to the Sogorea Te land trust
- We commit to strengthening mentorship practices and making mentorship more inclusive.
- We ask that all members of the group prepare an individual development plan (IDP) by the start of the academic year to identify goals for the year.
- We perform annual reviews with each member of the group.
- We maintain open lines of communication, being honest, discussing problems as they arise, and assuming good intentions.
- We offer at least one lab meeting per semester dedicated to professional development
- We recruit and mentor undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds
- We commit to making our research more inclusive.
- We critically think about what and how we develop our research practices
- We welcome alternatives to the ‘Western Science’ paradigm of generating and maintaining knowledge and commit to educating ourselves about different ways of knowing via focused readings, discussions, and seminars
- We actively recruit undergraduate students from programs designed to increase diversity in science
- We critically examine implicit bias in the type of authors and institutions we cite, emphasize contributions to our field from BIPOC scholars, and follow ethical citation practices
- We promote inclusivity and openness in our scientific endeavours (via inclusive co-authorship practices, open-access publications, open-data principles, etc.)
- We invite scholars from marginalised groups to present at department seminars and we cite their work
- We commit to making our teaching practices more inclusive.
- Individuals with teaching responsibilities regularly review and revise their courses to make them more inclusive and elevate BIPOC scholarship (e.g. via readings, guest lectures, and case studies)
- We share research, case studies, and suggest potential guest lecturers with instructors to advance course changes.
- We attend department seminars and workshops focused on creating just and inclusive classrooms.
- We commit to set aside time each year to assess progress towards our goals and to hold ourselves accountable to these commitments.
- We review and revise our lab expectations document on an annual basis
- We review and revise our anti-oppression statement and commitments on an annual basis