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Jasper Ridge wins Human Diversity Award from international field station consortium

Human diversity award collage

In a virtual ceremony held September 23, 2021, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve was honored with the Human Diversity Award by the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS).  The award was presented at the OBFS 2021 Annual Meeting, which took place at Flathead Lake Biological Station in Polson, Montana.

The OBFS includes about 200 field stations from around the world, and has the mission of helping  member stations “increase their effectiveness in supporting critical research, education, and outreach programs.”  The OBFS Human Diversity Award is given annually to a member field station in recognition of “unique activities, programs, or approaches that increase the involvement, engagement and sustainability of underrepresented groups in field science.”

Jorge Ramos, Associate Director for Environmental Education, accepted the award in recognition of his untiring efforts to foster human diversity at Jasper Ridge, and on behalf of the many others in the Jasper Ridge community—including staff and affiliates—who have been so committed to the preserve’s pledge to be a safe and welcoming place for discovery, discussion, and community for people of all cultures and identities.  Many of the current human diversity programs continue a long legacy that began under the direction past Education Coordinator at Jasper Ridge, Cindy Wilber.  Tyler McFadden, Stanford Biology PhD student, and Biology Professor Rodolfo Dirzo also have been instrumental in building human diversity programs at Jasper Ridge.

Among the activities for which Jasper Ridge was recognized are partnerships with the Menlo-Atherton High School Ecology Research Outdoors Program (MERO),  Redwood High School Environmental Academy Leadership Program (REAL), STEAM Program for Latina Girls, Latino Outdoors, Society for Advancing Chicanos, Hispanics, and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and the Ecological Society of America SEEDS program.  Each year these programs reach hundreds of students and other learners that range in age from middle-school, to high-school, to college and university students.

In presenting Jasper Ridge with the award, OBFS noted “the great thoughtfulness and care in the range of programs your station seeks to provide was inspiring to the award review committee. Moreover, we commend you for reaching so many students throughout your station’s vast programming. Overall we believe Jasper Ridge can serve as an important model for others within the OBFS community to think about emulating.”

The OBFS Human Diversity Award includes a plaque that will be housed at Jasper Ridge permanently. A second traveling OBFS plaque recording current and previous winners will be at Jasper Ridge for one year. Jasper Ridge also will be recognized on the OBFS website.  Jasper Ridge was one of two winners of the award this year—the other is Skukuza Research Center in South Africa.  Pepperwood Preserve, located near Santa Rosa, CA received an Honorable Mention.