Breaking the Ice Ceiling Webinar: Creating Space for Diversity & Inclusion in the Federal Sphere

Event Type: Webinars and Virtual Events

When: 14 June 2021

Where: Online: 8:00-9:00 am AKDT, 12:00-1:00 pm EDT

More information: 
Link to Webinar Webpage


In 2021, a coalition of organizations including The Arctic Institute, Women in Polar Sciences, and Women of the Arctic are organizing a webinar series, Breaking the Ice Ceiling, to illuminate polar research by those who identify as women and to foster discussion on systemic change in polar sciences (Indigenous, natural, and social sciences) to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. In this webinar, learn from Meredith LaValley, Dr. Olivia Lee, and Liz Weinberg on how an interagency body like the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) create space for diversity and inclusion discussions and progress across the federal government.

Meredith LaValley is a project analyst for IARPC and has been working to build bridges within the Arctic science community for 4 years. She received her MS in Environmental Policy from Bard College in 2017 and promptly moved to Alaska in order to be closer to the land. She is interested in bringing in the process of research policy and finding ways to make it more equitable. She lives and work on the land of the Dena'ina people. Olivia Lee is a Research Assistant Professor in the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her research interests include examining the use of sea ice as habitat for walrus and ice seals using a combination of remote sensing data and local community observations of sea ice and hunting conditions. She is also interested in efforts to prioritize and coordinate the Arctic Observing Network. Dr. Lee is involved with the Alaska Arctic Observatory and Knowldge Hub (AAOKH) that seeks to build collaborations with indigenous coastal communities in Alaska to observe and document effects of cryosphere change on the seasonal cycle of subsistence harvest activities, and currently assists with the social media accounts for Women in Polar Science. Liz Weinberg (she/her) joined IARPC as the web manager and community coordinator in 2020. She previously served as the digital outreach coordinator and writer/editor for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, where she focused on increasing public engagement in and awareness of marine protected areas. Liz has a background in science communication and writing: she holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington, and is at work on a book of essays about climate change, wilderness, and queerness. She is based in unceded Multnomah (Chinook) and Stl’pulmsh (Cowlitz) lands / Portland, Oregon.

This talk will outline the history of diversity and inclusion efforts within IARPC and highlight some of its important leaders. We will discuss recent efforts including the role of diversity & inclusion in the next Arctic Research Plan and the development of an IARPC code of conduct and mentorship program. We would like to hear what would people like to see from IARPC with regard to justice, equity, diversity & inclusion efforts.