Exploring Antarctica: Analyzing the outcomes of a minority focused field research program

Claudia Vanessa Garcia, University of Texas at El Paso


With the need to increase minority representation in science, specifically in polar research, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) developed an innovative field research experience entitled International Polar Year-Research and Educational Opportunities in Antarctica for Minorities (IPY-ROAM). Supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, twenty-eight participants including undergraduate students, graduate students and teachers completed a semester long online course and performed field research in Antarctica within the areas of ecology, physical science, policy or education. The purpose of this thesis consists in determining the outcomes that individuals experienced through their participation in IPY-ROAM. Four outcome areas are explored in this investigation: Participants’ self-reported career competencies, their professional and academic goals, their intent to represent minorities in science, and their involvement in activities to provide knowledge of the polar regions. Results of this study indicate that participants perceived an increase in their career competencies due to participation in IPY-ROAM (paired sample t-test; p < 0.01). In addition, after program completion participants continue to express and interest in obtaining a graduate degree, and have conducted formal and informal presentations to a variety of individuals in an effort to represent minorities in science and/or provide knowledge of the polar regions. Data generated from this program may serve as a measurement tool to justify further investment in field research programs for students at the poles, and to refine programs to enhance these desired effects. ^

Subject Area

Education, Tests and Measurements|Education, Sciences

Recommended Citation

Garcia, Claudia Vanessa, "Exploring Antarctica: Analyzing the outcomes of a minority focused field research program" (2009). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1465250.