Geological Society of America Names New Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Boulder, Colo., USA: In another milestone on its path to meeting strategic goals for broader participation in the Society, GSA is pleased to welcome Elizabeth Long as Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Long comes to GSA from her previous position as Director and Lead Scientist with Appalachian Headwaters, a not-for-profit located in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Prior to that, Long worked with the Mohonk Preserve in New Paltz, New York, as Director for the Dept. of Conservation Science & Daniel Smiley Research Center. Her many talents and accomplishments include extensive public programming and community science initiatives, effective fundraising, strategic planning, and building collaborations among diverse stakeholders.

Long is charged with leading efforts to implement priorities identified in GSA’s Decadal Strategic Plan and for helping to secure funding to make DEI work sustainable within the Society.

Armed with recommendations from the GSA’s Diversity Working Group and its Culture Task Force, Long is working closely with Council’s Diversity in the Geosciences Committee, the staff URGE (Unlearning Racism in the Geosciences) pod, and other parties with common aims, to ensure that GSA policies reflect and affirm a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. “I speak for all GSA leadership when I say what a pleasure it is to welcome Dr. Long to GSA. We are excited for her to take the lead on our DEI and justice initiatives,” said GSA Executive Director Vicki McConnell.

Near-term projects include:

● Overseeing revisions to awards procedures where needed to ensure inclusivity, developing unbiased selection rubrics, devising strategies for recruiting and training reviewers, and attracting a diverse slate of nominees for each award;

● Working with GSA programs that collect demographic data to standardize data collection and better benchmark and track participation over time;

● Assuming a leadership role with GSA’s GEO ASCENDS grant and helping to support and expand the On To the Future (OTF) and Expanding Representation in the Geosciences (ERG) programs.

Long earned her Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California Davis. She extended her interest in community service activities after graduation by developing collaborative science projects and field research with diverse rural and urban community members.

● At Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, Long worked with the Women’s and Diversity Center program and Student Disability Office to increase accessibility to field and laboratory classes and improve culture and climate in the sciences and developed new programs and courses to attract and recruit a diverse student audience.

● At the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science, Long conducted field ecology and collections-based research across an urban-wildland interface, engaged in donor development, public programming, education programming, and developed community science initiatives.

She completed training through the ADVANCEGeoPartnership in 2020 and began to facilitate workshops on improving bystander intervention and reducing workplace harassment, tackling implicit bias and microaggressions in the workplace, and developing workplace codes of conduct. She is a current co-principal investigator on an NSF-funded planning grant to develop leadership tools for women in the field sciences.

Throughout her career, Long has been a champion for making science accessible to marginalized and underrepresented groups and believes in taking an intersectional approach to that work.

“I’m thrilled to be joining an organization that takes DEI work to heart,” said Long. “GSA has already laid strong foundations for progress in this area, and in the short time I've been here, GSA members, staff, and partners have given me so much support.”

“Meaningful change can’t happen without support and collaboration, and there’s no shortage of that at GSA,” said Long.

The Geological Society of America (GSA) ( unites a diverse community of geoscientists in a common purpose to study the mysteries of our planet (and beyond) and share scientific findings. Members and friends around the world, from academia, government, and industry, participate in GSA meetings, publications, and programs at all career levels, to foster professional excellence. GSA values and supports inclusion through cooperative research, public dialogue on earth issues, science education, and the application of geoscience in the service of humankind.

# # #

For Immediate Release
2 May 2022
GSA Release No. 22-23

Christa Stratton

GSA DEI Elizabeth Long
Dr. Elizabeth Long, GSA Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.