Toward Greater Diversity in Earth Sciences: NASA’s Student Airborne Science Activation Program

Understanding Earth and the complex influences on our planet’s climate are some of the biggest challenges of our times, and we need all the help we can get to tackle them. But, in the last 40 years, the minority representation in geosciences – meaning Earth, atmosphere, and ocean sciences – has remained relatively low despite its increase in proportion of the U.S. population. This summer, in an effort to address that, a new NASA program welcomed its first class of students.

Student researchers participating in the first year of NASA’s Student Airborne Science Activation (SaSa) program pose in front of the agency’s P-3 aircraft, July 9, 2022, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. Participants flew aboard the P-3 to collect Earth science data for their research. SaSa aims to increase diversity in the geosciences by providing students from minority-serving institutions with research experience and professional support. Pictured here are SaSa participants