towards more inclusive collaborations

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is a large collaborative astronomical survey, run by representatives from dozens of institutions and used by thousands of astronomers throughout the world. In 2015, the leadership of SDSS called for the creation of a Committee On Inclusion iN SDSS (COINS). I served on COINS for three years, including two years as co-chair.

During my time on COINS, we worked with collaboration membership and leadership on projects to foster a more inclusive environment. This included hosting new member orientations and lunch discussions at SDSS collaboration meetings, surveying the demographics of SDSS, producing documentation of inclusive practices, and instituting guidelines for accessible conferences.

Another component of SDSS inclusion is the Faculty and Student Teams (FAST) program. The program incorporates teams consisting of a faculty member and their students who are at Minority Serving Institutions into the collaboration, including data access and pairing with experienced collaboration mentors. I served as mentors to two FAST teams while I worked with COINS.

  1. The FAST Initiative: Fostering a More Inclusive SDSS Collaboration
    Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Nancy J. Chanover, Adam J. Burgasser, Kelle L. Cruz, Charles Liu, Paul A. Mason, Jesus Pando, Emily L. Rice Sarah J. Schmidt, Jose Ramon Sanchez-Gallego, and 11 more authors
    In American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #229, Jan 2017
  2. The Formation of COINS: Equity and Inclusion in SDSS
    Sarah J. Schmidt, Jose Ramon Sanchez-Gallego, Nancy J. Chanover, Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Sara Lucatello, Alfonso Aragon-Salamanca, Francesco Belfiore, Brian Cherinka, Diane Feuillet, Amy Jones, and 5 more authors
    In American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #229, Jan 2017