The central idea of SEISMIC is promoting equity and inclusion in STEM, with introductory courses at our 10 member institutions allowing us to hone our focus.  Additionally, we recognize that it is important to also ensure that equity and inclusion are prioritized within the structure of SEISMIC itself in order to promote a safe environment for its members, as well as to ensure that we are not turning our backs on the very ideas we are working towards in our efforts.

After the 2021 Summer Meeting, the SEISMIC Collaboration Council sent out a letter to SEISMIC that detailed the steps that will be taken in order to ensure that SEISMIC is upholding the very values it wants to implement in its projects and work. 

This page exists as part of SEISMIC’s efforts to ensure equity, inclusion, and transparency in the collaborative itself.  It is to serve as a space for all these conversations and the efforts that will be brought forth from those conversations. 

2022 Revised Leadership Structures

In response to the 2021 Task Force recommendations, SEISMIC is revising its leadership structures. There will be two formal branches of leadership – the Collaboration Council (CoCo) and the Administrative Liaison Council (ALC). In addition, every SEISMIC institution will continue to have one Local PI who serves as the point of contact for each local SEISMIC team.

A shared task between the CoCo and the ALC is to identify and work towards funding opportunities to support the SEISMIC collaboration. The CoCo may also reach out to the ALC as needed for specific institutional opportunities and requests for support for the collaboration. These requests for support may include asking for institutional resources, asking for feedback or advice on the direction of collaboration activities, or other professional requests. There will be occasional joint meetings between the two councils to maintain communication channels and share information. 

Collaboration Council (CoCo)


The purpose of the CoCo is to uphold the SEISMIC Principles of Operation, promote communication and coordination across the Working Groups, provide accountability for the Working Groups, and ensure appropriate connections are being made to SEISMIC campus teams. The CoCo will continue to be the main governing body of SEISMIC and guide the activities of the collaboration.

The 2022-2023 CoCo is also tasked with clarifying the SEISMIC mission, establishing a SEISMIC framework for diversity, equity, and inclusion, aligning SEISMIC’s conceptualizations of equity and inclusion with collaboration goals, and establishing a process for reporting and redressing harm within the collaboration. The 2021 SEISMIC Task Force report provides several resources to support this work.


The CoCo will consist of one representative from each Working Group and two SEISMIC members at-large to represent institutional interests, for a total of 6 members. As each SEISMIC institution will continue to have a Local PI, the SEISMIC members at-large will connect directly with these Local PIs to maintain the interests and voices of the SEISMIC institutions in CoCo operations. The CoCo will have representation ideally along the following dimensions below. Individuals may fit within several of the categories. Actual representation on the CoCo will be dependent on who is able and willing to participate.

  • 3 or more staff members, non tenure-track faculty members, graduate students, or postdoctoral fellows
  • 2 or more tenure-track faculty members or administrators
  • 2 or more Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion scholars
  • 2 or more STEM education researchers or practitioners
  • 4 or more individuals from marginalized communities
  • Individuals from 5 or more different SEISMIC institutions, with at least 1 representative from SEISMIC West (UC schools and ASU) and at least 1 representative from SEISMIC East (UMN, IU, Purdue, MSU, UM, Pittsburgh).


Individuals will be nominated or may self-nominate to join the Collaboration Council (CoCo) via a google form. The nomination window will open each March for any open positions. The Working Group co-chairs, excluding any nominated members, in collaboration with SEISMIC Central will make final determinations on who joins the CoCo.


Each CoCo member will receive a $2,000 stipend per 12-month period, with payments spread across their term. Stipends will be prorated for terms less than or longer than 12 months. These stipends are given as compensation for the additional time and organizing work for the collaboration (see CoCo Tasks in Purpose and meeting expectations in Logistics) that is involved with being a CoCo member.


CoCo member terms begin in April. CoCo members may serve for a maximum of two consecutive years. At the end of the first year, CoCo members will be given the opportunity to continue serving on the CoCo or may choose to step down. If a CoCo member steps down prior to the end of their term, nominations will be accepted outside of the regular nomination window to fill the position in a timely manner.


  • The CoCo will begin by meeting twice per month. This meeting frequency may shift once the CoCo determines what meeting structures are most effective.
    • Some discussion suggestions for the first few meetings – setting up communication structures with and across Working Groups, establishing process for reporting and redressing harm in collaboration, systems for collaboration grant-writing, discussion topics for SEISMIC Summer Meeting.
  • Meeting facilitation will rotate between the CoCo members, which includes setting the agenda, ensuring everyone is able to participate in the discussions, and identifying clear next steps for the group.
  • SEISMIC Central will provide meeting support, including scheduling, note-taking, follow-up emails, reminders on tasks, and maintaining information useful to the CoCo in an accessible location.


SEISMIC is committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive, and respectful community where everyone can thrive and do their best work (see SEISMIC’s task force definitions for DEI as guide). One urgently needed mechanism is one that allows individuals to safely report negative interactions or incidents within the collaboration. In furthering this mission, SEISMIC has created a reporting system for members to share their grievances and harm experiences that can be addressed in order to create this welcoming space.

We hope in creating this system to provide space and resources to support impacted parties, redress the harmful situation, promote education and dialogue, and affirm the collaboration’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Administrative Liaison Council (ALC)


The purpose of the ALC is to serve as the administrative liaison between SEISMIC and each institution. The ALC will ensure SEISMIC members have institutional support to engage in SEISMIC projects, whether by providing access to institutional data, helping to make “SEISMIC work” part of “daily work,” or through other activities.


The ALC will consist of one representative from each SEISMIC institution, for a total of ten members. These individuals must have the power to direct institutional attention towards SEISMIC efforts.


Individuals will be invited to join the ALC by SEISMIC Central, in consultation with the local campus PIs who handle SEISMIC events and logistics on their campus.


A dinner will be hosted for the ALC during each in-person SEISMIC Summer Meeting.


ALC member terms begin in April. ALC members may choose to continue serving in this role indefinitely. ALC members will be asked each March if they would like to continue in their role or step down. ALC members may also be asked to step down in March, at the discretion of SEISMIC Central.


  • The ALC will begin by meeting quarterly. This meeting frequency may shift once the ALC determines what meeting structures are most effective.
  • SEISMIC Central will provide meeting support and facilitation, including agenda setting, scheduling, note-taking, and maintaining information for the ALC.


2022 Revised Working Group Structures

In response to the 2021 Task Force recommendations, SEISMIC is also revising its Working Group structures. These revisions will provide more transparency in how the Working Groups are organized and run.

Organizational Documents

Each Working Group is responsible for developing organizational documents that include

  • A clear statement of how the Working Group contributes to the overall goals and mission of SEISMIC
  • Details on how any project that receives Working Group support is aligned with the Working Group and with SEISMIC’s goals
  • Details on the nomination and selection process for Working Group chairs
  • Role descriptions for Working Group chairs, project leads, and general members, including junior collaborators
  • Guidelines for structuring Working Group and project meetings to allow for open dialogue that is not dominated by a few individuals
  • Information on how meeting information is captured in Working Group and/or project meetings

Membership Processes

Each Working Group will engage in an annual orientation process for all Working Group chairs and new members to discuss roles, responsibilities, and alignment with SEISMIC DEI goals.


Fall 2021 Task Force

In Fall 2021 we established a SEISMIC Task Force to examine existing collaboration structures and recommend new or revised ones. The backstory for this Task Force is complex. In summary, discussions during our 2021 Summer Meeting highlighted that SEISMIC members, particularly women, people of color, and junior scholars, have been harmed during SEISMIC activities. We paused our previously set Summer Meeting agenda to open a new discussion on how SEISMIC can address harms in the collaboration. This led to the collection of anonymous feedback on what has and has not worked in SEISMIC and recommendations for adjustments to the collaboration. We also hosted facilitated discussions during the Summer Meeting to hear from members on what we should stop doing and what we should start doing to promote inclusion within the collaboration.

Following the meeting, the CoCo wrote a letter to the collaboration with proposed next steps, including creating a Task Force. After an Open Forum where we discussed how to go about selecting the Task Force and what they should tackle, then a period of time where we collected additional feedback on the proposed plans, we put out a call for nominations for the Task Force. By September 2021, we had established seven paid Task Force members who also met the range of demographic and SEISMIC representation we were aiming for:

  • 5 or more junior scholars (Junior scholars include students, postdoctoral fellows, non-tenure track faculty, and staff. Junior scholars do not include administrators, tenure-track, or tenured faculty.)
  • 2 or more Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion scholars
  • 2 or more STEM education practitioners
  • 3 or more individuals from marginalized communities
  • 1 or more individuals from each SEISMIC Working Group
  • Individuals from 4 or more different SEISMIC institutions

This Task Force worked September through November on important structural work for the collaboration to support our goals of parallel data analysis and coordinated experiments. This summer has made it clear we cannot have success in the equity and inclusion goals of SEISMIC while members within the collaboration experience exclusion. This Task Force will serve to reorganize SEISMIC around more collaborative and inclusive structures. You can read the recommendations made by the Task Force below.

Recommendations from Task Force


The Task Force also created DEI Frameworks for to further clarify their perspectives and goals. These frameworks are available to read on the SEISMIC Overview page.


Task Force Members


Cindy Duong

University of California Irvine


Eduardo Gonzalez

University of California Santa Barbara


Janna Crocker

University of California Santa Barbara


Margarita Safronova

University of California Santa Barbara


Meaghan Pearson

University of Michigan


Nikeetha Farfan D’Souza

Indiana University


Sarah Castle

Michigan State University

July 2021 Open Forum

In order for SEISMIC to reassess its structures, mission, and priorities in a way that provides a voice to all members of the collaboration, the SEISMIC Collaboration Council will hold an open forum on July 30th, 2021. This meeting will be to discuss the goals of the Task Force and how the team will be selected and compensated. An external facilitator will be engaged in order to guide this discussion.

Registration for this open forum has now closed. If you have registered, please click the link below for more information (i.e., Zoom link, anonymous responses, etc.). The password for the page linked below should be in your confirmation email.