Annual Report 2022

Autumn wildflowers and grasses

Director's note

The new normal: Community growth, greater inclusivity & more outreach

This has been my first full year to reflect upon the new, post-pandemic normal. Our research community proved to be resilient in our ability to reach higher despite a two-year perturbation to our work and our lives. In 2022, our researchers rebounded with more than $15M in active awards, growth in our research community, expansion of our facilities, roll-out of an extensive new website, a significant rise in our outreach activities, and planning to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB). Here, I will focus on our work in the latter realm: DEIB.

Our center aims to offer a welcoming and supportive environment for visitors, students, researchers, staff, faculty and scientists. To do so, we must clearly convey that we value and strive to improve DEIB in our workplace. We have set goals and devised plans to increase recruitment of historically marginalized groups in all position classifications; to reduce financial burden to achieve recruitment goals; to cultivate a DEIB-conscious research community; and to improve inclusivity of our facilities.

In the planning process, it became clear that a centerwide DEIB vision statement was needed to guide our current and future work. We developed the following statement through carefully guided open discussion on our DEIB aspirations and our admission of the difficult history in our discipline. We sought to create a statement that is distinctive and core to the work we do and the people we reach. I am pleased to share our DEIB vision statement and grateful for the broad and thoughtful input toward developing a genuine vision relevant to our research community.

Sara Baer

Sara G. Baer

Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research