When the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) was founded 40 years ago by American Indian scientists, their intent, passion and commitment was clear…substantially increase representation of indigenous peoples of North America in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies and careers.
Over 25,000 individuals have been benefited as members of AISES. Today, AISES celebrates 4,000 individuals strong, with 189 college chapters, 15 professional chapters and 158 affiliated schools that enroll more than 55,000 K-12 Native students.
This year the national conference was in Denver, Colorado, focusing on the theme, “40 Years of AISES: Embracing Our Past, Celebrating Our Future.” Forest Service employees from throughout the agency interacted with over 200 AISES members and provided information about the USFS Resource Assistants Program as well as the joint USFS/Intertribal Timber Council scholarship available to Native American students studying natural resources. An exhibit table provided information on the Society of American Foresters hiring event as well as USAJobs materials and information. USFS representatives also attended the Government Relations Council meeting to identify opportunities for AISES and government agencies to partner on outreach and recruitment of underrepresented groups. Forest Service representatives included FFS Tribal Liaison and Biologist Serra Hoagland and staff from Region 1, the Washington Office, and the Forest Products Lab. Participating in the AISES conference is a win-win by addressing workforce development issues and the Forest Service’s diversity and inclusion mission.