McLean, Virginia – Barira Rashid, a PhD candidate and graduate research assistant at the University of Arkansas, has been named the 2024 recipient of the GeoScienceWorld (GSW) Diversity and Representation Award, a new annual scholarship program for graduate students in the geosciences. Barira will receive a cash prize of $5000 and have her winning essay published in GSW’s OA journal, Lithosphere

We are delighted to recognize Barira for her unique perspective, resilience, and dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion in the field of Earth Sciences,” says Phoebe McMellon, CEO of GeoScienceWorld. “We had numerous outstanding applications, each sharing a compelling story. We firmly believe that we need to do more to highlight these diverse viewpoints to foster an inclusive environment crucial to attracting and retaining geoscientists from historically excluded identities.”

Coming from a region where women often face systemic barriers to education and professional opportunities, Barira is deeply committed to breaking down these barriers. Her expertise includes geospatial data analysis, remote sensing, and cartography. She enjoys generating new ideas and devising feasible solutions to manage emerging environmental problems. She strives to be a role model and advocate for underrepresented communities in STEM, leveraging her expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing to address global environmental challenges.

Barira received her BS in environmental science from Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi in Pakistan, a Master in Science in Remote Sensing and GIS from the National University of Sciences & Technology, a Master’s in GIS and Cartography from Arizona State University. She is currently a graduate research assistant at the University of Arkansas’s Muenich Lab Group. 

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About Award 

The GeoScienceWorld Diversity and Representation Award is a new annual scholarship program that aims to lower barriers to participation for graduate students from historically marginalized communities in the Earth Sciences, Planetary, or Earth Science-adjacent degree programs. 

About GSW

GSW works with societies, institutions, and researchers around the world and provides a single source of access to preeminent scholarly journals and eBooks with specialized and map-based search capabilities and links to a broad scope of curated earth science research. Our platform includes 50+ preeminent scholarly journals, 2,400+ eBooks, and over 4.5 million GeoRef records. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, GSW has returned nearly $60 million to membership societies to achieve their scientific missions since its founding.

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