Ecological interactions at the intersection of spatial ecology, global change, and behavioral ecology.

Orrock Lab Philosophy and Statement on Diversity

In the Orrock Lab, we value diversity, integrity, hard work, communication, creativity, and collaboration. We strive to cultivate an open, supportive environment where trust and respect are paramount. We understand that scientists of different identities and backgrounds may face different challenges in their academic journey. We strive to be cognizant of the unique challenges that individuals may face and meet the needs of each lab member on an individual basis. Our goal is to catalyze new scientific discoveries by cultivating an environment where people with diverse perspectives and identities feel welcome, valued, and free to share their passion for ecology.

We acknowledge that the presence of diversity in a lab, classroom, or department does not alone engender equity and inclusion. In our lab, we actively denounce racism and bias in all forms and are striving to dismantle the barriers in academia that make marginalized people feel unwelcome or impede their success. Our lab recognizes the value of frequent and open communication. We ensure that all members are heard and that all voices are valued. We are always open to feedback and believe that growth can only occur when we are willing to have important conversations about equity and bias. We believe that engaging in these conversations with openness and purpose is essential in creating an inclusive group where all members are free to share and discuss their ideas. Active participation dedication to outreach are central pillars to our lab’s ongoing mission to continuously cultivate relationships both inside and out of the classroom. We seek to bridge the gaps of inequity and diversity in STEM by actively recruiting members from underrepresented groups and creating a lab that is representative of society as a whole. The Orrock lab is committed to fostering an environment of diversity and inclusion, and welcomes potential students regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, or socio-economic background.

We believe that our best science is accomplished by valuing the ideas, voices, and contributions of researchers from diverse backgrounds and experiences. As people who do science, we know that the science we do is influenced by the values we hold and the choices we make. Our lab strives to be supportive, transparent, and inclusive. We believe that the relationships we build are even more important than the hypotheses we test.

Our lab fully endorses the Department of Integrative Biology Graduate Program’s statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion:

We recognize that bridging the gaps of inequity and diversity within STEM requires continuous action within academia and our everyday lives. We are committed to taking these core values into the research we conduct, the committees we serve on, as well as our mentorship and broader community outreach.

Current activities of Orrock Lab members to achieve this mission:

  • Undergraduate mentorship
  • Participation in public outreach activities (via iBio Graduate Organization and Wisconsin Ecology)
  • Membership in Biology Colloquium task force to improve diversity in the lecture series
  • Membership in iBio Graduate Organization’s Racial Justice Task Force
    Organizing cross-departmental community service events (e.g., donation drive for Madison’s housing insecure)
  • Membership in American Society of Mammalogists Public Education Committee
Jen Chandler describes small-mammal sampling and rodent herbivory to a crowd of new rodent-herbivory enthusiasts at the Research Expo at UW's Trout Lake Station. Photo Credit: Brian Connolly