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Diversity & Inclusivity

Diversity & Inclusivity

The Society for Freshwater Science is dedicated to promoting diversity among its members and welcomes and encourages participation from all, regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, physical or mental difference, religion, age, or national origin. The SFS is inclusive and accepting of all people and built on tolerance, respect, and a welcoming spirit at all of our activities. We strive to actively promote diversity across all levels of our society including members, leaders, committees, and staff. We value a diverse community and believe it fosters a richer understanding of freshwater ecosystems and conservation of global freshwater resources. Members with questions, comments or concerns about SFS diversity issues are encouraged to raise them with a member of the SFS Education and Diversity Committee.

- SFS Statement on Diversity. Approved by membership, June 2016


2018 SFS Diversity Mixer

This is the first year that there will be an official diversity and inclusivity mixer in the program. This mixer will celebrate marginalized and underrepresented members of the society.  

Inclusivity Workshop: Inclusive and Accurate Approaches for Teaching Sex and Gender in Biology

Sexual reproduction, behavior, and selection are complex processes, but are overly-simplified into binary concepts and conflated with human gender and sexual identity. With this workshop, we will empower educators and mentors with definitions, examples, and resources to expand their toolbox beyond binary constructions of sex, sexuality, and gender in biology.

Diversity Initiatives


Instars is a mentoring program sponsored by the Society for Freshwater Science for undergraduate students from under-represented groups interested in freshwater science. Instars also provides opportunities for networking among graduate students, faculty, and professionals hoping to encourage diversity in the freshwater discipline.

Instars Mentors

The Instars Program will sponsor Instars Graduate Mentors by providing a modest stipend ($125-150) for the annual meeting. Mentors will be paired with groups of Instars fellows and serve as facilitators for program activities


SFS, in collaboration with the Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies (CASS), has participated in SACNAS (National Diversity in STEM Conference) by hosting a CASS exhibit booth during the conference. SACNAS is the largest diversity in STEM conference in the country and the CASS exhibit booth provides us with an opportunity to connect with a broadly diverse and multidisciplinary talent pool that includes over 4,000 students.