Invitation to participate in an interview for an education research study

Hello!  My name is Ariel Rawson and I am a postdoctoral scholar at Ohio State University. 

I am part of a team conducting a study to identify the barriers and challenges that must be overcome in order to support diverse participation in Ecology and Environmental (EE) fields. This study aims to characterize the ecological identity, or sense of belonging, of under-represented people in EE fields. In our model, a person’s sense of belonging is influenced by their individual sense of identity, the academic context (including interpersonal interactions and institutional factors), and the match (or mismatch) between their personal and professional views of nature and those dominant in the EE fields. We will use one-on-one interviews to investigate variation in sense of belonging in EE fields both among those typically included and those under-represented based on ethnicity or race. The one-on-one interviews will investigate personal experiences and narratives regarding pathways into EE fields and the factors that shape sense of belonging or exclusion, including experiences in and beyond educational settings 

We are recruiting participants 18 years of age or older to participate in one-on-one interviews regarding your sense of identity in your Ecology or Environmental (EE) field, aspects of your personal identity, your views on nature, and the influence of the academic context on your sense of belonging in your EE field. We anticipate that the one-on-one interview will take about one hour ​​to ​​complete.  

This study presents minimal risk. To protect your privacy, we will replace your names with anonymous identifiers. All data collected from study participants will be encrypted and stored on a password-protected computer and in an OSU approved, dual-authentication, password protected cloud storage solution. We will work to make sure that no one sees your responses without approval. But, because we are using the Internet, there is a chance that someone could access your online responses without permission. In some cases, this information could be used to identify you. Your de-identified information will not be used or shared with other researchers without your additional informed consent. Although your responses will be recorded, the file will be transcribed into text without identifying information.  

If you are willing to participate, please email Dr. Ariel Rawson ( or Dr. Becky Mansfield ( to schedule an interview. We will ask you to fill out an online consent form that will also contain a survey with some voluntary demographic questions​​. Even though we encourage you to give your consent, please know that your participation in this study is voluntary. If you wish to rescind your consent, you may do so at any time by emailing Dr. Amy Kulesza at  

Thank you! 

The study team: 

Principal Investigator: Maria Miriti  

Co-Investigators: Valerie Johnson, Natasha Woods, Zakiya Leggett, Carmen Cid, Gillian Bowser, Marcela Hernandez, Amy Kulesza, Becky Mansfield, Caroline Breitenberger, Ariel Rawson