EWC Committee

Equity and Workplace Climate

We are a group of students, staff and faculty working together on initiatives for a more equitable, inclusive and diverse environment in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at McGill University.


Support and Resources

If you are in a crisis and need immediate help/support, here is an infographic with points of contact at a quick glance.


Crisis Flowchart


QR Code - Crisis Flowchart



This webpage has been developed for the members of the EPS community. The resources listed on this webpage are divided into categories so that one can access the most relevant one as fast as possible. Some of the links direct you to other McGill websites whereas others might direct you to Quebec/Montreal based organization websites. The resources provided here are not exclusively emergency resources but rather provide you with more information, what to do, etc in case you want to know more about reporting policies within McGill and the rights and responsibilities you have as a student/staff/faculty at McGill. This is also a non-exhaustive list. We will do our best to update this list over time. If there are any changes required or you want certain information to be provided as part of the resource list, please do get in touch with the chair of the EWC Committee.


Department Resources:

  • EWC Committee, committee working on initiatives for a more equitable, inclusive and diverse environment in the department: Peter Douglas (interim chair)
  • Chair of the department: Jeff McKenzie.
  • Graduate Program Director, responsible for graduate student academic matters: Yajing Liu.
  • Adams Club, graduate students organization responsible for handling graduate students rights and issues: Presidents yessica-elena.salas-navarro [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Jessica Salas) and emily.mick [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Emily Mick).
  • Monteregian Society, undergraduate students (EPS/ESYS) society responsible for coordinating departmental academic and social activities: President danielle.richard [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Danielle Richard).
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, responsible for undergraduate student academic affairs: EPS (Jeanne Paquette), ESYS (William Minarik).

Faculty of Science:

  • Science Equity and Workplace Climate Committee (SECC), Faculty of Science committee responsible for coordinating and implementing inclusive and equitable initiatives across various Science faculty departments: Nagissa Mahmoudi and meghomita.das [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Meghomita Das.)

McGill Institutional Resources:

General Security & Safety:

  • Emergency Numbers for Campus Security: provides locations for public phones that connect you to the McGill Emergency Services. Please call 911 first for ambulance, police, or fire before calling Campus security. Then, call Security Services who will coordinate with emergency responders.
  • Night Route Maps: maps that highlight the recommended route for navigation in the McGill campuses during night time.


  • SSMU Student Rights: helpful guide for undergraduate students on their rights regarding courses, assessments, and accommodations.
  • Graduate Student Handbook (EPS): helpful guidebook for graduate students of EPS covering topics like registration, finances, departmental clubs and other resources.

Sexual Violence:


Reporting Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Violence:


Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Resources at McGill:


Health Resources:

  • Student Wellness Hub: Provides a range of health services to support student’s mental and physical health. The Hub also offers laboratory services and therapy groups.
  • Keep me SAFE: Free, unlimited mental health counselling service that specializes in student mental health support that is available 24/7/365 through the Keep.me SAFE app.
  • General resources for Postdocs from PGSS: This document provides a lot of relevant information, including PGSS Health and Dental Plan for postdoctoral fellows. However, these resources are applicable to postdocs who are covered by the PGSS membership. Please check-in with Kristy to know if you are covered under the PGSS membership before using these resources.
  • Local Wellness Advisor: Trained mental health clinicians embedded within faculties and services to orient and connect you with appropriate support resources (on-campus or off-campus) for case-to-case situations. Advisors for the Faculty of Science is Fanny Gutierrez-Meyers and for Graduate students is Devon Simpson. For International students, the advisor is Jos Porter and for 2SLGBTQIA+, the advisor is Margot Nossal.
  • Peer support center at McGill: Student-run service offered by Students Society of McGill University providing free, one-on-one, confidential, and non-judgmental peer support and resource referral to all McGill students.

Financial Aid Resources:

  • McGill Scholarships and Student Aid: Part of McGill Student services that offers resources and advice for money-related matters such as paying for tuition, effective budgeting, and scholarship/aid opportunities.
  • EPS Graduate Funding Guidelines: Webpage outlining guidelines for departmental funding of graduate student stipends, including students with internal and external awards.
  • Graduate Student Handbook for EPS: This amazing handbook covers all topics that help a graduate student navigate within EPS academically. For a breakdown of the funding package, refer to Section 10 (pp: 26-33) of this handbook.
  • Frugal Budget Cheat Sheet: Handy cheat sheet that offers budgeting tips and lists out all the places near McGill campuses that offers discounted/free services for McGill students. Prepared and updated yearly by McGill Scholarships and Student Aid office.
  • Graduate Funding (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies): This webpage lists all kinds of additional funding opportunities available to graduates and postdocs at McGill. They also list specific workshops that is tailored to application preparation for some of the larger scholarship programs (NSERC, Vanier, FRQNT).

McGill Offices:

  • Office for Students with Disabilities: Provides support services and accommodations to students with documented disabilities at all levels of study. This office also offers virtual and in-person appointments and accessibility resources for students.
  • Ombudsperson: Offers confidential, informal, independent, and impartial dispute resolution services to all members of the student community by providing information, advice, intervention and referrals.
  • Office of the Dean of Students: Oversees students’ rights and responsibility, academic integrity, academic advising, student disciplinary process, and student recognition.
  • International Student Services: Provides non-academic services and resources to international undergraduate, graduate, visiting and exchange students. They also handle all queries related to the International Health Insurance Plan.
  • McGill Abroad: Provides all resources related to travel (student exchange, international fieldwork, conferences, field research, internships, study away programs) for McGill students at all levels of study. Also offers services to students visiting McGill.

Support within the McGill Community:

  • Indigenous support: Equity Office at McGill provides all the information and services aimed at supporting Indigenous students at McGill.
  • First Peoples’ House: Provides a sense of community and a voice to Indigenous students who have left their home in order to pursue higher education.
  • McGill University Sexual Identity Center (MUSIC): Provides specialized mental health care to individuals, couples, and families with sexual orientation and gender identity issues.
  • McGill Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (MORSL): Provides multi-faith resources and programming for the religious and spiritual well-being of students.
  • Black Student’s Network of McGill: Service provided through SSMU that is open to all students offering social and political events by and for Black Students in addition to hosting discussions and providing mentoring and resources.
  • Legal Information Clinic at McGill: Non-profit, student-run, bilingual and free legal information service that provides legal information, referrals, and community services to McGill and Montreal communities, with a commitment to meet the needs of marginalized groups. The volunteers do not provide legal advice. They only provide information.
  • McGill Student Nightline: A confidential, anonymous, and non-judgmental listening service run by McGill students with the aim to provide the community with non-professional support in all kinds of situations, including information, guidance during a crisis, or an empathetic space to share your experiences and emotions. English service only.

Support outside of McGill:


Committee Members


  • Nick Cowan (he/him) Associate Professor is an astronomer who studies exoplanet atmospheres and surfaces. I was born in Argentina but raised here in Québec by a francophone mom and an anglo-argentine dad (I sadly never learned Spanish). In order to do science at full capacity, we must recruit, train and retain diverse researchers. In my spare time, I find, clean and climb rocks. Check out his website for more information!
  • Peter Douglas (he/him) Assistant Professor is a biogeochemist who studies evidence for climate change and associated carbon-cycle feedbacks in sediments. I’m originally from Colorado, USA. Earth and planetary science are vitally important for the future of human life on Earth, and we need to do a better job of engaging the full diversity of humanity in that endeavor- McGill EPS is a great place to start! Check out his website for more information!
  • Natalya Gomez (she/her), Associate Professor, Former Committee Chair (2018-2021) is a climate scientist and geophysicist originally from Toronto, Canada who studies the response of the polar ice sheets and global sea levels to past and future climate change. Equity, diversity, inclusion and justice are essential to moving towards the future I want for humanity and our only planet. I formed the EDI committee to create space, time and a structure that enables department members to use their strengths and work together to realize their EDI goals for the EPS department community and beyond. Twitter: @NatalyaGomezEPS

  • Jeff McKenzie (Department Chair) (he/him) Professor, is a hydrogeologist, originally from Vancouver, Canada, who studies the how climate change affects water resources in high mountains and Northern regions. Our EPS Equity and Workplace Climate committee is critical in helping us achieve our EDI goals in the Department and in the Earth Sciences. Visit his lab website for more information! Twitter: @cryohydrogeo

  • Christie Rowe (she/her) Associate Professor is a field geologist focusing on faults and earthquakes, originally from California, USA. I’m motivated to work on EDI to help share some of the burdens my colleagues and friends have to carry to be part of the scientific community and to build toward safe and supportive university environments. Focus for 2021: translate ideas into workable policies. Twitter: @KeepItRheol


  • Moses Angombe (he/him), graduate student member: PhD Candidate in Prof Christie Rowe’s research group. He is a Black-African from Namibia and first-generation university student. He wants to improve the social climate and space for discussing diversity and inclusivity in geoscience. He plans to develop tools that will allow underrepresented groups to express their identities openly. Twitter: @AngombeMoses

  • Catherine Crotty (she/her), graduate student member: Catherine is a PhD candidate working with Prof Vincent van Hinsberg. She is approximately half Irish and half Danish. She is what is classed as a ‘Third Culture Kid’, having grown up moving countries in both Europe and Asia. The nationality she identifies the most with, changes daily. She believes that science is for everyone and wants to drive active change towards a more inclusive and diverse academic community. Twitter: @Cat_Crotty

  • Debarati Das (she/her), graduate student member: PhD candidate studying past water activity on Mars. She is from Mumbai, India and wants to make academia more accessible and inclusive. Check out her website for more information!

  • Meghomita Das (she/her), graduate student member: PhD Candidate in Prof Christie Rowe’s research group. She is from Mumbai, India. As a woman of color and a member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, she wants to contribute towards increasing representation and visibility in geosciences and develop resources that allows underrepresented groups to navigate within this field. More information on Twitter: @meghomita or on her website.

  • Zoya Qudsi (she/her) undergraduate representative: Undergraduate majoring in Earth System Science. She is a Pakistani-American from New York, USA and wants to help make undergraduate activities (research, field experience) more accessible to disadvantaged groups, and increase representation and inclusion in geosciences.

Post docs and Staff 

  • Alissa Kotowski (she/her) Postdoctoral Representative: Alissa is a Wares Postdoctoral Fellow. As a female, first-generation college student, she is passionate about identifying and patching the ‘leaky STEM pipeline’ through mentorship, representation, and pushing for systemic shifts in academic culture. She is working to improve Geoscience diversity through inclusive education and uses culturally-informed teaching, rooted in geoscience education research, to engage minoritized students. Check out more on her website ! 
  • Kathryn Rico (she/her) Postdoctoral Representative: Wares Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Nagissa Mahmoudi. She is a Jewish Mexican-American from Chicago, USA who is eager to improve accessibility and inclusivity in higher education, especially in the Earth and Environmental sciences. Check out more on her website !
  •  Kristyn Rodzinyak (she/her) Outreach Administrator: Kristyn is a geochemist interested in how science is communicated. She is particularly interested in  encouraging earth sciences in school curriculum and geotourism. She is a Canadian military brat passionate about incorporating different ways of learning and knowing into the geosciences. Twitter: @KJRock8

EDI in the Géoblog

Water sampling in Rio Celeste, Volcan Tenorio, Costa Rica. November, 2018

Student Spotlight

Soy Jessica (ella). Soy Costarricense, primera generación y queer. Read more about Jessica, volcanology grad student's journey from Costa Rica to Montreal in English or Spanish. 


Rainbow flag

What it feels like to be queer in the Earth Sciences?

Authors: Jessica Salas (she/her) and Meghomita Das (she/her)

This invisibility of 2SLGBTQIA+ in STEM, and the lack of prominent 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals in faculty and leadership positions, leads to a lack of mentorship for current and future generations. It causes a sense of isolation within STEM that could potentially alter a person's career trajectory within the field. As we move towards more inclusive policies and initiatives in STEM, we should engage with the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities to understand and develop training programs and resources that will address their representation in STEM.


Holly on frozen Lake Baikal during her trans-Siberian railway trip in Russia.

Student Spotlight

Learn more about Holly's journey to her research in geophysics - what motivates her science, how science helps her achieve life goals and finding value beyond scientific achievements. 


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