For Black History Month, the British Ecological Society (BES) journals are celebrating the work of Black ecologists from around the world and sharing their stories. Below we share Black Outdoors – a blog about the academic journey and outdoor adventures of Jacqueline L. Scott.
Author, researcher and all-round outdoor adventurer.
Jacqueline L. Scott is a PhD student at the University of Toronto studying the relationship between race and space, and how each shapes the perception of the other.
Though not an ecologist, Jacqueline is an avid birdwatcher and hiker who frequently addresses one of the key factors that inspires many to pursue a career in ecology; safe access to, and a healthy perception of, nature and the outdoors.
From birdwatching to simply walking on pavement, her pieces on the blog and other media outlets highlight some of the inequalities and challenges in Black people’s access to nature; such as ‘rules’ that apply to Black people just because of the colour of their skin or the lack of Black faces represented in the media when it comes to outdoors recreation, propagating the perception that the outdoors belong to the white community.
With studies revealing how African Americans and other ethnic minorities are more likely to experience challenges to inclusion in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, citing low sense of belonging, less exposure to ecology and discomfort in outdoor environments as some of these challenges, Jacqueline’s research and experiences should be relevant and of interest to all those in the ecological community.
This post was written with permission and approved by Jacqueline L. Scott.