GEM Research Team

GEMS Program


Geological Experience for Minority Students

Encouraging and improving the geological experience of disadvantaged and underrepresented minority students.

Give to the GEMS Program

GEM Teacher and Student in the Lab.

The CSUN GEMS program provides community building, academic and research support to encourage and improve the geological experience of disadvantaged and underrepresented minority (URM) students, including Hispanic American, Latinx, Black, and Native American students in CSUN’s Department of Geological Sciences. The program seeks to help minority and disadvantaged students successfully complete their education, as well as provide research and hands-on lab and field experience for improved job and graduate school success.

GEMS provides three levels of support.

  • Peer Team Mentorship creates a support network for minority students who often feel isolated or feel they don't belong in a traditional academic science environment.
  • Academic Support provides tutoring and tips to improve grades and scholastic performance.
  • Student Research Support encourages GEMS undergraduate students to participate in undergraduate research. Research support includes $10,000 for each GEMS student to work full-time during summer and winter breaks and 5 hrs/week during the school year. Support allows students to quit part-time jobs and focus 100% on school academics and research which are mutually relevant and often interactive. Student research support has been shown to increase GPA significantly, job prospects and graduate school success.

The goal of the GEMS program is to support the high percentage (>52%) of underrepresented minority students (URM) at the undergraduate level in order to give them a better chance at advancing to the graduate student and faculty levels where the URM populations are low nationally. Diversity at the highest levels improves equal representation but has also been shown to improve diversity of ideas, perspective, and more innovative discoveries (e.g. Hofstra et al., 2020). Find more information on the GEMS Program website: