Our Values

The people of Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant value diversity, equity, and inclusion in both our organization and the communities we serve. Therefore, we strive to make access to research, outreach, education, and employment opportunities available to everyone, regardless of race, color, religion, place of origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, disability, or veteran status.

The ways in which people interact with natural resources are a function of their beliefs, values, and life experiences. By explicitly incorporating diverse perspectives and inclusively collaborating across stakeholder groups, we can foster more equitable and sustainable natural resource management.

We work to:

  • Help communities address critical natural resources issues, ranging from climate change adaptation to pollution prevention to safe recreation.
  • Provide accessible, free, or reduced-cost programming to diverse audiences, including via ADA-compliant and multi-lingual publications.
  • Expand access to our research grants, fellowships, and internships to include underrepresented and non-traditional groups and individuals.
  • Be a leader in equal employment opportunity practices and offering employee training on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.

This commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has shaped our beliefs and practices as we interact with others. Specifically, we:

  • Strive to create a welcoming environment, so that each person feels accepted, valued, and safe.
  • Insist on respectful behavior because words and actions, or the lack thereof, have powerful meaning.
  • Encourage the open expression of ideas.

We recognize that natural resources issues affect everyone, though they do not affect everyone equally. At Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, we celebrate the diversity of both people and nature as well as the complex interactions between them.


We appreciate and respect the many Indigenous People who were the original caretakers of the land and water we work to protect. Among others, the Ochethi Sakown, Myaamia, Potawatomi, Kaskaskia, Lenape Peoria, and Kickapoo lived on, cultivated, and cared for the lands that now hold the campuses of University of Illinois and Purdue University. We acknowledge the hardships and systemic inequities they continue to face after being forcibly removed from these lands, as well as the work they are doing to recover from these injustices. In addition, we acknowledge the contributions they continue to make to today’s society.

We strive to champion both universities’ efforts to foster relationships and opportunities that strengthen the well-being of the Indigenous People who preserve and sustain the traditions of their ancestors.

We also acknowledge Lake Michigan, its tributaries, and the broader Great Lakes basin for providing sustenance, travel, and other forms of enrichment for all. We honor the lake by striving to collaborate in research, engagement, and education to foster stewardship practices around its waters and shoreline.

We recognize that a land and water acknowledgement is simply one small step, not the end of the work, towards reconciliation and building relationships with native people and native land. We are working toward this goal and encourage you to learn more about the Indigenous People who care for the land you now occupy to live, work, and play. Please visit Native-land.ca for information about Indigenous territories, languages, lands, and ways of life.

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