Patti Dunne - Homeward Bound

What if there was a global network of top scientists working to address climate change and issues of sustainability? What if that network was made up of leaders who were focused on the greater good rather than their own personal gain? What if they were truly collaborative, and supported each other to effectively address the most complex challenges in our world’s history?

 What if they were all women?

Research has shown that when women are engaged in decision-making processes, these processes are more collaborative, sustainable, and ultimately, successful. Women demonstrate a legacy mindset when creating and leading collaborative, effective teams – this is critical to addressing climate change and global sustainability. Yet, we are overwhelmingly underrepresented in leadership positions in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) fields. For example, in the United States, women currently make up nearly half (48%) of the workforce yet hold less than 18% of leadership roles in top science and tech companies.

To address this, I am participating in a groundbreaking leadership initiative, Homeward Bound , that aims to empower 1,000 women with a STEMM background over the next 10 years to take on leadership roles in the science and policy that shape our world. I am incredibly fortunate to have been selected to participate in Homeward Bound’s 4th cohort; I am one of 100 women scientists representing 25 disciplines and 33 countries who will complete a 12-month intensive program focusing on leadership development, strategic capability, collaboration, and science communication. And guess what? In November 2019, I will be taking part in the 4th expedition to Antarctica!

 Why am I participating in this program? 
As a cultural anthropologist at Conservation International, my work focuses explicitly on understanding the factors that enable different groups to influence policy. My job has two main objectives: first, I work to build the awareness and skills among conservation practitioners so that we can serve as better facilitators of local engagement in decision making. Second, I work to empower communities by ensuring that they have access to the knowledge and tools needed to actively engage with decision-making processes that affect their lands and livelihoods.  My training has given me the skills to explore and analyze local-level contexts and help translate local-level concerns to inform national and global-level policy. Through this program, I hope to build my leadership skills and confidence to more effectively translate local-level knowledge and concerns to inform national and global-level policy.

By becoming a member of a global network of top scientists, I will have the opportunity to learn about the complexities of climate science and sustainability through many disciplinary lenses. I plan to explore collaborations that take new, innovative approaches to addressing climate change.

Finally, as a female social scientist, I believe it is critically important for girls to have role models in the social and natural sciences who demonstrate that the ability to be a leader and a scientist are not inherently gendered. I plan to use the visibility of this program to share my knowledge and experiences and to encourage girls to follow their passions in the sciences.

I am incredibly fortunate to have been selected for this program, but I need your support to make it happen!

My Funding Goals

Participating in Homeward Bound costs $31,000 for each participant; a portion of which is covered through grants. Each participant is responsible for $17,000, plus approximately $3,000 for the cost of airfare, visas, and gear. My goal is to raise $20,000 towards the cost of my participation.

Please consider joining me in this exciting journey!

Rewards -
all levels include the rewards from the previous levels

$25.00                   – Shout out on social media to say, “thank you!”

$50.00                    – A postcard from Ushuaia, Argentina - the southernmost city in the world!

$100.00                   - A digital photo of your profile pic (or other favorite shot) in Antarctica! 

$250.00                 – A matted photographic print from the Antarctic expedition 

$500.00                 – A 2020 calendar featuring photos from the Antarctic expedition 

$750.00+               - I will speak at your event/classroom about climate science, the gender gap, and the Antarctic expedition (In-person in NY and DC metro areas; via skype elsewhere)

For each $2,500 that I raise, I will volunteer a day with students or community groups to raise awareness of the critical roles of women in science for addressing the global challenges of climate change and sustainability.

Thank you so much for your support!

  • Kristen Walker 
    • $200 
    • 37 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 41 mos
  • Kerry Schnee 
    • $50 
    • 49 mos
  • Michele B. Morgan 
    • $150 
    • 49 mos
  • Janet Edmond 
    • $100 
    • 49 mos
See all


Patricia Dunne 
Alexandria, VA

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