Woods Hole Sea Grant is committed to building inclusive marine science programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives, and ways of thinking. To help further this mission, the program has awarded funding to seven projects aimed at taking steps toward addressing the issue.
“Woods Hole Sea Grant recognizes the need for innovative solutions to address the gross lack of diversity in our field,” said Director Matt Charette. “These projects include concrete steps to meaningfully improve diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) not only in the sciences, but across all walks of life,” Charette said. "It’s our hope that these projects will in turn inspire others, lead to additional efforts and make a noticeable impact.”
The funded projects and their principal investigators (PI) are:
· Cape Cod Regional STEM Network Teacher-In-Residence Program (Bridget Burger, PI), to create partnerships between marine science institutions and teachers from under-represented minority (URM) populations in STEM, or those who teach students in URM populations.
· University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST); (Steven Cadrin, PI) to support a marine science internship program for New Bedford High School students from under-represented groups.
· Northeastern University Marine Science Center (Randall Hughes, PI) to help support costs associated with initiation, capacity building and workshops to implement a summer research internship program for under-represented minority populations.
· Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Hauke Kite-Powell, PI) to broaden the diversity and inclusion of members of the Gender and Sexual Minority (GSM) community through science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) learning sessions and a geoscience lab experience at local colleges.
· University of Massachusetts, Boston (Kelly Luis, PI) to create a webinar series facilitating online conversations for equity, action and networking at the university through the amplification of four Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) early career marine researchers and professionals.
· Woods Hole Partnership Education Program (PEP); (Onjalé Scott Price, PI) to expand upon the existing PEP program and launch a pilot, post-baccalaureate summer research opportunity in Woods Hole for two recently graduated seniors from underrepresented minority groups to develop the skills, networks, and experiences required to competitively enter the marine workforce or graduate school. The project will also partner with public K-12 schools in Falmouth to develop marine and environmental science lesson plans.
· Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Collin Ward, PI) to offer a four-part seminar series providing the Woods Hole science community an opportunity to learn from leading psychologists and sociologists currently researching DEI topics, providing data informing discussions DEI within the research community and aiding in the building of a more aware community.
Based at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Woods Hole Sea Grant program supports research and education, and an extension program in concert with the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, that encourage environmental stewardship, long-term economic development, and responsible use of the nation’s coastal and ocean resources. It is part of the National Sea Grant College Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a network of 34 individual programs located in each of the coastal and Great Lakes states.