Online Conversations for Equity, Action, and Networking in Marine Sciences (OCEAN)

Online Conversations for Equity, Action, and Networking in Marine Sciences (OCEAN)

Guest post by Kelly Luis

OCEAN is a webinar series committed to amplifying early-career Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) working in marine environments. OCEAN is a pilot initiative hosted by the School for the Environment Graduate Student Anti-Racism Taskforce at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and is funded by Woods Hole Sea Grant. The OCEAN webinar series invites early-career BIPOC in New England to present the fullness of their research and stories across three different platforms: 1) Department Seminar 2) Podcast 3) Informal Undergraduate Conversation. We envision the department seminar as a place for speakers to share their research and work, the podcast as an opportunity to blend their work and story for a broadcast audience, and the informal undergraduate conversation as a space of inspiration and connection for UMB undergraduates. Nominations and self-nominations are welcome until October 1st and can be submitted here: Nomination Form.

Each OCEAN speaker will be awarded a $250 honorarium and will be supported by a mentoring team, podcast production team, and the OCEAN project team. The mentoring team will be composed of UMB faculty and aquatic researchers and professionals dedicated to supporting the career advancement of each speaker. Examples of supporting activities include providing resources and support for developing a department seminar, providing feedback on their seminar, and building speakers professional networks. The podcast production team will work with each speaker to develop and produce their podcast and the OCEAN project team will coordinate the logistics, advertising, and event recruitment for each of the speaker’s platforms.

The call for OCEAN speaker nominations is something every marine researcher or professional can participate in. Please ask yourself, “Do I know an early-career BIPOC to nominate?” If not, get involved with diversity, equity, and inclusion discussions at your institution to support the recruitment and retainment of BIPOC. If you do know someone, do you know them well enough to write a strong nomination letter? If you can’t, find and create ways for you and your institutions to know this person beyond their BIPOC marker. If you can write a strong letter, convince others to write strong nomination letters to support this person. Most importantly, the OCEAN series was conceived to spark online conversations in New England, but these questions and this framework for amplifying early career BIPOC marine scientists and professionals can be taken to your own water’s edge. 

If you have additional questions, please contact Kelly Luis at [email protected].

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