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Science & Environment

"Black in Marine Science Week" Recognized Locally

Scientists around the country are celebrating and speaking out for “Black in Marine Science Week.” 

The week features online panel discussions on career growth, celebrates natural hair as a professional look, and focuses on increasing the visibility of Black marine scientists across social media.

“Having an event like this where we all get together has been a revelation,” said Gwyneth Packard, a senior engineer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  

Since Monday, social media has been flooded with hashtags like #IAmNotMyHair, #BlackMarineJoy, and #RealTalkWednesday, where scientists and researchers have shared experiences with racism in the field. 

"We need to change the stigma that turns away [B]lack people from pursuing marine science,” tweeted marine ecologist Ruleo Camacho. “Too often I've been told that I do not look like a marine scientist." 

Packard said the event is not only an opportunity to show the next generation that there’s a place for them, but to foster community among Black scientists in an overwhelmingly white field. 

“To find out there’s other’s people — there’s somebody in California who did it, too, you know? It’s been joyful to see that other people found their way into the field,” she said. 

Panel discussions from the week on everything from mentorship, to brand identity, to what it’s like to be a scuba diver can be found online at