[MARMAM] Discussion Panel on Unpaid Positions in Science

Eric Archer and Tara Cox Ad hoc Diversity Committee diversity at marinemammalscience.org
Tue Nov 17 20:59:56 PST 2020

Dear Colleagues,

We all agree that our marine mammal community, and science in general,
benefits from increased diversity. We all agree that barriers to diversity
and inclusiveness, where they exist, should be dismantled.

In July 2020, the SMM received a petition
that the Society no longer post unpaid positions on our job board, as they
contribute to inequity. This petition created an opportunity for important
dialogue and consideration of the issue to occur. One of the most positive
actions we can take is to facilitate this dialog further and include our
membership to the greatest extent possible. To that end, we host an online
forum with a variety of participants and perspectives on this issue on 25
November 2020 at 8 PM EST (26 November 2020 at 0100 UTC). This will be a
moderated online discussion that will be archived for future watching.

Over the past few months, our colleagues in North America, South America,
Asia and Europe have gathered insights and information from around the
globe regarding the subject of unpaid positions in marine mammal science
and how they help and hinder equity in the field. During this 1-hour panel,
followed by a Q&A session, our moderators and panelists will share their
collective insights and we will continue this discussion in a format
designed to be accessible to our diverse global community. Panelists
include: Eric Archer, Tara Cox, Auriel Fournier and Diane Gendron

Please join us on 25 November 2020 at 8 PM EST (26 November 2020 at 0100
UTC) for this forum. Participation is open to everyone. Registration is
required to participate in this event and it is free to attend.

Link to register:

We know that the timing will not work for all of our widespread members and
we will be taking steps to address that. The conversation will be recorded
and archived so our membership who can't attend will be able to watch at
their convenience. The panel will also respond to follow up questions that
come from these delayed viewings. Most importantly, this is not the end of
the conversation, merely the next step in our growth as a professional

*About the Facilitator and Panelists:*

*Facilitator: *

   - *Eric Archer, PhD* is currently head of the Marine Mammal Genetics
   Program at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, CA. He
   is also co-chair of the ad hoc Diversity and Inclusion Committee in the
   Society of Marine Mammalogy. He is interested in paying forward the
   opportunities he has received and helping to open doors to a wide array of
   people with a curiosity for marine science.


   - *Tara Cox, PhD* is a Professor of Marine Sciences at Savannah State
   University and currently serves as Secretary and co-chair of the ad hoc
   Committee of Diversity and Inclusion for the Society for Marine Mammalogy.
   She has had paid and unpaid interns work in her lab.
   - *Auriel M.V Fournier, PhD* is the Director of Forbes Biological Station
   <https://www.inhs.illinois.edu/fieldstations/forbes/> and an Assistant
   Research Scientist, Wetland Bird Ecologist with the Illinois Natural
   History Survey. In addition to her work as an ornithologist, ecologist she
   studies and publishes research on how unpaid labor impacts scientific
   career paths.
   - *Diane Gendron, PhD* is a professor and researcher on cetacean ecology
   with a particular focus on monitoring blue whales in the Gulf of California
   and promoting conservation of the Northeastern Pacific population. She
   accepts seasonal unpaid interns to work with her program in Mexico and
   provides them with partial support during their time in the field.
   - *Cindy Peter, Msc* is Coordinator of the Sarawak Dolphin Research
   Project, based at the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental
   Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, where she is also a Lecturer.
   Currently the Member-at-Large for SMM, Cindy ran for the position to
   contribute as a voice for members from the developing nation and to
   increase inclusion of Asians in the Society.

Thank you for being a part of this important conversation.

Eric Archer and Tara Cox
Co-Chairs, Ad hoc Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Society for Marine Mammalogy
diversity at marinemammalscience.org
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