Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 32 Issue 01

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Volume 32, No. 1
Pages 217 - 217


Spotlight 14. Gender Balance in Scientific Ocean Drilling

By Anthony A.P. Koppers , Adam Klaus, and Holly Given 
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Over the first five decades of scientific ocean drilling, participation of women has increased significantly throughout the program. During the Deep Sea Drilling Project, expedition leadership included only three female co-chief scientists (1.5%; 1968–1983). The number increased to 17 during the Ocean Drilling Program (7.7%; 1985–2003), dipped to 10 during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (16.1%; 2003–2013), and again increased to 18 during the International Ocean Discovery Program (32.1%; 2014 to present). At the same time, gender and career level diversity within science parties changed. Today, on average, 34% of the science parties are women compared to 12% during DSDP. Graduate students comprise 22% of science parties, and 41% of that total are women. Finally, the current membership of the IODP Science Evaluation Panel is 24% women, and among the more than 1,000 active proponents of the current IODP drilling proposals, more than 20% are women. In the future, the program expects to continue to attract more women into its leadership ranks, many of whom are just now embarking on their first IODP voyages.


Koppers, A.A.P., A. Klaus, and H. Given. 2019. Gender balance in scientific ocean drilling. Oceanography 32(1):217, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2019.149.

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