Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 27 Issue 04 Supplement

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Volume 27, No. 4

Invited Scientific Papers and Speakers and Fellow Awardees: Little Progress for Women Oceanographers in the Last Decade

Ellen S. Kappel | Geosciences Professional Services Inc., Bethesda, MD, USA
LuAnne Thompson | Program on Climate Change, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

First Paragraph

As part of this supplement to Oceanography, we reviewed how women oceanographers have progressed over the last decade or more in three categories of professional activities: (1) first authors of invited papers to Oceanography special issues, (2) invited speakers or discussion leaders at small conferences, and (3) AGU Ocean Sciences Fellow recipients. The same theme emerges in all the data that we tallied: women are not being invited or are not accepting invitations to write first author papers, are not being invited to speak or are declining invitations at small specialized conferences, and are not being awarded honors from societies commensurate with their numbers in academia when taking into consideration the percentage of women earning PhDs over the last several decades. There has been little improvement in the last decade across all of these areas. The purpose of this article is to raise awareness that gender bias, whether intentional or not, still exists in the representations of women in a wide range of important professional activities in the ocean sciences.


Kappel, E.S., and L. Thompson. 2014. Invited scientific papers and speakers and fellow awardees: Little progress for women oceanographers in the last decade. Oceanography 27(4) supplement:24–28, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2014.110.