Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 36 Issue 4

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Volume 36, No. 4
Pages 169 - 172


FROM THE TOS JEDI COMMITTEE • JEDI Events and Programming for OSM 2024

By James J. Pierson  
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The global ocean sciences community gathers once every two years for the Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) to share research findings, educational advances, technological developments, and applications to management. The meeting provides an opportunity to network with colleagues and forge new connections with ocean scientists from around the world. It is also a time to work toward and reflect on efforts to create a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive ocean sciences community.

The in-person OSM 2020 and virtual OSM 2022 included a variety of activities and events directed toward this goal. Indeed, The Oceanography Society (TOS) Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee was formed as a direct result of conversations that occurred at the 2020 meeting in San Diego, California, USA. OSM 2024 will be held in person February 18–23, 2024, in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, and will feature a variety of activities and events throughout the week to further those efforts. The meeting includes some opportunities for virtual participation. In person, there are workshops, plenary speakers, oral and poster sessions, and social activities scheduled throughout the week that focus on creating a more inclusive ocean science community. The TOS JEDI Committee has compiled a partial list of events scheduled for OSM 2024. In addition, there are presentations throughout the meeting in a variety of sessions that are aimed broadly at increasing JEDI in ocean sciences, so attendees are encouraged to seek those out by searching through the itinerary.


Workshops, Town Halls, and Plenaries


Storytelling for Cultural Transformation: A Workshop for Cultivating Belongingness and Security in the Earth and Ocean Sciences

Sunday, 18 February 2024, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CST
228, Second Floor (Convention Center)

Despite decades of targeted programming, the Earth sciences continue to recruit and retain the lowest numbers of individuals from historically underrepresented communities of any STEM field. This situation necessitates the development of novel approaches in order to transform the hegemonic culture of the geosciences so that people from all backgrounds may contribute to the complex problems facing the geosciences today. To this end, we present an interactive workshop using community storytelling to cultivate belongingness and security among participants and foster creative strategies for dissolving barriers to inclusion for geoscientists with marginalized identities. Participants will gain skills for strengthening a sense of belonging and security within their organizations during this workshop jointly presented by Refugium Consulting and Facilitation Services and Voices of Integrating Culture in Earth Sciences.

Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon to Promote Gender Equity in Ocean Science

Sunday, 18 February 2024, 2:00–4:30 p.m. CST
224, Second Floor (Convention Center)

Women and non-binary persons are underrepresented in ocean science, and their accomplishments are even less represented in both print and online media. A continued effort to ensure diversity and gender inclusiveness in ocean science is essential to unlock more and equitable opportunities. This Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon aims to empower volunteers who want to contribute to promoting the stories of accomplishments of women and non-binary individuals in ocean science by increasing their online presence. As a participant, you will receive training in Wikipedia editing and then asked to edit, add, or translate Wikipedia entries for women and non-binary individuals in ocean science. The event will also feature special guest speakers who will share inspiring stories about their careers in ocean science.

Opening Plenary: Water Tells Stories Through People in Louisiana

Sunday, 18 February 2024, 5:00 p.m. CST
Great Hall A/B

The plenary session will showcase local storytellers who examine the intersection between historical racialized oppression and injustice with various environmental problems in their communities in Louisiana. The storytelling events can be described as “live documentaries” that are designed to create multisensory, immersive experiences. These events combine live storytelling, real-time audio composition, and whole-space projections to create visceral, change-making experiences.



Building a Collective Vision for Ocean and Coastal Sciences

Monday, 19 February 2024, 12:45–1:45 p.m. CST
R02-R03, Second Floor (Convention Center)

Coastal and Ocean STEM Equity Alliance (COSEA) will lead a town hall that will engage OSM participants in a facilitated discussion around the following three themes: (1) opportunities for career development and enhancement of diverse professionals in aquatic sciences, in particular, students, early career professionals and those with historically low access to resources, (2) improvements needed in workplace culture to enable the full participation of diverse people, and (3) building safe, accessible, and inclusive spaces for civic dialogue and public engagement. By drawing on the perspectives and experiences of OSM participants, this town hall will provide a significant opportunity for network-building and collaboration. Findings from the town hall will be synthesized in an article that will be published in EOS.

Turbulent Seas: Addressing Caregiving Challenges in Ocean Science Careers

Monday, 19 February 2024, 12:45–1:45 p.m. CST
217–219, Second Floor (Convention Center)

Juggling a career and family can be difficult in the best of times, and the global pandemic amplified these challenges and struggles. The field of ocean science intensifies these strains with extended schooling creating a late start to careers, remote and lengthy fieldwork, and atypical hours that can bleed into personal time. The inaugural Turbulent Seas virtual session at OSM 2022 encouraged the community conversation on how this industry-wide issue can be addressed. This town hall will provide an inclusive space for attendees to continue sharing perspectives on ways universities, government offices, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations in the ocean sciences can better encourage and retain professionals. We will open with lightning talks that highlight experiences and overcoming challenges while working through the pandemic and back-to-​office scenarios, which will be followed by a panel highlighting mixed-career participants that address and discuss solutions to issues for career professionals with dependents, their managers, coworkers, and staff. We end with break-out conversations to foster greater community involvement. The session will be family-​friendly with activities for children and offer hybrid viewing for those who cannot attend in person.



Here We Are! Addressing the Wikipedia Gender Gap

Tuesday, 20 February 2024, 12:45–1:45 p.m. CST
R08, Second Floor (Convention Center)

The largest encyclopedia has a problem—a gap—specifically a gender gap. Of the roughly 1.5 million biographical articles on the English version of Wikipedia in 2021, only 19% were about women. Join us for a discussion to learn more about the underlying and systemic issues contributing to the gap. Stay for an opportunity to contribute to the solution and change the face of science on the world’s encyclopedia. Instructions for crafting new and editing current Wikipedia entries will be provided to all attendees with a bit of time to get the entry started. A list of suggested people worthy of Wikipedia entries will be provided; however, participants will be encouraged to champion whomever they wish, including themselves.

NSF Ocean Sciences Town Hall

Tuesday, 20 February 2024, 12:45–1:45 p.m. CST
203–205, Second Floor (Convention Center)

Leadership of the Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) at the US National Science Foundation (NSF) will update the community on the latest OCE programmatic, organizational, and budgetary information. We will give updates on our major investments, recent funding decisions, new priority areas, and the new National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Decadal Survey. We will also discuss how OCE is ensuring that broadening participation and workforce development activities are incorporated into research from the start and follow the values of belonging, accessibility, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. The town hall format will be conducive to a conversation with attendees. We look forward to hearing from the community on their questions and concerns regarding ocean science research, broadening participation activities, and infrastructure support.

Supporting Early-Career Researchers in Polar Oceanography

Tuesday, 20 February 2024, 12:45–1:45 p.m. CST
208–209, Second Floor (Convention Center)

To help early career researchers (ECRs) build a supportive community, the Polar Ocean ECR Community Hour supports ECRs by creating a space to share resources, develop skills, and navigate the challenges of working in polar oceanography. To further strengthen this network and facilitate conversations between ECRs, senior researchers, and ocean science programs (including initiatives and societies), we invite all interested participants to share resources and strategies in this town hall. The town hall will have representatives from Accessibility in Polar Research and Pride in Polar Research and will include early career scientists who will share their perspectives and lead a community conversation. All members of the polar oceanographic community, from all career stages and all definitions of “polar oceanography,” are encouraged to participate.

Rainbow Reception

Tuesday, 20 February 2024, 6:00–9:00 p.m. CST
Room 338–339, Third Floor (Convention Center)

This informal social event is an opportunity to share conversation and refreshments with fellow LGBTQIA+ ocean scientists and engineers. We hope to build community and get organized. There is no set schedule, so stop by anytime. This event is primarily intended for people who identify as LGBTQIA+, but allies can support us by spreading the word and encouraging LGBTQIA+ colleagues to attend.



The Oceanography Society JEDI Committee Town Hall: Scientific Societies’ Roles in Building Inclusive Communities

Wednesday, 21 February 2024, 12:45–1:45 p.m. CST
R08, Second Floor (Convention Center)

The TOS JEDI Committee invites participants to focus on three questions: (1) What are some successful models of expanding underrepresented minority participation in ocean and coastal sciences? (2) What can be done to make ocean and coastal careers more accessible? (3) How can we build a just and fair scientific and workplace culture? We invite participation in a variety of formats, including open discussion and written comments, and provide opportunities for anonymous questions and discussion. The session will focus on current and future TOS initiatives, and the role of individuals, institutions, and societies for affecting change. The intended outcome is an expanding network of ideas, actions, and participants working on increasing JEDI.



MPOWIR: Nearly 20 Years of Impact—Looking Toward the Next Chapter

Thursday, 22 February 2024, 12:45–1:45 p.m. CST
R04–R05, Second Floor (Convention Center)

MPOWIR (Mentoring Physical Oceanography Women+ to Increase Retention) began as a community-led initiative in 2005 to address a systemic deficit in the retention of women physical oceanographers at higher career levels compared to their representation at the PhD level. Building community has always been at the center of MPOWIR’s mission, so we invite the entire oceanography community to join a town hall to reflect through storytelling and engage in visioning for the future. A panel of MPOWIR participants will share perspectives on the impact of the program in shaping the careers of women physical oceanographers, highlight the program’s contributions to the discipline of physical oceanography, and share ideas for the future of mentoring and inclusion as the ocean science community evolves. All town hall participants will be engaged in interactive storytelling and feedback to provide a voice to MPOWIR’s next chapter. 

Society for Women in Marine Science: Celebrating Experiences and Promoting the Visibility of Women in the Field

Thursday, 22 February 2024, 12:45–1:45 p.m. CST
210, Second Floor (Convention Center)

The Society for Women in Marine Science (SWMS) aims to increase the visibility of women marine scientists, create a space for networking, and provide professional development opportunities at all career levels. This town hall will convene current and prospective SWMS members, representatives of other affinity groups, and the marine science community at large for a discussion surrounding women’s representation in marine science, status of ongoing initiatives, and best practices for future efforts.



Best practices for successful gender-diverse field expeditions

Friday, 23 February 2024, 12:45–1:45 p.m. CST
220–222, Second Floor (Convention Center)

This town hall hosted by the UNOLS Maintaining an Environment of Respect Aboard Ships (MERAS) Committee invites new and former PIs, team leaders, and anyone hoping to sail in the Academic Research Fleet (ARF) to join in a dialogue centered on creating an inclusive shipboard environment for all genders. The town hall will share resources and recommendations for interpersonal violence prevention, communication, and bettering the living and working areas onboard. During our discussion, we will highlight the experience of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) scientists and crew members on UNOLS ARF vessels, call attention to common difficulties encountered by gender minorities, suggest improved reporting procedures, and recommend best practices for gender inclusivity in future cruise planning. After the panel discussion, we will break into moderated groups to workshop example scenarios and model responses and actions.


Oral and Poster Sessions

ED11, ED12, ED13, ED14
Monday, 19 February 2024
Increasing Inclusion of Diverse Perspectives: Broadening Access of Historically Marginalized or Underserved Populations in the Ocean Sciences

Monday, 19 February 2024
Utilizing Community-Based Science Programs and Experiences to Increase Ocean Literacy in Society

Tuesday, 20 February 2024
Showing Up and Sharing Science: Varying Approaches in Building Capacity and Communicating Science in the Climate Crisis

HD33, HD34
Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Indigenous and Earth System Science Collaborations to Cocreate Knowledge About Coastal Change

Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Adventures, Challenges, and Benefits of Conducting International Collaborative Research


Pierson, J. 2023. JEDI events and programming for OSM 2024. Oceanography 36(4):169–172, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2024.133.

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