Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 18 Issue 01

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Volume 18, No. 1
Pages 51 - 55


Oceanography, Science, and Academia: Women Making a Difference

By Nancy Marcus  
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Oceanography is a multidisciplinary field offering a range of career opportunities for the diversified workforce that exists today. Professionals conducting research or teaching about the oceans are employed in focused, research-oriented oceanographic institutions, and an array of academic institutions from Doctoral/Research Extensive universities to community colleges, industry, and government. The representation of women in professional positions in oceanography, particularly at the highest levels in academia is, however, still highly skewed (Table 1). For example, data collected from 86 universities and four-year colleges with ocean-related programs indicate that in 2002, women comprised 9 percent of the full professors, 18 percent of the associate professors, and 30 percent of the assistant professors (U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, 2004, Appendix 4). These data are similar to other scientific fields (as shown in Table 1). Nevertheless, the field of oceanography has come a long way from the days when women weren’t even allowed on board ships to conduct research. This article examines some of the factors affecting the participation of women in science, and particularly oceanography.


Marcus, N. 2005. Oceanography, science, and academia: Women making a difference. Oceanography 18(1):51–55, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2005.71.

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