Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 21 Issue 03

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Volume 21, No. 3
Pages 38 - 43

Women in Oceanography: 20 Years of Progress, Change, and Challenge

Larry Clark | Retired, National Science Foundation
Jim Yoder | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Marcia McNutt | Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marie C. Colton | NOAA National Ocean Service

First Paragraph

I may have a slightly casual view on the changing role of women in ocean sciences. When I went to work at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1979, my first two supervisors were women. And when I retired from NSF 27 years later, I answered to a female director of the Division of Ocean Sciences. Along the way, I worked with many very dedicated, talented, and intelligent women who were making a positive contribution to our knowledge of the ocean. For several years, the Director of NSF and the Assistant Director for Geosciences, both women, were ocean scientists. So, I seldom, if ever, thought it strange, different, or extraordinary that the scientist with whom I was working happened to be a woman.


Clark, L., J. Yoder, M. McNutt, and M.C. Colton. 2008. Women in oceanography: 20 years of progress, change, and challenge. Oceanography 21(3):38–43, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2008.33.