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Deborah Bronk

Hello TOS members! This month I’d like to challenge us to think about work/life balance and ask…

Is work/life integration a more useful construct?

Work/life balance has largely eluded me for most of my career. It was something I kept hearing I needed to strive for and yet my very unbalanced life was a happy and productive one. The image of a balance that is constantly threatening to crash to one side or the other also never felt like a useful metaphor.

A newer concept is work/life integration and it resonates with me. My work is integral to my life so how can I separate the two? Science isn’t a job that I do eight hours a day to pay the bills so I can go home to live my life. They are completely intertwined and I love it that way!

Work/life integration also has an important focus on community. I think back to colleagues who hid the fact they were pregnant for fear they would not be taken seriously as a scientist. How demoralizing! Today at Bigelow, we strive to build a community that sees and supports scientists as human beings—including the ones with a kid with the flu.

Work/life integration does not mean there are no boundaries between work and other aspects of your life. If you prefer to keep texts, emails, and other notifications from creeping into the time we’ve dedicated to other activities—be bold and limit those intrusions! Responses can wait until your mind is back in work mode.

I challenge us all to find ways to respect and nurture ourselves and our colleagues as we work to integrate the scientist, artist, gardener, caretaker, etc. within us. These experiences may fuel scientific creativity every bit as much as the time we spend at the lab bench.

As always, in perhaps an unbalanced way on occasion, I’m here to serve, so please reach out to me at [email protected] if you have any concerns or ideas of how TOS can better serve its members and the work they do.


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THE OCEANOGRAPHY CLASSROOM. Cooperative Learning in Oceanography
By Anja Møgelvang

This article explores the jigsaw cooperative learning structure, one of the most successful cooperative learning structures in STEM to improve both learning and soft outcomes…

Ocean Observing Focus Topics

It is not too late to provide your input on specific focus topics for the December 2024 Ocean Observing supplement to Oceanography (view the first two supplements). We are also seeking volunteers who would be interested in serving as guest editors for the topics, including early career researchers. The deadline for submission of topic ideas is November 15, 2023.


Anjali Boyd

It was not until my junior year of high school, when I registered for a Marine Science elective class in order to avoid taking Human Anatomy, that I realized I was actually excited by a different kind of science. While taking my marine science class, I quickly became more intrigued by this hidden world called the ocean, so much so that I decided to attend Eckerd College to obtain my degree in marine science.

As a liberal arts college, Eckerd allowed me to not only take the required STEM classes for my major, but also encouraged me to explore other fields and their connection to marine science, such as philosophy, ethics, communication, business, and more. The diverse courses, research experiences, and leadership activities I was exposed to as an undergrad challenged, inspired, and helped prepare me to become the interdisciplinary scientist I am today. However, my first year at Eckerd was one of my most difficult professional experiences. I constantly struggled in my major classes, questioned whether I belonged in my field, was severely homesick, and unable to cope with being the only Black person in all my major classes and most of my STEM classes. Halfway through the year, I met Dr. Lazarre, an Eckerd alumna, marine scientist, and Black woman, who had returned to Eckerd to teach. Throughout her year at Eckerd, she took me under her wing, provided career advice, and helped me apply to internship programs. Thanks to her mentorship and guidance, I was accepted into the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) REU program, which is designed for underrepresented minorities in ocean sciences. Over the course of the10-week program, we honed critical research, scientific writing, and oral communication skills. More importantly, the program helped me build a supportive community of peers!

Today, I am a PhD Candidate and Dean’s Graduate Fellow at Duke University in the Nicholas School of the Environment studying Marine Science and Conservation, in addition to being a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Ford Fellow, and National Geographic Explorer. My ongoing research focuses on developing more efficient and cost-effective management practices to restore and conserve vulnerable marine ecosystems. As a result of my own experiences, I have consistently worked to increase the representation of women and ethnic minorities in ocean science fields. I am a member of the Board of Directors for Black Women in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Science (BWEEMS) and have assisted in growing the organization to over 350 members across 18 countries. I also served as an Early Career Liaison to the US National Committee for UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and have been appointed to serve on numerous committees and task forces at Duke University, Eckerd College, and the Ecological Society of America.

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