Women in Oceanography: Autobiographical Sketches

For the first “Women in Oceanography” issue published in
March 2005, Peggy Delaney and I started by sending emails
to women we knew—and asking each recipient to invite two
others to contribute sketches. For this compendium, I began
by sending a similar email to all of the women who contributed
sketches a decade ago—and asked them to forward the
email to two others. The email invitation was also sent to
women who have been involved in MPOWIR. The resulting
200+ autobiographies included in this section thus span the
spectrum from early career, to mid-career, to late career scientists,
and they cover the breadth of oceanography disciplines.

In preparing their autobiographical sketches, we asked
women who did not submit an autobiographical sketch in
2005 to address the same topics suggested a decade ago:
1. Briefly, what are your scientific and research interests?
2. How did you choose your field of study?
3. What have you found most rewarding about being an
ocean scientist and why?
4. What have been your greatest career challenges? How have
you responded to these challenges?
5. How have you balanced your career and personal life? How
has this balance influenced your career choices and your
personal life?
6. Are the conditions for women in your area of the field different
now than when you began your career? If so, how
has that affected your work?
7. What other topics or issues would you like to address?

For women whose sketch was published in the 2005 special
issue of Oceanography, we asked that they:
1. Summarize their employment status 10 years ago.
2. Discuss the career path they have taken since then.
3. Include any challenges they faced and how they handled
4. Provide any advice for young women oceanographers.

Reading these sketches makes me proud to be part of this
amazing community of women oceanographers. I hope
these stories inspire another generation of young women to
become scientists.

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