High octopuses don’t love you back, sextants in space, protect our ocean monuments, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: September 24, 2018

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Foghorn (a call to action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

  • Gulper Eels are amazing. Amazing.
There are approximately 30 vaquitas left in the world Illustration: Mona Chalabi

There are approximately 30 vaquitas left in the world
Illustration: Mona Chalabi

  • There are sextants on the International Space Station and I can’t stop thinking about it.

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Speaking out about sexual harassment in shark science

Dr. Lisa Whitenack is an Associate Professor of Biology of Allegheny College. She is a shark paleobiologist, studying modern and fossil shark teeth over their 400 million year history. While she is also a member of the Board of Directors and acting chair of the Equity and Diversity committee of the American Elasmobranch Society (AES), this piece is not written under the umbrella of AES. Follow her on twitter at @WhitenackLab.

Author’s note: italicized quotations in this piece come from many different female shark researchers who gave Lisa permission to share their stories in this post.


“Funny that all of this Harvey Weinstein nonsense triggers feelings of AES in me…”

Back in mid-October, a colleague of mine sent the above to me in a private message on social media.

Over the last few years, there has been an increase in stories of sexual harassment and assault coming out of the scientific community. There have been papers and commentary published on the prevalence of harassment and assault in STEM fields such as anthropologyastronomy, and geology. There have been some high profile cases that have made it into the popular media as well. It’s easy to point to the fact that some of these fields are male-dominated as an excuse or a reason. Despite the fact that women are well represented in the biosciences, earning approximately 58% of the Bachelors degrees, 57% of the Masters degrees, and 53% of the Doctorates in 2014, the field of biology is not immune from these issues (see these articles about allegations against Ebola researcher Michael Katzemammalogist Miguel Pinto, and molecular biologist Jason Lieb.)

I arranged my desk so he couldn’t sneak up and rub my shoulders anymore.”

Even before the Weinstein news broke, harassment and assault have been at the forefront of my mind, and have been for the last 3 years or so. Until July 2017, part of my committee work at the institution I work at was to evaluate our student code of conduct and to serve on panels for student misconduct cases, including Title IX related cases. As is typical for many female faculty, students tend to visit my office looking for a sympathetic ear or help. Most recently, I have been helping American Elasmobranch Society (AES) write a Code of Conduct for its meetings and am serving as chair of the Equity & Diversity committee. It’s hard to escape these topics when it’s your job. But, it’s really more than just my job. These are issues that infiltrate most aspects of my life, and have for a long time.

“I’ve been told that women can’t do fieldwork.”

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Twitter Ocean Chess, lessons from the Vaquita, awe of the deep, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: November 13, 2017

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

  • Ocean policy news breaking this week. We’ll have a comment template ready to go when it does. Please check back. We can’t announce until we know exactly what we’re dealing with.
  • Still time to register for OceanDotComm! Science Communication folks! Are you ready for OceanDotComm? Register now!

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Wine bottle found in the deep North Atlantic. Laura Robinson, University of Bristol, and the Natural Environment Research Council. Expedition JC094 was funded by the European Research Council.

My wife, on the other hand, is a social scientist who works on development here in Mexico. When we first started dating, I used to tease her for being a soft little scientist in her soft little science. I now understand that helping a community pull itself out of poverty is more complex than brain surgery or quantum physics.

There is no magic equation for community organizing but she begins by understanding that “the community” isn’t some monolithic creature that thinks as a unit. There are complex politics and power dynamics at work that can either aid or destroy all her efforts.

I now understand why the vaquita is going extinct. They sent too many people like me into the region and not enough like her.

source.

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One-eyed sea eagles, deep reefs, crispy jellyfish, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: August 7, 2017.

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

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HAGFISH! Also deep-sea mining, climate change, The Ocean Cleanup, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: July 17, 2017

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

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