Diversity and Equity at SML

Dear SML Community,

At SML, we believe the sustainability of our oceans depends on embracing a rich diversity of talent, perspectives, cultures, and experiences. We have a long way to go to make that a reality. In light of recent racial injustices, we have taken a hard look at ourselves, diversity at SML, and importantly, our policies and practices. While we have taken action to enhance equity within SML, they are only the first steps, and we must do more. We are committing to fostering a culture of equity that will build a broader foundation for science, education, and outreach.

We understand that anti-racist behaviors, principles, and actions are critical to meeting the mission of our organization and ensuring our community can thrive. We believe our work should begin with the core of our community - the SML staff. We are learning individually and as an organization how to recognize and identify the impacts of systemic racism at SML, in marine science, academia, and beyond. This fall semester, we are working with New Hampshire Listens and other Cornell/UNH resources to develop a learning program that will deepen our understanding of institutional racism, unconscious bias, micro-aggression, allyship, and inequality. Our learning program will include engaging with our community to identify any barriers and challenges to eliminating inequities, setting goals, and defining actions that will enable us to make meaningful change. 

To those who want immediate action, we hear you, and you are making a difference. This work is urgent, but we won’t compound harm by rushing. We ask for your patience and partnership as we build our collective understanding and capacity for this critical work that will sustain our programs and systemic change over the long haul. We are grateful for your commitment to helping us craft a vision for what SML can be: a place for supporting a diverse community of individuals with a shared passion for conservation and sustainability of our oceans. 

We are committed to the following actions, and we are eager for this list to evolve:

  1. Educating ourselves about institutional and individual racism with the help of New Hampshire Listens and other resources.
  2. Identifying mechanisms to open safe modes of communication for reporting and discussing issues of discrimination and barriers to equity at SML.
  3. Defining recruiting/advertising paths and best practices for diversifying our programs and staff.
  4. Engaging people of color and diverse individuals in career panels and SML marine science seminars.
  5. Working with our home institutions to incentivize and enhance participation of students of color and from diverse backgrounds in our research, teaching, and training programs.
  6. Joining forces with our home institutions to understand systemic racism and identify institutional policies and practices to address and change.

This work is our shared responsibility and opportunity. As such, we are taking progressive action towards building equity and diversity within our community and in science.

Dr. Jennifer Seavey, Executive Director
Dr. David Buck, Associate Director
Isabel Aley, Director of Community Relations
Samantha Claussen, Program Support Assistant
Dr. Elizabeth Craig, Academic Coordinator, Tern Conservation Program Manager
Ross Hansen, Director of Facilities and Planning
Collin Love, Communications Coordinator
Dr. Gregg Moore, Academic Coordinator
Michael Rosen, Director of Operations
Becca Toppin, Diving Safety Officer
Dr. Eugene Won, Academic Coordinator

Racism 101

  1. Systemic racism explained
  2. Books about racism
  3. Racial justice and ally resources
  4. Resources compiled by Cornell


  1. Academics for Black Survival and Wellness
  2. Little things matter in academia
  3. Academia is not a safe haven
  4. Costs of academic racism


  1. Racism in academic sciences
  2. Black scientists highlight issues on twitter
  3. Racism in STEM
  4. Action needed to address racism in STEM fields