Department DEI Statement:

We are in the midst of a great struggle, the public mind is widely and deeply agitated; and bubbling up from its perturbed waters whose poisonous miasma demands a constant antidote”    –Frederick Douglass1

 The Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University (DMCS) stands in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and the LBGTQ+ community. Recent social movement has illuminated our internal shortcomings in addressing and overcoming the systemic racism that plagues our society. Our department and the field of Marine Sciences suffer from a lack of diversity that does not reflect our surrounding community nor our nation. We must act now to promote inclusion rather than being complicit by way of inaction.  We will strive to create an inclusive environment free from discrimination and harassment so that all members of our community feel welcomed and able to thrive. We recognize that this mission requires a long-term sustained commitment and that we ourselves must change for it to be successful.  We look forward to both small and large steps towards this brighter future.  To move forward we are suggesting the following action items.

  • Make DMCS a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, as defined by the Rutgers University department of Diversity, Inclusivity, and Community Engagement
    • Diversity refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, age, religion, language, disability status, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, geographic region, and more.
    • Equity refers to actively working to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented full participation across differences in culture and circumstance, specifically redressing the exclusion of historically underrepresented groups in higher education. Attention to equity involves ensuring access, opportunity, and advancement for all students, faculty, and staff in every stage of education and career development.
    • Inclusion refers to the act of creating environments in which individuals and groups feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued by eliminating practices and behaviors that marginalize. An inclusive climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions so that all people can fully participate in the University’s opportunities.
  • Develop an Ethics and Bias course at DMCS, and encourage participation by both students and faculty
  • Provide clear, safe, anonymous pathways for reporting incidents of bias, aggression and harassment in the classroom, lab, or field
  • In coordination with Rutgers DEI office, conduct an annual survey and self-study to assess gaps between current departmental culture and DEI goals
  • Quantitatively assess department-wide diversity, and publish results in the DMCS annual report
  • Develop a sustained outreach program with the New Brunswick School District.
  • Work with a trained search advocate to reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process.
    • Faculty search committee members will attend STRIDE workshop
  • Develop a mentorship program for undergraduate students interested in marine science careers
  • Utilize the NSF REU Research Internships in Ocean Science (RIOS) program as a vehicle for increasing diversity in marine science by actively recruiting students from community colleges, historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), tribal colleges and universities, and Hispanic serving institutions
  • Diversify our seminar series, so that each semester, to the best of our ability, speakers reflect the diversity in our community
  • Develop a page on the departmental website dedicated to DEI issues and events, including readings, university events, resources from professional society and scholarship opportunities.
  • Seek funding to support a dedicated graduate fellowship.
  1. Blight, David W. 2018. Frederick Douglass Prophet of Freedom. Simon and Schuster paperbacks. NY. NY. 10020. 883 p.