The inaugural Girls in Ocean Science conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way.
This hands-on conference will connect leading female scientists with 30 high school students. Because women continue to be the minority in many fields of science, the conference and speakers will be encouraging these young women to consider pursuing science-based fields of study.
Students will spend the day conducting research in labs and at sea aboard the Double Dolphin. Female experts will share their lives, careers and interests with local high-school students. Young women who love science or are just beginning to show an interest will gain insight and potential mentors who can educate and guide them in pursuit of a possible future in ocean sciences.
Participating scientists include Holly Lohuis, marine biologist, naturalist, educator, GiOS committee chair, Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Education Committee member, and Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Futures Society member; Penny Owens, education and community outreach director, Santa Barbara ChannelKeepers; Lindsey Peavey Reeves, Ph.D., West Coast Region Sanctuary Soundscape monitoring project coordinator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Conservation Science Division and National Marine Sanctuary Foundation; Erin Jaco, research associate, Vantuna Research Group; and Zoe Scholz, research assistant, Vantuna Research Group.
Why focus on ocean science? Scientific evidence clearly shows that people are causing a decline in the ocean’s health on a global scale. Oceans cover over 70% of the surface of the earth, provide 90% of the living space and are integral to all known life on the planet.
Oceans provide life-giving oxygen, regulate the climate, feed the world with needed protein, provide a place of spiritual connection and sustain the delicate balancing act between living organisms and the physical forces of Earth. Marine scientists are reporting that the oceans are warming and that these warming seas are having a profound effect on oceanic processes and marine life. Today’s loss of ocean biodiversity is staggering.
There is an urgent need to provide opportunities for young women in the community to learn all about maritime and marine science careers so they can feel educated and empowered to help turn this trend around. Through Girls in Ocean Science, participating student scientists will communicate the importance of marine ecology education and introduce students to the unique oceanographic conditions that make the Santa Barbara Channel so productive and diverse with wildlife.
The cost to attend the conference is $20 for SBMM members and $30 for non-members, but scholarships are available at sbmm.org/girls-in-ocean-science-scholarship-application2/_.