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Marine Science and Conservation, 2015 Dean’s Award Winner

Marine Science and Conservation

Dean’s Award for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education
Chair: Cindy Van Dover, Harvey W. Smith Professor of Biological Oceanography
Director of Graduate Studies: Lisa Campbell, Rachel Carson Associate Professor of Marine Affairs and Policy


Marine Science and Conservation

The Marine Science and Conservation (MSC) division is housed within the Nicholas School of the Environment, with most of its faculty and students based at the Duke University Marine Lab (DUML) in Beaufort, North Carolina. Over the past several years, MSC has actively worked to increase diversity among faculty, research staff, and students at the lab.

The division’s Ph.D. program in marine science and conservation currently has 38 students, including 27 women, five international students, and five students from underrepresented minority groups. The division is engaged in several outreach efforts to increase participation by underrepresented groups in graduate studies in marine science and conservation, including:

  • Sending graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty from the DUML on annual visits to three minority-serving institutions with marine science programs to speak with and advise undergraduates
  • Recruiting and hosting up to 10 students and practitioners from around the world each year
  • Providing fellowships for non-Duke undergraduates, particularly those from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, to spend a semester at the DUML
  • Recruiting underrepresented students for a 10-week residential summer research opportunity in estuarine and coastal marine science
  • Offering endowments to defray the cost of summer courses for minority students

The division has also engaged in other diversity initiatives, such as:

  • Making diversity a focus in its professional development program
  • Working to increase the number of minority speakers in the DUML’s weekly seminar series
  • Having a staff member and a Ph.D. student on the Nicholas School Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect (staff specialist Belinda Williford is one of the primary authors of the school’s diversity plan)
  • Initiating LGBT diversity awareness and training at the DUML