Published July 02, 2020 by The Department of Earth and Oceanographic Science, Bowdoin College

We acknowledge and stand in solidarity

Hashtag and logo for  Black in Geoscience
Used here with permission, the #BlackinGeoscience (Black in Geoscience) logo was designed by Lucía Pérez-Díaz. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

We, the faculty and staff of the Earth and Oceanographic Science Department , stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We share in the grief and outrage over the murders and violent acts against Black lives at the hands of the police, as well as the persistent criminalization of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. 

We recognize that our field has benefited from the achievements, dedication, and hard work of Black, Indigenous and other people of color, even though this work has often been undervalued and unattributed. We understand that the science we teach, the science we do, and the scientists we amplify in our courses and our research have developed within a culture of white supremacy. The outcomes of our work have real world implications that can support or deny communities of important resources, policies, and regulation.  

Some of our society’s grand challenges include developing a more robust, sustainable, and equitable energy supply; managing diminishing water resources; assessing risks from natural (and unnatural) hazards; and interpreting and predicting Earth’s response to climate change, all of which can disproportionately impact communities of color. Addressing these grand challenges will require the insight and talents of diverse people with diverse perspectives and ways of knowing. We commit to working on these challenges with our colleagues, our research partners, and our students.  

Our work of understanding the system and culture of white supremacy that perpetuates and reinforces racial injustice is ongoing. We commit to creating space and dedicating time and resources toward intentional discussion of how racism has affected and continues to affect our science and our scientific communities. We commit to assessing our teaching and our practices to challenge the various ways these forces show up in the sciences and to work towards our objective of dismantling systemic racism in our field. We are committed to developing and regularly reflecting on a strategic plan of anti-racist actions that we will take to work towards this objective.  

The work of Earth and oceanographic science is both local and global; it is of the past, present, and future. Our work requires observation, data collection, interpretation, and effective communication. We recognize that these seemingly objective skills are impacted by the lenses of our individual experiences. We further recognize that race, gender, sexuality, class, nationality, ability, power inequities, and the intersectionality of social and political identities affect our lenses and our experiences. 

We are committed to expanding the scope of our lenses, centering the voices of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color in our classes, laboratories, seminars, and in the field, and focusing on actions that will contribute to a future that is equitable and just.