2016 Diversity Data for the Field of Marine Biology & Biological Oceanography

2016 Diversity Data for the Field of Marine Biology & Biological Oceanography

Degrees in STEM fields pay approximately 26% more than non-STEM degrees (via Burning Glass Technologies) and since 1990 employment in STEM occupations has grown by 79%, from 9.7 million to 17.3 million (via Pew Research Center). However, the rapid growth in STEM fields has also created large iniquities, such as income, between people of color and their white counterparts, as recent data has shown that the STEM workforce is no more diverse now than in 2001 (via Change the Equation). Furthermore, this is a very unique time for the ocean and geoscience fields, as we are go through the ‘ocean revolution’, in which people, companies, and countries are investing more and more money into studying and extracting natural resources from the ocean, such as Wind and Wave power, minerals and gases, organisms that can serve biomedical and military purposes, and food. Although the ocean makes up 71% of earth, it is the habitat we know the least about. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated that as much as 95 percent of the world's oceans and 99 percent of the ocean floor are unexplored. Because of the projected growth and economic opportunity with the fields of aquatic science, coupled with it the fact that it is a relatively new disciplines, presents the perfect opportunity to ensure that people of color are represented equally within the discipline as it continues to grow.