Ocean Currents 7/24/20

Dear Fellow Oceanographers,

Assessing Systemic Racism within our School: The school’s culture survey, crafted by a group of faculty, staff, and graduate students, is in its test phase. Thank you to everyone who worked on this so far, especially Anna, Tansy, Katy, Erik and Sarah, each of whom has made substantial contributions and improvements. Thanks also to the subset of faculty who are testing it out, and to the graduate students who have sent in comments and suggestions. The revised survey will be released to everyone on August 5th.    

The 1st draft of the School’s Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is still rough so I have not released it yet, but I will get faculty feedback next week and then open it up for general comments and improvements. I took the lead on this since the Faculty Council has been working on budget and community issues and the DEI committee is finishing up their BRIDGE application. The School’s next Town Hall will occur at the beginning of fall quarter, at which time we all will have had a chance to improve our strategic plan for removing systemic racism from our school. Also, a report on the culture survey and the raw data will be released before the town hall.

Afloat Bingo and the Pandemic: Don't forget to fill out the Ocean "Bingo" form for this week. For those of you who have been participating since the beginning, you will be eligible to win an enamel pin! For those of you who are just starting, there's still time to catch up. Looks like our community is still masking up in public, and also going on safe outdoor adventures and reading books. Keep up the good work. It is sobering to see our state move backwards with the pandemic, but our School is still sticking together. Thanks. 

The R/V Thomas G Thompson is at sea proudly sailing the UW flag. Kudos to Deb Kelley and her Regional Cabled Array team members for their excellent planning to make this cruise possible during the pandemic. Kudos also to Robert, Meegan and the entire Ship Operations team for their continued outstanding efforts.     

Celebrating Professor Charlie Eriksen’s Retirement:  No, I don’t mean that we are glad you retired Charlie! This week I wish a happy and healthy retirement to Dr. Charlie Eriksen, who has been a member of the School since 1986. Charlie achieved many things in his career, including being a Sverdrup Lecturer of AGU and being named an AGU fellow in 2016. You may remember Charlie for leading the team that invented the Sea Glider or for being amazed (bemused?) after reading one of his dozens of papers. I however, will always remember Charlie because of the years we taught the senior thesis together. One time Charlie somehow got permission to bring fireworks aboard the Thompson in order to give our seniors a New Year’s Eve party while we were at sea off the coast of Hawaii. It was quite a blast (insert groan here!). Thanks for the memories Charlie, and I look forward to more years of interaction now that you are emeritus.

--Rick

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