Belonging in Marine Science — The Nature Conservancy in Washington



For Dr. Moore, these comments were as good as a betrayal and grounds for questioning her merits & value. Once again, the fear that she did not belong was suddenly triggered. “Literally, my whole world crashes… While I am on this educational journey, I am losing hope, feeling it doesn’t really matter what I do. Maybe I’ll never be good enough. I was really struggling with that,” she says. These and many other instances of overt racism sent Dr. Moore into a depression, and subsequently, she survived multiple suicide attempts. “I couldn’t believe a place I chose to be triggered the same feelings of not being wanted there or not belonging. One night I tearfully asked myself, would I ever belong anywhere? Recognizing that familiar feeling of hopelessness, I knew I needed to get help, “she reflects. 

bims redefines belonging in marine science

Healing from these incidents meant beginning therapy, facilitating difficult conversations with her family members, and never giving up on her career in marine science—beginning work at TNC in July 2019. With the leadership of Dr. Phil Levin, Lead Scientist for TNC’s work here in Washington state, Dr. Moore’s eDNA research produced interesting findings that can help inform restoration of biodiversity in coastal forests. Dr. Levin recognizes Dr. Moore’s intervention in marine science includes stewarding BIMS, and he was an early advocate who approved adding BIMS duties to her TNC job description. “Dr. Moore’s eDNA study is an example of research that can inform conservation of a vital ecosystem that supports the wellbeing of the region’s diverse residents. Furthermore, it has been an honor to watch Dr. Moore grow into a leader who  creates so many opportunities for brilliant, yet often overlooked, thinkers in our field,” said Levin. 


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