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  • Writer's pictureShawn Papi

Envisioning diversity in science with Dr. Ambrose Jearld

A career dedicated to a more representative workforce at NOAA

July 22, 2020 — For NOAA’s 50th anniversary, we are interviewing NOAA Legends: people of color who were “firsts” in NOAA science. Our history is rich with unique stories and experiences of staff from all kinds of cultures and backgrounds - some shared, some very distinct, and many of these stories stretch back before NOAA’s creation. These interviews help us tell the stories behind the motivations, challenges and defining moments these unsung heroes experienced to support NOAA’s mission.

Dr. Ambrose Jearld joined NOAA in 1977, spending his nearly 40-year career as a researcher and later as an administrator at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) Woods Hole Laboratory in Massachusetts. At the time, he was one of the first black fisheries biologists at NOAA and the first with a doctorate degree at NEFSC. Dr. Jearld has carried that legacy with him by working to make fisheries, marine biology, and environmental science more accessible to a diverse body of students and researchers. In 2017, the Woods Hole scientific community honored him by launching the annual Ambrose Jearld Jr. Lecture on Diversity and Inclusion.offsite link

Listen to Dr. Jearld tell his story about improving diversity at NOAA:

You can read the full press release at

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