Diversity Awards at Scripps


On Tuesday, February 9, UC San Diego recognized members of the university community at the 15th Annual Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action & Diversity Awards Ceremony. Exemplifying the Principles of Community that UCSD stresses and strives to maintain, four members of Scripps Institution of Oceanography were recognized for their efforts to achieve the goals of equality, professionalism, and diversity throughout the past year and beyond.

Diversity is valued and celebrated at Scripps, both on campus and outside the classroom and lab. David Murline, a captain of the Scripps research fleet, has been visiting the port city of Punta Arenas, Chile since the mid-1980s. There Capt. Murline and his crew have for years been providing field trips aboard Scripps ships and raising funds for children at Hogar del Niño Miraflores, a local orphanage. Murline received an award for his continued generosity of more than two decades and helping to lift the spirits of these disadvantaged youth.

Scripps diversity was also recognized locally at the Scripps Nimitz Marine Facility. Joan Durkin, who has been with UCSD for more than 27 years and has spent the last 17 years with Scripps Ship Operations and Technical Support, has maintained a high level of excellence in building a diverse workforce. Presented with a Vice Chancellor Recognition award for Marine Sciences, Durkin’s efforts have built a talented and positive workforce that has been invaluable to the success of Scripps sea-going operations.

Mona Morshedabbasi, the Scripps Oceanography representative for the UCSD Human Resources Outreach Council, received an award for her involvement in promoting equal opportunity in the workplace. The council reaches out to the San Diego community by participating in off-campus career fairs and résumé-writing workshops to build and sustain workplaces that reflects San Diego’s diverse population.

“It's rewarding going out into the community and providing this useful information to people who might not otherwise know about it. I enjoy showing people the variety of opportunities that are available at Scripps and UCSD,” said Morshedabbasi.

Another Scripps staff member who was recognized for her involvement in the community is Paola López-Duarte, a postdoctoral employee in the Integrative Oceanography Division. López-Duarte has been an active member of the Grassroots Diversity Action Working Group (GDAWG) for almost two years and has participated in its Saturday science booth at the farmers market in the City Heights community of San Diego. The booth is equipped with Science Exploration Activities (SEA) and displays used by the education department at Birch Aquarium at Scripps. López-Duarte was one of the first people to volunteer her time at the farmers market and continues helping every Saturday, even dedicating some of her own funds to get supplies for the booth.

“Volunteering at the City Heights Farmers Market is extremely important to me,” she said. “I believe outreach in underprivileged communities is urgent and necessary if we want younger generations to care about the environment, find science exciting, and ultimately choose to go into careers that are currently lacking in diversity."

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