Southern Ocean image by San Nguyen.

A Statement from Scripps Institution of Oceanography Leadership

Statement of support and solidarity for our Black community

We want to acknowledge the anger and sadness people worldwide are feeling in light of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and treatment of Christian Cooper. The increasingly escalating rhetoric and violence are making people afraid for their lives, their futures, and the future of reasoned dialogue in our country. These events are yet another reminder of the systemic racism and social divisions in the country, which sit atop the continuing inequities related to COVID-19. 

Scripps Institution of Oceanography condemns racism, these racist acts, the systemic forces that allow and foster them, and the inequalities with which our country still struggles. Black lives matter, and we stand in support and solidarity with our Black community. 

Many of our Black community members are traumatized and in profound pain. Many others in our community are burdened by feeling or being different and feel marginalized. 

Learning and operating under these circumstances can be tremendously difficult. It is not and cannot be business as usual during these challenging times.   

It is time to be more compassionate in our interactions. Reach out to members of your community with offers of genuine support and assistance. Give others space to express their concerns and feelings should they desire to do so. Take the time to educate yourself on the issues of systemic racism and discrimination in our country, in academia, in our fields of science, and in our community.  

We recognize that UC San Diego and Scripps still have work to do in the recruitment of faculty, students, and staff of color, and expansion of programs that increase retention and support their success.

We are committed to do whatever can be done within our institution to make sure everyone feels that they belong, that they matter, and that they can succeed. 

Please reach out to Scripps leadership directly if you need support or would like to express your concerns. We’ve included other resources below if you wish to find support or take action.

Campus Resources: 

Use resources provided by UC San Diego’s Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Information on how to access Campus Community Centers and more can be found here:

Encourage students to contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 858-534-3755 or

Faculty and staff can access the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 858-534-5523 or

Where to donate to support Black students at UC San Diego: 

Support students of color by giving to one of the following funds or organizations: 


Margaret Leinen
Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Vice Chancellor and Dean for Marine Sciences

Bruce Appelgate
Associate Director, Ship Operations and Marine Technical Support

Keiara Auzenne
Director of Diversity Initiatives

Doug Bartlett
Deputy Director for Research and Associate Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences

Patrick Callaghan
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance & Operations

Peter Franks
SIO Department Chair and Deputy Director for Education

Sarah Gille
SIO Department Vice Chair

David Hanses
Executive Director of Development

Harry Helling
Executive Director, Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Kathleen Ritzman
Assistant Director for Research Planning & Government Relations

Lauren Fimbres Wood
Director of Strategic Communications

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