Chief’s advice for women in science

This article was originally published on an archived WAMSI website. Some media or links may appear missing or broken. You can use the search function to look for these, or contact info@wamsi.org.au for a specific request.

Always say yes to an opportunity and work out the details later. That was the advice handed out by CSIRO Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley at a keynote International Women’s Day address to marine scientists in Perth.

The event, organised by institutions at the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre, saw more than 100 scientists and support staff come together for a series of lightning talks and Dr Foley’s views on why and how to have women in the mix.

Dr Foley, who was appointed to the role of Chief Scientist at the national research agency in August 2018, says when more women work, economies grow so it makes good economic sense.

“Statistics show that businesses with women senior executives are 15 per cent more likely to financially outperform their counterparts,” Dr Foley said. “Nationally, closing the gender gap would boost GDP by 11 per cent and increasing the number of women in leadership positions would boost economic activity by 20 per cent.”

 

CSIRO Chief Scientist Cathy Foley addresses marine scientists and support staff at the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre IWD2020 symposium

 

The statistics also reveal that women in their late 30’s to early 40s are most at risk.

“When women reach their late 30’s to early 40s that’s when we tend to see the split between those who continue a steady path to build on their successes and those whose career stalls, and the problem is complex.“

On the topic of how to empower women to get their career trajectory back on track, Dr Foley handed out some personal advice.

“Women can’t ask directly for resources or opportunity without been considered inappropriate.” Dr Foley said. “So I say feel free to tell your employer: ‘I was speaking with CSIRO Chief Scientist Cathy Foley and she advised me to ask you ….’ I have seen it work!”

A panel discussion with Dr Foley, UWA Oceans Institute Director Dr Peter Veth, Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) CEO Dr Luke Twomey, Director of CSIRO Oceans, Atmosphere Dr Tony Worby and Dr Karen Miller from the Australian Institute of Marine Science opened up a discussion on promoting opportunity.

Panel members Dr Worby and Dr Twomey highlighted that CSIRO and WAMSI had achieved institutional goals to have equal gender representation on both executive teams and boards.

 

IWD2020 Panel members address questions:  (L-R)  – CSIRO Chief Scientist Cathy Foley, UWA Oceans Institute Director Dr Peter Veth, Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) CEO Dr Luke Twomey, Director of CSIRO Oceans, Atmosphere Dr Tony Worby and Dr Karen Miller from the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

 

IWD2020 three-minute lightning talk presenters

 

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Western Australia’s largest marine environmental information database

This article was originally published on an archived WAMSI website. Some media or links may appear missing or broken. You can use the search function to look for these, or contact info@wamsi.org.au for a specific request.

Western Australia’s capability to respond to environmental pressures including marine heatwaves, oil spills and fish kills, has been significantly improved by the development of a ground-breaking initiative that will see hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of government and industry survey information made publicly available.

The Index of Marine Surveys for Assessments (IMSA) portal was launched last night by the Minister for Water; Forestry; Innovation and ICT; Science; Youth; the Hon Dave Kelly MLA.

 

(L-R) Minister for Science Hon. Dave Kelly MLA, WAMSI CEO Luke Twomey, Executive Director DWER Nygarie Goyal, EPA Chair Tom Hatton, Executive Director Pawsey Supercomputing Centre  Mark Stickells and WAMSI Chair Paul Vogel at the launch of IMSA

 

 

The new online platform, developed by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI), provides the first free access to vast amounts of environmental impact assessment data that would otherwise be locked away.

WAMSI Chair Paul Vogel said IMSA achieves a key priority identified in the WA Blueprint for Marine Science.

“Data sharing is integral to the research that will address the information needs of industry and regulators,” Dr Vogel said. “Achieving this major milestone within the first five years of the Blueprint is an outstanding accomplishment and I congratulate all those involved.”

DWER Director General Mike Rowe said it’s estimated that more than $50 million per year is spent undertaking marine surveys for environmental impact assessments in Western Australia.

“By collating and providing access to existing data, IMSA will lead to lasting benefits for industry, Government, the community and the environment,” Mr Rowe said. “It will result in more efficient assessments and an expanded knowledge base of the State’s vast and unique marine environment.”

The portal, called BioCollect, is provided by Atlas of Living Australia. It will provide access to marine survey reports, metadata and map layers as well as the processed data products and raw data packages which will be stored at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre.

Related Links:

Index of Marine Surveys for Assessments (IMSA) portal

DWER media statement

IMSA launch photos

 

An artist’s expedition to the deep sea Bremer Canyon

This article was originally published on an archived WAMSI website. Some media or links may appear missing or broken. You can use the search function to look for these, or contact info@wamsi.org.au for a specific request.

By Angela Rossen

The Falkor research vessel at this moment is floating above the Bremer Canyon. Below us the remotely controlled vehicle explores the depths beaming up footage. It is operated from the control room by the engineers who navigate the cliffs and sandy flats of the canyon and employ almost surgical precision to collect particular specimen.

This exploration builds on the research of Dr Macolm McCulloch begun years ago. It is exciting that this team of scientists from institutions around the world, led by our own Dr Julie Trotter, is undertaking this work with state of the art equipment.

 

The RV Falkor control room 

 

The Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), the conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD), and the Multibeam instruments have been in operation harvesting information throughout the last four weeks. We have only one week left of this amazing treasure hunt. The CTD has harvested water samples at every depth that are being analysed against a number of criteria. The benthic topographic maps that have been almost constantly generated during this voyage will fill in the gaps of our knowledge and understanding of these three great West Australian canyons.

 

Photos of foraminifera brought up from the depths 

 

It has been fascinating to watch the video footage of the deep where no sunlight goes where communities of corals and associated animal live far beyond our imagination. Some of these species we gaze upon have never been seen before. The video footage beamed up and samples brought to the surface will be the subject of research for years as their secrets are carefully unravelled in the laboratories of the scientists contributing to this exciting endeavour.

I continue drawing, painting and photographing these wonders.

Everyone is invited to watch the live steam of ROV footage narrated by the Dr Marco Taviani of the Institute of marine Sciences in Bologna. Marco’s inspired story telling takes one deep into the past from our present day vantage to understand the secrets of these deep silent places.

The link on the Schmidt Oceans Institute website to watch live streams is Live from R/V Falkor on the Schmidt Ocean Institute website.

The best way to get updates about when live streaming is happening is to subscribe to the YouTube channel – and get email updates everytime livestreaming begins. Events are promoted on the social media channels, so if you follow on Facebook or Twitter, you will get updates.
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WAMSI Announces New Strategic Board and Chair

This article was originally published on an archived WAMSI website. Some media or links may appear missing or broken. You can use the search function to look for these, or contact info@wamsi.org.au for a specific request.

After more than 10 years in operation, the Western Australian Marine Science Institution has undergone a major governance review and on Thursday (26 March) welcomed a new board led by Dr Paul Vogel AM as chair.

The reinvigorated board replaces the existing research and government partnership representatives who have led the institution through three major research programs that have vastly improved our understanding of the Western Australian marine environment.

The board membership, which reaches an institutional milestone for WAMSI with a more balanced gender representation, consists of:

  • Dr Paul Vogel (Chair), Non-executive board director and strategic consultant
  • Dr Debra Cousins, Executive Director, Science and Innovation, Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation
  • Dr Ian Cresswell, Environmental Scientist
  • Mr Bruce Lake, Director and previous Chair of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA)
  • Dr Rod Lukatelich, Non-Executive Director and Consultant
  • Dr Rochelle Macdonald, CEO Mid West Ports Authority and Non Executive Director Ports Australia
  • Ms Shirley McPherson, member of the official Australian Delegation to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples.

The focus for WAMSI’s new skills-based and independent board will be on delivering key priorities in the WA Government’s Blueprint for Marine Science and seeking further opportunities for collaborative, strategic marine research.

“I am delighted to be appointed as chair to continue the great work of WAMSI under a much improved governance structure with exciting prospects for further strategic and collaborative marine research to benefit all our stakeholders that will also deliver enhanced economic, environment and social outcomes for WA,” Dr Vogel said.

WAMSI CEO Dr Luke Twomey echoed the need for a strategic change.

“Times have changed since WAMSI was launched in 2007,” Dr Twomey said. “I’m optimistic that this structure will help us to move into a new strategic phase that responds to the changing economic climate.”

“I’d like to welcome the new board and chair and thank the outgoing board members for their valuable contribution,” Dr Twomey said. “I’d especially like to thank Bruce Lake, for stepping in as interim chair to oversee the governance review process.”

The new board will meet again in April 2020.

RELATED LINKS

WAMSI Board

Paul Vogel to Chair Western Australian Marine Science Institution

This article was originally published on an archived WAMSI website. Some media or links may appear missing or broken. You can use the search function to look for these, or contact info@wamsi.org.au for a specific request.

Following a major governance review, the Western Australian Marine Science Institution has welcomed Dr Paul Vogel AM as the new chair of its board. Paul brings a wealth of knowledge and experience across three jurisdictions in environmental impact assessment, regulatory reform and achieving strategic environmental outcomes.

Currently a non-executive board director and strategic consultant, Dr Vogel was chair of Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) from 2007 – 2015. Prior to that he was the inaugural chief executive and chair of the South Australian EPA from 2002 – 2007.

Dr Vogel has also held senior executive positions in the WA Departments of the Premier and Cabinet and Environmental Protection. He holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Western Australia.

Dr Vogel is chair of the national Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He was appointed to the Northern Territory (NT) EPA in January 2016 and became Chairman of the NT EPA and a member of the NT Planning Commission in November 2016.

WAMSI would like to thank Bruce Lake, who stepped in as interim chair of the board in January 2019 to oversee WAMSI’s governance review process. Bruce Lake is Director and previous Chair of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) and was a member of the Premier’s Roundtable discussions to guide the foundation of a long-term collaboration between all sectors operating in WA’s marine environment.

The process of filling positions on the new WAMSI board is underway. The focus for WAMSI’s new skills-based and independent board will be on delivering key priorities in the WA Government’s Blueprint for Marine Science 2050 and seeking further opportunities for collaborative, strategic marine research.