I attended PODS V (Physical Oceanography Dissertation Symposium) last week in Hawaii. It was very interesting (and inspiring) to listen to the research talks from 25 new or soon-to-be PhDs in physical oceanography. Five of the PODS attendees were Pattullo “alums”: Catherine Edwards, Melanie Fewings, Stephanie Waterman, Eleanor Williams and Sarah Zedler. The six of us had a chance to have lunch together to catch up and to discuss how PODS and Pattullo might best be coordinated. The general sentiment was that the overall format of the two conferences should remain the same, but that it might work to “bring a bit of Pattullo to PODS”. This sentiment stems from a universal desire to provide more gender-neutral mentoring to the junior physical oceanography community. While all agreed that for now there are good reasons to keep Pattullo focused on junior women, everyone also agreed that the junior men in the community could also and should also benefit from some of the professional development opportunities that were offered at Pattullo. This sentiment was also expressed by the senior attendees at Pattullo and has been a discussion item for some time among the MPOWIR steering committee members. Now that I have had a firsthand look at PODS, I am in a better position to make some recommendations for how we might further expand the reach of MPOWIR.
– Susan Lozier
More information about PODS is available at http://www.pods-symposium.org/