What is MPOWIR?
Mentoring Physical Oceanography Women to Increase Retention (MPOWIR) is a community-led and community-based program that provides mentoring to female physical oceanographers from late graduate school through their early careers.

How do I join MPOWIR?
MPOWIR isn’t a group you join so much as a network you participate in. We sponsor events, provide mentoring opportunities, build professional networks, and facilitate discussions with scientists across the country. Some offerings (such as MPOWIR sponsored town hall meetings) are open to everyone while some opportunities are only available to participants meeting specific criteria. If you are new to MPOWIR and would like more information about any of our programs, please contact us.

I am a master’s student, how can I get involved?
Join our mailing list or subscribe to our blog feed. You will receive announcements about MPOWIR as well as relevant articles and job postings. We also hope to see you at an MPOWIR sponsored event at a national meeting.

I am a male scientist, how can I get involved?
That depends on your career stage.

If you are a Ph.D. student, join our mailing list or subscribe to our blog feed. You will receive announcements about MPOWIR as well as relevant articles and job postings. Each fall, we solicit survey responses from male and female graduate students. You will not only help us gather important data about your graduate experience, you will also be entered in a drawing to win an Amazon.com gift card. We also hope to see you at an MPOWIR sponsored event at a national meeting.

If you are a senior scientist, we hope you will consider joining the steering committee or attending the Pattullo Conference. Both opportunities are by invitation only, but you may contact us to express an interest. And if you have female graduate students in your department, please inform them about MPOWIR.

Regardless of your career stage, please spread the word about MPOWIR among you colleagues. You can also send suggestions for this website and contributions to MPOWIR blog to Sarah Clem.

I do not work in the United States, can I get involved?
Most MPOWIR offerings are for female junior scientists at U.S. establishments, including universities, government labs, and research institutions who self-identify as physical oceanographers. This is because MPOWIR is funded by federal grants, which aim to support scientists living and working in the United States. We do make exceptions, particularly for physical oceanographers who obtained their Ph.D. in the U.S. or would like to find permanent employment in the U.S. Please contact us if you have additional questions.

I’m not a traditional physical oceanographer and my work is interdisciplinary, can I get involved?
Yes. MPOWIR is open to all who self-identify as physical oceanographers. This includes those whose interests are interdisciplinary.

I would like to join a mentor group, what is involved?
Detailed information about the mentor groups is available here. New mentor groups form every 6-12 months. If you would like to join, your name will go on a waitlist until we have enough members (and leaders) to fill a group. Before you have your first call, you will complete a brief form that includes your biographical information and professional goals. When this information has been submitted by everyone in your group, you will receive a hard-copy notebook in the mail. Your first call will be scheduled several weeks later, based on member availability.

I would like to be a mentor group leader, what is involved?
Mentor group leaders are female mid-career or senior scientists who commit to leading a group for at least 2 years. The time commitment is approximately 90 minutes per month; MPOWIR provides basic training and logistical support. If you are interested in becoming a mentor group leader, please contact us.

What kind of data does MPOWIR collect?
MPOWIR collects survey data each fall from male and female graduate students. The survey asks questions about relationships with mentors and advisors as well as overall graduate student experience. We also periodically survey our mentor group members, Pattullo participants, and others involved in our network to improve our offerings.

MPOWIR also collects data from departments about their male/female graduation rates. Additionally, web searches are used to identify and count males/females at various career stages.

I would like to advertise a job opportunity, who do I contact?
To advertise a job opportunity on the MPOWIR blog or to make any blog contributions, please email Sarah Clem.

How can I start a similar community mentoring program in my discipline?
Contact us! We are very interested in exporting our effort to other disciplines and helping you get started. We have resources available and are happy to share our experiences.