An All-Female Crew of Scientists Make History Aboard the Sally Ride off California’s Coast

Against the current.

Earlier this summer, a research cruise along the California Current had the distinction of being solely composed of women scientists. For 71 years, the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations, known as CalCOFI, has conducted quarterly surveys of the California coast from the Mexican border to either Point Conception or San Francisco. Due to the pandemic, this cruise would be socially distanced and include a mandatory pre-sail quarantine and rigorous testing. But the women involved were up for the challenge.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “It also happened to coincide with the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States. And it took place aboard the naval research vessel the Sally Ride, named in honor of the first female American astronaut. In addition, the ship’s crew included a female third mate, boatswain, and two able-bodied crew members.
“I’m really happy that CalCOFI has now reached that milestone,” said chief scientist Angela Klemmedson, 29. “It’s been moving in that direction over the ages. Oceanography has always been such an old man thing, and it’s really cool now that we’re including more female scientists. It’s empowering, and I was really happy about that.”

You can read more about the Sally Ride’s recent voyage and what the scientists uncovered here.

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