Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility

About DEIA in IOOS

IOOS is an integrated network of federal and regional observation, data management, and product development efforts. The 11 Regional Associations are uniquely positioned across the nation to learn and implement stakeholder and community input into regional observing activities. They serve coastal communities including those of the Great Lakes, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands and territories.

Stakeholder and community feedback for observing activities vary from region to region, and so too do needs for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility initiatives. The stakeholders, communities, and cultural contexts that the Regional Associations work within, as well as the approaches that work best to meet those needs, differ from region to region.

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IOOS recognizes the need to prioritize Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility initiatives across the enterprise, with an intentional approach to internal and external policies, practices, and procedures. To best address this issue, DEIA Fellow, Ashley Peiffer, began her position in January of 2022 to work with the IOOS Program Office, 11 Regional Associations, and IOOC agencies to:

Current DEIA Elements within the IOOS Network


working to outline DEIA efforts across IOOS by qualitatively assessing needs to identify areas for improvement, facilitating internal conversations about key topics, and seeking out best practices and approaches to DEIA initiatives.


Internal policies, practices, and procedures with respect to hiring practices, trainings and workshops, informal discussion spaces, Board policies and practices, and strategic plans, core values, and mission statements


Equitable practices, projects, and engagement with the communities, stakeholders, and partners that IOOS serves, including access to information, data accessibility, reaching underserved and underrepresented communities, and accountability and assessments


Deeply intertwined with Service Equity, with a focus on education & outreach, workforce development, capacity building, communication & relationship building, and co-design & co-development of projects with the communities, stakeholders, and partners that IOOS serves

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