Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion

AOML strives to make current and future employees able to contribute their talents in a place they feel welcome, supported, and empowered to support NOAA’s mission. The best results come from a diverse set of perspectives, and we seek to attract, engage, and retain talent from all walks of life and career stages. We aim to reflect the diversity of the nation we serve, so we actively recruit, develop, and retain talent with different perspectives, experiences, and values.

We Aim to Reflect the Diversity of the Nation We Serve.

Building a Diverse Workforce.

AOML strives to make current and future employees able to contribute their talents in a place they feel welcome, supported, and empowered to support NOAA’s mission. The best results come from a diverse set of perspectives, and we seek to attract, engage, and retain talent from all walks of life and career stages. We actively recruit, develop, and retain talent with different perspectives, experiences, and values. We work towards inclusivity for all, regardless of your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical ability, neurodiversity, body type, veteran status, religion, creed, discipline, education level, cultural background, marital or parental status.

Image credit: NOAA

Letter from Our Director

Since beginning my service as the director of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in summer 2019, I have gained valuable insight about the incredible science conducted at AOML and the benefit of this research to the Nation. I am proud to say that the people who make that science happen continue to do so with a passion that has allowed us to carry forward NOAA’s mission throughout this unprecedented shift in how we work, live, and connect with each other, even when faced with numerous challenges like those created by the COVID-19 pandemic. This success has underscored the importance of my highest priority area for the lab, our people.

The team of federal, cooperative institute, and contract scientists and support staff that power AOML include people from a diverse set of professional, socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. Members of this team venture into hurricanes to collect potentially life-saving data. Others tirelessly perform work underwater or in the wet lab to support our blue economy and preserve our marine environment. Some leave their families for months at a time on ships to ensure our observing systems are able to collect and transmit crucial data. Many pour over long, complicated datasets to piece together trends that will help us decide what to do in a changing environment; and a small, essential few keep the lights on, and the machines running, the accounts settled, and everyone safe.

We are a team that tackles tough environmental topics for the Nation.  Despite the many ways we serve the nation, we have a common purpose through NOAA’s mission.  Supporting this mission successfully requires us to embrace and pursue diversity and inclusion through grassroots efforts to reflect the diversity of the people we serve, welcome new talent with openness and opportunities, and encourage empathy and respect in the workplace to best accomplish our collective goal.

I fully support and regularly participate in our diversity and inclusion events and training. The Diversity, Inclusion & You committee covers a broad scope of lab activities by hosting new employee and morale events, working with our administrative services group to improve processes such as hiring process, and representing the AOML team at higher levels of diversity and inclusion committees within NOAA. They also work to ensure all voices on the team are heard, and that AOML is suitable and safe for people with a range of strengths and challenges.

Whether you have others to care for, or struggle to stay connected, the DIY group can provide resources for support to empower you to keep a good work-life balance, learn about employee assistance programs, or join a support email list through affinity groups.

All of these resources and others are available to you. I encourage all federal, cooperative institute, and contract employees to take full advantage and get involved in our diversity and inclusion programs to enrich your own AOML experience and the experiences of those you interact with every day.

-John Cortinas, Director of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

The Diversity, Inclusion & You Group

Our DIY group consists of federal, Cooperative Institute-affiliated, and Contractor employees. We have formed the Diversity, Inclusion, and You (DIY) group to attract, retain, and support the professional advancement of underrepresented minorities and other groups at AOML and to support AOML leadership in expanding and strengthening the diversity of AOML’s workforce and foster a more inclusive environment.

Our mission is to attract, retain, and support the professional advancement of underrepresented minorities and other groups at AOML; support AOML leadership in expanding and strengthening the diversity of AOML’s workforce and foster a more inclusive environment. We envision an AOML workforce that reflects the diversity of the south Florida region and the nation.

What We Do

DIY Events

DIY organizes regular events to make everyone feel included and welcome, including quarterly “Welcome to New Employees” events, as well as a series of lunch-and-learn seminars hosted by members of the AOML community. DIY also distributes information to AOML about diversity and inclusion through speakers/webinars.

Diversity & Inclusion Training

Check out the AOML DIY calendar (shown below) for upcoming diversity and inclusion events. Check out the Commerce Learning Center for more training opportunities.

Cross-Discipline Mentorships

DIY is organizing a “Mentoring, Coaching, and Career Development series”  which will be available for anyone at AOML that is interested.

D&I Resources Across NOAA

NOAA has many resources, trainings and events where employees can participate. OAR also has its own Diversity and Inclusion group where we are represented. Check out ODIAC, or Jump to the current list of OAR & NOAA resources.

New Employee Engagement

DIY hosts “Welcome to New Employees” events to help new employees meet the rest of the AOML staff. These informal events occur every few months and everyone at AOML is invited to attend.

Multilingual Content

At AOML, we prioritize diversity, inclusion and accessibility to our research. This is why we have launched a Spanish version of the AOML website. We will be continuing to add language translations of our site, with French as the next translation. 

Affinity Groups

The Diversity, Inclusion and You team at AOML has created several affinity groups for those interested in sharing experiences and resources related to their group. Our affinity groups can be found below. Please contact the group contact person to be added to an affinity group email list.

Off-site personnel group

Bringing together AOML/CIMAS personnel who are working off-site. Contact: Sean Casey

Early Career Group

Bringing together early career personnel to share information and foster career development Contact Renellys Perez

Parenting Group

Bringing together parents of newborns and older children to exchange information and recommendations. Contact Lew Gramer

Public Transportation Group

Exchanging information on public transportation in South Florida and benefits available to employees. Contact Stanley Goldberg 

International Group

Bring people together at AOML who are currently non-US citizens, or others who are interested in this topic. Contact Jaya Nair

Upcoming Events

AOML’s Diversity, Inclusion, and You (DIY) has a new calendar including events from NOAA’s Health and Wellness, Employee Assistance, Employee Resource Groups, EEO and Diversity programs, as well as events from our cooperative institutes and scientific and professional associations (like AMS and AGU).  Subscribe to the calendar here. If you have an event to add to the calendar, write to our Team.

Diversity, Inclusion & You

Our DIY group consists of federal, Cooperative Institute-affiliated, and Contractor  employees. We have formed the Diversity, Inclusion, and You (DIY) group to help achieve diversity and inclusion goals of the lab and of OAR and NOAA. Everyone at AOML is welcome to participate. Email the committee members to join our cause.

NOAA & OAR Resources

For Federal Employees

Office of Human Capital Services

The Office of Human Capital Services has several resources that can help with everything from finding a work/ life balance in our virtual environment to employee assistance programs to policies and benefits relating to federal employment. Learn more at the OCHS site.

NOAA & OAR Resources

For Cooperative Institute and Contract Employees