Sirene Project: "Expect what you give, give what you expect"
"We need to give ‘differently’ if we want to see change."
SciStories Founder, Xochitl Clare, shares her perspective as a multicultural and interdisciplinary marine scientist with the Sirene Project.
As a Hispanic African American with Caribbean heritage, the importance of life at sea is in our folktales, music, and food. Always seen as a ‘different’ face in STEM, from an early age, I have seen how traditional marine science education can alienate communities from their own environment.
To conserve our oceans, I give my unique cultural lens and background in performance--dance, directing & writing (UCSC Theater Arts B.A. & Marine Biology B.S. 17’). I share the stories of lives at sea from scientists, fishermen, and marine critters themselves! I spend time working with conservationists, biologists, social scientists, educators, and artists alike to enhance the ways we embark on the discovery of our blue backyards.
It is a journey embracing your difference—Today, my multifaceted explorations of the natural world allow me to do truly interdisciplinary science—and give differently to many different faces. I am now investigating the effects of ocean acidification and warming on seafood species for my Ph.D. research at UCSB (23’) while creating innovative educational tools.
Xochitl Clare advocates for the oceans as a PADI AmbassaDiver. Learn more about what the aquatic world means to her in this clip on PADI Women's Dive Day (02:51)
In doing interdisciplinary work, I have learned that we must boldly cross lines and merge minds in order to invent new ways to serve our planet. It is easy to be blind to opportunity simply because it seems out of the range of your discipline—but being uneasy, being uncertain—a special space of vulnerability, is where giving and sharing happens best. Giving differently means pushing past fears of what and whom we do not understand to create a brighter future.