Melissa Schutten discusses DEI in the Salish Sea on KPTZ


On February 3, IAS alum Melissa (Watkinson) Schutten and colleague Michael Chang, of Cascadia Consulting Group, were interviewed on  KPTZ 91.9 FM’s Coastal Café about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the Salish Sea. Schutten and Chang are two marine science and policy professionals who have dedicated much of their careers to creating a more DEI-oriented working environment for marine and environmental professionals – and for the communities they serve.

As Equity, Access and Community Engagement Lead for Washington Sea Grant, Schutten discussed the racial disparity gap among staff and leadership in environmental organizations and historic lack of engagement with BIPOC communities. She also noted how her social science skills inform her work in DEI. “Often in order to make changes in policy, you have to be able to have data to back it up,” says Schutten. “While progress and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion can be difficult to measure, we can use social science tools to begin to capture an understating of the people and demographics of who we are working with and who we might be missing.”

Schutten earned a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and Society, Ethics & Human Behavior in 2011 Master of Arts in Policy Studies degree in 2015. Listen to the episode.

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