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Women in the engine room

Breaking Down Bulkheads

The history of women at sea on WHOI ships began quietly on April 8, 1952, when the husband-and-wife team of Harvard biologists Barbara Lawrence and William Schevill, who was a WHOI researcher, boarded R/V Caryn in Bermuda for a week of research on whale sounds. Additional barriers continued to fall over the years when women began to sail as chief scientists and deck crew. In 1981, Kathleen Hoard (pictured) broke the engine room barrier and sailed as third assistant engineer. On this International Women's Day, WHOI celebrates the many contributions women have made to ocean science at sea and on shore. (Photo courtesy of WHOI Archives)

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