In the last installment of Women’s Green History Month we honor NYU Environmental Science Department’s very own, Dr. Ayana Johnson. A mentor to many in ES, the Brooklyn native attended Harvard then graduate school at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Dr. Johnson was not satisfied just seeking a career in marine biology (which is already a pretty cool job) but decided to amplify her skills and talent for public speaking and pursued the often frustrating effort to change policy.
She founded Ocean Collectiv, a consulting firm where the majority of members are women in science focuses on finding social justice solutions for creating a sustainable ocean ecosystem. The idea sprung from Dr. Johnson’s incredible community-driven effort in Antigua and Barbuda’s Blue Halo Initiative with Barbuda establishing a marine reserve in ⅓ of its coastal area.
Her activism has taken form as co-director of partnerships for the March for Science. Dr. Johnson told the Observer the March is a bridge between professionals and bureaucratic change. “A big part of the goal of the March for Science is to build this coalition that represents the whole spectrum of science and its role in society and policy-making.”
Dr. Johnson may teach at NYU but she also feels a responsibility to enlighten others. As a member of the TED residency program she delivered a truly inspiring TED talk. Her work has been featured in some of the country’s most prestigious publications like The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and Nature magazine. In addition, her own views about how we can use the ocean more sustainably has been in the LA Times, The Guardian, and The New York Times as well as a regular blog on National Geographic and Scientific American.
Luckily for us, Dr. Johnson is the keynote speaker at the Office of Sustainability’s Educating for Sustainability so if you liked what you read join us on April 3rd at 6 p.m. in Kimmel 802.
Read our past Women’s (Green) History Month spotlights here!