What’s On the Horizon for Black in Marine Science?

A photo of blue and white paints illustrating the ocean.
Glittering Sea A painting of the ocean horizon. © Erica Sloniker/TNC

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After more than two years leading the non-profit Black in Marine Science (BIMS) while at The Nature Conservancy’s Washington state chapter, Dr. Tiara Moore, has transitioned to become BIMS’s first full-time staff member.

“I did not understand the hugeness of being a Black woman in marine science until I was basically pushed out of the space,” said Dr. Tiara Moore, CEO and Founder of Black in Marine Science. “For most of us, we’re still the one Black person in the lab and BIMS has become our virtual community. Still, I find myself asking, ‘what if we had a lab space that was safe for us?’”

Black in Marine Science started as a week of online events to celebrate Black marine scientists and increase Black representation in the field for younger generations. The outpouring of positive responses made it clear that a non-profit would enable the global community to continue flourishing. Since then, the organization has developed a series of online educational resources, provided SCUBA certification courses for Black students, and partnered with innovative Ocean research programs to advance diversity in the field of marine science.

“As a Black marine scientist who seriously considered leaving the field, it has been through BIMS that my passion for the ocean has been reinvigorated,” explained Dr. Camille Gaynus, Board Chair of Black in Marine Science. “Dr. Moore’s vision, however, goes far beyond me and making sure that Black professionals are heard and a part of science; she has made sure that other Black peoples and communities are involved in the research, education, and movement of ocean conservation.”

Since its founding, Dr. Moore has led BIMS through a co-created partnership that enabled her to carry out her work and vision as an employee of TNC. This unique partnership was established to provide Dr. Moore and BIMS with institutional support and serve in an advisory role as the organization got started. This month, Dr. Moore officially transitioned out of her role at The Nature Conservancy to become BIMS’s first full-time employee and to carry forward her vision for the organization.

“It has been TNC’s privilege to work alongside Dr. Moore in her time here at our Washington field office, and it will be an honor to continue a mutual partnership. Networks and platforms like BIMS are supporting the emerging generation of science and environmental leaders, and it’s truly an inspiration to support that work,” said Mike Stevens, state director for TNC’s Washington chapter.

As Black in Marine Science has grown in recognition as a global organization, one of Dr. Moore’s primary objectives has been establishing a research and outreach facility for Black students and communities of color to gain experience and expertise in marine science—the BIMS Institute.

“BIMS Institute is a changing point of the conversation. We're Black marine scientists who are working to mitigate climate change for Black people who are the most impacted by the climate issues of our day. We’re becoming the change we always wanted to see,” said Dr. Moore.

Returning to the predominantly Black community of Hampton, Virginia—where she completed her master's degree—Dr. Moore aspires to fill a vital niche in the field of marine science by sustaining a well-trained pipeline of Black scientists and removing barriers to training, professional opportunities and more.

The Nature Conservancy has been honored to support Dr. Moore in her endeavors over these past few years and looks forward to continued partnership and collaboration with Black in Marine Science over the years to come.


Black in Marine Science was founded in 2020 to celebrate black marine scientists, spread environmental awareness, and inspire the next generation of scientific thought leaders. Learn more about Black in Marine Science at or by following @BlackinMarineScience on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, and @BlackinMarSci on Twitter.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.