Dear ASPET members,
We have anxiously watched as the devastation of the recent global natural disasters unfolded. The road to recovery from the destruction will be long, and our thoughts are with our members and their families in the affected areas. We are reaching out today regarding the recent hurricanes and earthquake affecting your colleagues in the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean.
The situation in the Caribbean, and in particular in Puerto Rico, remains severe. Many of you have been asking for ways to help the people of Puerto Rico, the scientific community there, and especially the 32 Puerto Rican ASPET members.
The goal of this letter is to thank those who have volunteered their time and effort on behalf of those afflicted, but also encourage those of you who have not to make an effort.
Ways to Help
In Puerto Rico, CienciaPR is actively working to coordinate efforts that connect scientists and students with needed scientific and professional aid. We encourage you to review their registration form and offer support including work space, research equipment, educational support, reagents, and other support.
In Houston, the March for Science Houston group is not just coordinating efforts to help displaced scientists, but actively setting up a STEM-based supply drive to benefit children who have experienced loss from Hurricane Harvey. Please check their website for updates, and consider donating needed supplies through their Amazon Wish List. They have also set up a database to help scientists whose labs may have been damaged during the storms.
For our colleagues in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Mexico, it may be some time before they can return to focusing on scientific pursuits, as they address basic needs for themselves and their families. If you have the capacity to do so, please consider donating to charities like the American Red Cross and Red Cross Mexico.
ASPET will listen to scientists on the ground in the affected areas and is deeply committed to exploring ways to ensure that our members recover from and overcome these recent disasters. To facilitate this process, if you have ideas to support our affected communities, please send a note to ASPET so we can help you get the word out or work together on ideas for support.
John D. Schuetz, PhD
Edward T. Morgan, PhD
David R. Sibley, PhD