Friday Action Item: Help Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rican science

The landmark tower of the University of Puerto Rico, in 2011. (Flickr: davsot)

On Fridays while the current administration is in office we’re posting small, concrete things you can do to help make things better. Got a suggestion for an Action Item? E-mail us!
If you’ve so much at glanced at the news this week, you’re surely aware of the ongoing disaster in Puerto Rico. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the entire island is without electrical power, and relief is hampered by basic transportation issues on top of outright negligence at the federal level, as the White House dawdled over a request for relief funds, lifting a shipping restriction it waived after Hurricane Irma hit Houston or even something as basic as sending a Navy hospital ship to assist. It’s easy to feel like we’re helpless to watch this disaster proceed — but there are ways to help, right now.
The News Hour has compiled a good rundown of organizations that can use your donations to help folks on the ground in the immediate future, especially United for Puerto Rico and the Hispanic Foundation. For the longer term, you can contribute to the recovery of Puerto Rico’s science community, specifically, by offering help — workspace or equipment or teaching — through Ciencia Puerto Rico. It’s going to be a long time before life is back to normal on the island, and they’ll need all the help they can get.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
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