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Discovery 2017-11-29T17:03:56+00:00

Why Discovering The Ocean Matters

71% of the Earth is covered with water.

The ocean plays a role in that breath you just took, the morning rain shower, the burger (yes, burger) you ate for lunch, and in keeping your teeth squeaky clean. The ocean factors into the life of every person every day and provides countless benefits.

While the undersea environment holds new discoveries, the ocean should also be appreciated for its own inherent value, not just for its potential use to humanity. And there’s plenty still to learn – we’ve only discovered a fraction of what lies in the water that covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface.

How Does COL Further Ocean Discovery?

While anyone can discover the ocean ocean by reading a book, booting up their computer, or even stepping outside, really learning about it requires a more orderly or systematic process. COL enhances this discovery through community-wide research programs we manage and support, such as the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative and the Ocean Observatories Initiative. These programs, and others like them, allow scientists to discover, in a systematic way, what the watery abyss that covers our blue planet does, needs, and supplies – and allows us to help it thrive.

Deep Ocean Observing Strategy

The Deep Ocean Observing Strategy (DOOS) is an international, collaborative effort for which the Consortium for Ocean Leadership provides science and logistical support as part of a distributed program office model and with funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The purpose of DOOS is to improve understanding of the state of the deep ocean with respect to baseline conditions, response to climate variability, and response to human disturbance. DOOS will identify approaches to address key scientific questions and societal needs, design and evaluate appropriate observing systems, pilot projects, and process studies. DOOS is being developed under the auspices of the Global Ocean Observing System, with an emphasis on observations below 2000m and additional attention to more shallow processes and mechanisms (>200m) that influence deeper depths.

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Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

COL, under contract from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, is a member of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) Management Team responsible for administering the GoMRI program.

Shortly after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP announced a commitment of up to $500 million over 10 years to fund an independent research program designed to study the impact of the oil spill and its associated response on the environment and public health in the Gulf of Mexico. GoMRI, the result, investigates the impacts of spilled oil, dispersed oil, and dispersant on Gulf of Mexico ecosystems and affected coastal states in a broad context of improving fundamental understanding of the dynamics of such events and their environmental stresses and public health implications.

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Ocean Observatories Initiative

The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) is a National Science Foundation-funded award to the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, which has overseen the construction and initial operations of the OOI, through partnerships with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Oregon State University, University of Washington, Rutgers, Raytheon, and more.

The OOI is an integrated infrastructure of science-driven platforms and sensor systems that measure physical, chemical, geological, and biological properties and processes from the seafloor to the sea surface. It was designed to provide data to address large-scale scientific challenges such as climate and ecosystem health.

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