I attended an excellent program last week on “natural security” at the Stimson Center, which included keynote remarks by retired Adm. James Stavridis. Natural security, a term created by the Stimson Center, is the intersection between environmental crime and U.S. national and global security. Illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing represents one of the chief areas of natural security concern, and it is also an area of bipartisan efforts by our federal government. It is well recognized by the global community that ocean science and technology are key pieces to any real solutions to this scourge upon our ocean. There are many research and development efforts by COL members that can help craft solutions in the years ahead, and I look forward to advancing those as I engage in counter-IUU fishing and natural security efforts going forward.
Some of you may have noticed that “NOAA” made it into the New York Times crossword puzzle last week. Perhaps this was triggered by NOAA’s first Chief Scientist’s Annual Report that was issued in mid-December. Although the crossword puzzle highlighted NOAA’s weather mission, the annual report includes a compilation of all R&D activities, going well beyond atmospheric science. These include better predictions of harmful algal blooms, advanced shoreline mapping techniques, electronic monitoring and reporting to improve commercial fisheries, supporting search and rescue efforts through autonomous and piloted aircraft, and many more ocean-specific areas. NOAA’s R&D activities have vast reach and benefit to our society, and I hope those who are not so familiar with the agency will gain a better understanding of its importance through this report.
RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.); M.S.
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Protecting The Ocean: Benjamin Halpern, Director Of NCEAS, To Receive The 2017 Peter Benchley Ocean Award For Excellence In Science
UC Santa Barbara marine biologist and conservation ecologist Benjamin Halpern is among 10 recipients of a 2017 Peter Benchley Ocean Award. Often referred to as the “Academy Awards for the Ocean,” the honor recognizes a diverse group of marine leaders whose collective efforts cover a range of important global conservation solutions. Halpern, director of UCSB’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and a professor at the campus’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, is recognized for his work to provide cutting-edge marine science that has advanced the understanding of ocean processes, marine ecology and conservation biology.