Jon White – From the President’s Office: 10-23-2017

2017-10-24T12:25:25+00:00 October 23, 2017|

You may have heard of speed dating, but how about speed mentoring? I was honored to be asked to participate in a speed mentoring event with D.C.’s Women’s Aquatic Network WAN) last Wednesday. While it was rewarding (and exhausting) to impart my perspective and advice to 14 developing ocean leaders in 70 minutes, I was also inspired by these bright, enthusiastic, and engaging women and men, many at the start of their careers. I turned 58 on the following day, and just as I was starting to feel old and about mentored out, I remembered that one of the most stalwart ocean mentors in history celebrated a much more remarkable birthday on the same day, and he’s still going strong as both a scientist and a mentor. Happy 100th Walter Munk!
I’ve been reflecting on the importance of mentorship in the ocean science community, to both the mentors and the mentees. It’s essential that we continue to seek out opportunities to grow the next generation of ocean scientists, engineers, policymakers, and more – not just by providing opportunities to students and young professionals, but by encouraging their growth and development throughout their careers. As more young scientists grow interested in applying their background to other endeavors (like policymaking), it becomes even more important for those established in the field to mentor those just learning. I encourage all of you who are in a position to mentor others to do so, and I hope those of you seeking advice, counsel, and an opportunity to learn from the successes and challenges of others will take advantage of events such as the one provided by WAN.  
I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces later this week, as we’ll be hosting our semiannual board and members meetings. It should also be a busy week for Congress, as the House is scheduled to vote on their budget resolution, which was amended and passed by the Senate last week. As a reminder, the budget resolution serves as a blueprint for the appropriations process, which is already underway. This year, the budget resolution has been in the news because it is serving as a vehicle for tax reform. But there’s much more involved in the resolution; for example, one provision has been seen as an effort to allow oil and gas operations in a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We’ll have more details next Monday following what happens later this week.
Remember, if you have opportunities for scientists affected by the recent disasters, please send them to to be posted on our Scientists Helping Scientists page.
RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.)
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Member Highlight
Melting Glaciers Could Raise Sea Levels In Sharp Bursts, Reef Fossils Show
If all the land ice present on Earth today were to melt, it would raise the global sea levels by about 70 meters (230 feet), according to the United States Geological Survey. Under the onslaught of global warming, sea levels have been rising steadily in the recent years, but researchers looking at historical data have found these rises could happen in sharp bursts instead. Fossil coral reefs that lie drowned in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast from Corpus Christi, Texas, “showed sea level rose in several bursts ranging in length from a few decades to one century,” scientists from Rice University and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, said in a statement Thursday.