Jon White – From the President’s Office: 12-19-2016

2017-01-18T13:20:46+00:00 December 19, 2016|

Jon White, President of Ocean Leadership

I was in San Francisco for my first AGU Fall Meeting last week, and it was quite an event. I attended several (largely ocean) science sessions, conducted numerous important meetings with member and federal representatives, and basked in the enthusiasm of the 25,000–ish attendees from all over the world, many of whom are students finishing their degrees at member institutions who are ready to launch into the “real world.” We dramatically increased the exposure of COL (including that of our members and programs) to the geoscience community in attendance, thanks only in small part to the presence of a refreshment stand next to our booth in the exhibit hall. Given the impressive ocean and geophysical knowledge that was on display at this huge event, I am reinvigorated in my optimism about the future of scientific initiatives and the behaviors they will influence in the coming months and years.

An early holiday gift – the recessed House took advantage of a parliamentary loophole to approve the conferenced version of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (America COMPETES, S. 3084).  The importance of this bill cannot be understated — it lays out the policy directives for our nation’s scientific enterprise; establishes federal research and development priorities; and authorizes our nation’s major science-mission agency, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and others. It’s also important to note both the bipartisan nature of the bill and input from the scientific community that was included, thanks to extraordinary efforts by Senators Cory Gardner (CO), Gary Peters (MI), John Thune (SD), and Bill Nelson (FL). You can read more about the bill, which President Obama is expected to sign into law, here. I’m happy to see such a bill passed in the waning days of the 114th Congress, and I hope it bodes well for the new year, the new Congress, and the new administration.

We’ll be taking a break from the newsletter next week, so I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy and peaceful holiday season! Follow us for holiday cheer on Twitter, where we’ll be sharing ocean science around the hashtags #12DaysOfOcean, #FestivalOfOceanLights, and #7PrinciplesOfOcean. I look forward to a wonderful 2017 for all members of COL. 

RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.); M.S.
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership

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