Welcome to 2017! It took a little longer to arrive than I had planned, thanks to ocean movements that slow down our planet’s rotation over time. To keep the world’s atomic clocks in line with Earth’s rotational time, the “time lords” of our planet add in leap seconds, which they did at midnight on Saturday. I worked with a few of these time lords while at the Naval Observatory and learned to appreciate how much the ocean contributes to minor variations in the Earth’s rotation. Ocean modeling helps predict these variations, as well as measurable changes that occur in geo-temporal referencing (i.e.,exactly when and where things are) — just one more reason why ocean science is so important!
As we (belatedly) kick off the new year, I’m pleased to be back at work and am looking forward to all that 2017 will bring. In the coming year, we know there will be changes, challenges, and, most importantly, new opportunities for ocean science and technology. We look forward to 2017 with optimism that we will find new ways to advance ocean discovery, understanding, and action. As we seek out these new opportunities and all that they bring, we will be doing so with a close friend and colleague in mind. It is with incredible sadness that I report the passing of Dr. Graham Shimmield, Executive Director at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and a member of COL’s Board of Trustees. The ocean science community lost an irreplaceable champion, and his kind-heartedness and contribution to ocean sciences will not be forgotten.
We’ll be back next week with the newsletter in full. In the meantime, please continue to visit our website for new job opportunities, science stories, and events, and don’t forget to save the date for our 2017 Public Policy Forum (8 March 2017).
RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.); M.S.
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership