We had a lot happening at Ocean Leadership this week. First, I was very excited to host our first Industry Forum to identify opportunities for increased industry-academic ocean science collaborations. The event was well-attended by both the industry and academic sectors, showcasing the increasingly diverse engagement of those interested and actively involved in the field of ocean science. Topics explored included workforce development; technology development and implementation; ocean observations; and offshore energy development. Thank you to BOEM Deputy Director Dr. Walter Cruickshank for delivering the keynote address and Hank Lobe of Sonardyne, Inc./Severn Marine Tech for organizing the event with us. Our discussions led to specific areas for further joint exploration and possible project development.
We also held our biannual Members and Board of Trustees meetings this week. Robust conversations and informative presentations occurred during the meetings, including addresses by Vice Commandant Charles Michel, U.S. Coast Guard; Niall McDonough, European Marine Board; Eric Lindstrom, NASA; and Rick Spinrad, NOAA. This was my second Members and Board meetings, but the first of which I really had a chance to help plan. I feel much was accomplished this week and look forward to advancing our mission and the priorities of our members in the coming months.
As I mentioned last week, Ocean Leadership and the European Marine Board drafted a joint statement in advance of COP21 highlighting the vital role of ocean science in responding to climate change. The statement was released last week in Brussels at the European Board’s 5th Forum. Yesterday evening, Ocean Leadership cosponsored a roundtable discussion with the Council on Foreign Relations titled, “Oceans and Climate Change: Paris and Beyond.” The event is part of our continued cross-Atlantic effort to communicate the need for long-term ocean-climate research and to engage with diverse communities – the Council on Foreign Relations is one of the leading foreign policy member organizations in the U.S.
Amidst all of this activity, I was pleased to see Congress and the White House strike a budget deal, that wasn’t just a trick, on Halloween eve! Easing the spending caps equally for defense and non-defense discretionary programs helps the nation retain our science primacy across the globe and provides needed relief for federally supported ocean sciences.
Member highlight: Postdoctoral scientist in marine microbiology at the University of Florida wins 2015 L’Oréal USA Fellowship!