Understanding 2019-03-21T11:02:27+00:00

Why Understanding The Ocean’s Influence Matters

While most people on the planet could tell you the ocean exists, far fewer understand the important role it plays in each of our lives. How do we spread this knowledge? As Baba Dioum posited, “In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.” Teaching forms the base from which understanding, and ultimately action, grows. Our ocean is under siege from a variety of threats, both natural and man-made, and the only way to make sure it is effectively managed is to start by helping everyone – from children to adults – understand its importance.

COL Grows Ocean Understanding

One way we foster ocean literacy is through our academic competition for high schoolers, the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. Other programs and events we host help further education for everyone from educational administrators to early career scientists.

Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative

The Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) is an interdisciplinary and international network that provides a unique platform for deep-sea science policy engagement, and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership supports the network’s cross-cutting Policy Working Group.

DOSI seeks to advise on ecosystem-based management of resource use in the deep ocean and on strategies to maintain the integrity of deep-ocean ecosystems. The Policy Working Group enhances the linkage between DOSI science and the formulation of policy related to the deep ocean, both within and beyond national jurisdictions, and the visibility of DOSI efforts on a global scale.

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Interagency Ocean Observation Committee

COL is home to the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee (IOOC) support office and provides administrative assistance to participating federal agencies.

The IOOC oversees efforts to develop the National Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observing System. Led by three federal co-chairs, comprised of agency representatives, and supported by COL staff, the committee carries out various provisions of the ICOOS Act for implementing procedural, technical, and scientific requirements to ensure full execution of the system. Interagency collaboration is essential to achieve ocean science and technology priorities, especially for planning and coordinating ocean observations.

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Marine Geoscience Leadership Symposium

COL’s education efforts are not limited to the classroom and don’t end with a mortarboard. Even after graduation, COL can be found educating early ocean science professionals. The Marine Geoscience Leadership Symposium (MGLS) introduces early career marine geoscientists to professional skillsets that encourage them to push the frontiers of scientific research while serving the needs of society.

To solve myriad challenges and forge the necessary links between science and society, marine geoscientists must reach beyond their individual laboratories, form interdisciplinary collaborations, and communicate their discoveries to the public and policymakers. The symposium provides leadership, policy, and communications training and begins the process of forming interdisciplinary research collaborations.

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Minority-Serving Institution-Reconstructing Earth’s Climate History

Minority-Serving Institution-Reconstructing Earth’s Climate History (MSI-REaCH) is a National Science Foundation-funded award to COL to provide faculty from minority serving institutions (MSIs) and community colleges across the country an immersive training to expand their knowledge of Earth’s climate record and to build scientific skills through hands-on paleoclimate investigation. MSI-REaCH collaborators include James Madison University, the American Meteorological Society, Los Angeles Valley College, and WestEd.

MSI-REaCH provides professional development short courses for MSI and community college faculty focused on paleoclimate marine research data and the pedagogy for adding inquiry-based exercise modules and prototype research experiences to local curricula. In addition to training, the project fosters an educational and research network of colleges and universities and supports these faculty as they initiate new courses or incorporate lessons and activities into their existing courses.

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National Ocean Sciences Bowl

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) is a nationally-recognized high school academic competition and COL’s flagship education program.

For 20 years, the NOSB has provided a forum for students to excel in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). It introduces team members, teachers, coaches, schools, and communities to ocean sciences as an interdisciplinary field of study and as a possible career path. The program engages the ocean science and technology community in pre-college education and stimulates broad interest in, and excitement about, science and the ocean as students learn ocean-related topics in physics, chemistry, biology, geology, geography, social science, technology, and policy.

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Ocean Sciences Educators’ Retreat

As part of COL’s education efforts, deans, educators, members of federal agencies, and industry partners convene to address pressing issues in ocean sciences education at the Ocean Science Educators’ Retreat (OSER). Specifically, they discuss the current landscape of professional skills training for graduate students and identify future workforce development needs.

Member institutions are surveyed to gather data on recruitment, admissions, and retention from the nation’s leading ocean science and technology graduate programs. The data are subsequently compiled and discussed at a biennial OSER.

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In Search of Earth’s Secrets

In Search of Earth’s Secrets provides increased access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and geoscience learning among underserved communities and rural populations. Led by COL and Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and funded by the National Science Foundation, project partners include the Integrated Ocean Drilling Project and Texas A&M University, Rutgers, the University of Hawaii, exhibit design partners Luci Creative and Ravenswood Studio, the Girl Scouts and other youth organizations, and libraries and museums around the country.

In Search of Earth’s Secrets is an interactive and immersive traveling exhibit experience that utilizes the scientific drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution and cutting-edge earth and ocean science research. This “pop-up” exhibit and its related events that drill down deeper into the science bring informal science education to libraries, museums, parks, malls, and community centers.

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Science Communications and Marine Public Information

COL leads the Science Communications and Marine Public Information (SCAMPI) network to promote greater communication and collaboration among the communications professionals at institutions involved in ocean science research and education.

As a self-governed network of ocean science communicators sharing best practices and opportunities for collaboration, SCAMPI’s members include communications, public information, and media relations professionals from leading ocean research and education institutions, agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

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U.S. Quiet Ocean Project

COL is leading a U.S. Ocean Sound scoping effort to facilitate partnerships across sectors and between researchers and stakeholders to determine the feasibility of a coordinated U.S. research program on ocean sound.

COL will document the full landscape of U.S. ocean sound related programs, task teams, and data sets; foster participation by academic scientists, federal agencies, and industry and conservation stakeholders; and provide a forum for U.S. ocean sound‐related discussions and collaborations. This effort will contribute to the International Quiet Ocean Experiment.

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COL and Diversity

COL is committed to ensuring diversity in our ocean literate citizenry. All of our educational programs support the engagement of underrepresented minorities and geographically diverse audiences.