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Town Hall Meetings

Monday, 22 February, 1145h–1245h

The View from Above: Integrating Aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Systems into Your Ocean Research

Room D137
Sponsored by University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS)

Ocean investigators' tools include research ships, submersibles, buoys, drifters, undersea gliders, and cabled observing systems. While satellites provide meso- to ocean-scale views of ocean dynamics across a range of time scales, the rapid response and cost-effective capabilities of aircraft offer an attractive and significant contribution. Aircraft and maturing Unmanned Aerial Systems field a wide variety of sensors and capabilities specifically tailored to the spatial needs of ocean, Arctic, near coastal, near shore, and estuarine investigations. Join us to learn more about aircraft facilities for researchers, hosted by the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System's Scientific Committee for Oceanographic Aircraft Research (SCOAR.)

Marine Phenology and the USA-National Phenology Network

Room E143

Changes in species phenology will have profound effects in the ocean ecosystem. This town hall provides a forum for all interested in the role of phenology in ocean dynamics and food web sustainability to provide input on how these interests can be supported by the National Coordinating Office of the USA-National Phenology Network. The USA-NPN is a consortium of individuals and organizations that collect, share and usephenology data and models. The coordinating office provides monitoring standards, information management, and network communications to promote phenology education, scientific understanding, and decision support.

Refreshing Our Ocean Research Priorities

Room E145

In 2007, JSOST wrote Charting the Course for Ocean Science in the United States for the Next Decade: An Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy. JSOST has begun the process of refreshing the priorities in Charting the Course. During the summer of 2009, public comments were solicited through a Dear Colleague Letter and a Federal Register Notice. This Town Hall will give members of the ocean S&T community an opportunity to provide input into the refresh process, and discuss progress to date with the chairs of JSOST.

Tuesday, 23 February, 1145h–1245h

Ocean Partnerships: Collaborative Oceanographic Research of the Future

Room D139
Sponsored by National Oceanographic Partnership Program

The National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) is an innovative collaboration of federal agencies that funds research partnerships among the academic, industrial, governmental, and non-governmental sectors to support focused oceanographic efforts. To date, NOPP has invested more than $274 million in over 150 partnership projects. This town meeting will describe the proposal process and highlight projects with valuable collaborations between multiple sectors. Participants will be asked for suggestions on topics for future collaborative research directions to continue NOPP's contribution to cutting-edge interdisciplinary and intersector science and technology.

Observing Reality: Contributions and Applications from Integrated, Multidisciplinary Observing Efforts

Room E141

A comprehensive understanding of ocean ecosystem health and sustainability requires high-quality, long-term data from ocean observations. Innovative technologies, reliable observations and analyses fuel the development of predictive models which ultimately assist in implementing ecosystem-based management, conducting marine spatial planning and establishing baselines for measuring future climate change. Members of OBIS-USA and Regional Associations of the Integrated Ocean Observing System will facilitate discussion on endeavors which ensure open access to data, tools and applications for informed decision making and predictive models serving the needs of the public. This town hall encourages participants to communicate advances and new directions in ocean observing technology.

Key Components of a National Ecosystem-based Ocean Science Program

Room E145

Climate change, pollution, overfishing, and intensifying conflicts over the uses of the sea challenge federal, state, and local governments, especially within coastal waters. Many of these challenges are compounded by lack of appropriately scaled, integrated information, highlighting the need for interdisciplinary scientific understanding that forms the underpinnings of effective management. The pace of scientific progress will likely be inadequate unless scientists join forces to approach problems in an integrated way that emphasizes innovative science on an unusual scale and a degree of integration with policy rarely achieved in marine conservation research. The focus of this town hall will be to initiate discussions directed at identifying: (1) the key needs for coastal marine ecosystem science that can inform policy at the regional (i.e. Large Marine Ecosystem) scale and (2) the programmatic components that are of value to ensure organization of this effort.

Where do all the Oceanographers go? Career Paths in Oceanography

Room E147

Though a recent NSF study shows that less than 50% of Ph.D. graduates in earth, atmospheric and ocean sciences obtain tenure track positions, a case study from physical oceanography shows that less than 30% of Ph.D. graduates end up in traditional faculty positions. Clearly, many oceanography Ph.D.s find work in other venues, including government laboratories and the private sector. This interactive panel discussion will explore career paths taken by oceanographers over the years and then focus on current opportunities for graduates with their Ph.D.s in oceanography. The presentation will also include details on the physical oceanography case study from 6 oceanography programs for the last 30 years. Lunch will be provided.

Wednesday, 24 February, 1145h–1245h

CAMEO Program

Room D139

The Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystem Organization (CAMEO) program is a NOAA Fisheries/NSF Ocean Sciences partnership to strengthen the scientific basis for an ecosystem approach to stewardship of living marine resources (cameo.noaa.gov). CAMEO supports fundamental research using a comparative approach to understand complex ecosystem dynamics and encourages work that will provide information used as a basis for future decision making. This town hall will provide information on the first two announcements of opportunity, and an update from a newly formed steering committee organized by a new partner, the Marine Biological Laboratory.

Ocean Observatories Initiative: Community Engagement and Participation

Room E145

The meeting will update the progress, current status, and upcoming activities of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). Information will include descriptions of the OOI construction design, the multi-disciplinary sensors to be deployed, the timeline for construction, data availability, and data access, and avenues for community engagement and participation. In spring 2010, OOI will hold a science community workshop to introduce the full scope of the OOI network design and capabilities, with presentations and discussions of science scenarios as examples of how the OOI network can be used to advance a broad range of ocean science and education.

Public Launch of GEOTRACES

Room E143

GEOTRACES is an international study of the marine biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and their isotopes. While the primary objectives of GEOTRACES fall within the realm of chemical oceanography and marine geochemistry, it is anticipated that many areas of biological oceanography, physical oceanography, and paleoceanography will benefit from results of the GEOTRACES program. Therefore, the GEOTRACES Scientific Steering Committee wishes to invite the broader ocean research community to a townhall that will introduce GEOTRACES and celebrate the launch of its global field program. The townhall will consist of a brief talk introducing GEOTRACES followed by a social event with refreshments.

NOAA's Plans for 2010 and Beyond

Room PB252


Observations and predictions are critical to NOAA's mission to understand and predict changes in Earth's environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our Nation's economic, social, and environmental needs. From market-based approaches such as catch shares to community-based marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based management, from advances in ecosystem restoration to new insights into strategies for adaptation to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification, new knowledge is beginning to inform policies and practices. NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco will discuss NOAA’s plans for 2010 and beyond.

Thursday, 25 February, 1145h–1245h

Development of a Marine “Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO)” in the Pacific Arctic Sector

Room D136
Sponsored by Pacific Arctic Group

The marine system in the Pacific Arctic sector is experiencing unprecedented seasonal sea ice retreat and seawater warming resulting in biological changes and the potential for ecosystem reorganization. This open discussion session will discuss and solicit input on the developing concept of a marine “Distributed Biological Observatory” (DBO) in the Pacific Arctic sector, a recommendation resulting from a NOAA-sponsored multidisciplinary and international workshop in May 2009. The DBO would include biological and supportive environmental sampling at explicit regional sites using a collaborative international network of logistical support to track the ongoing shifts in ecosystem structure with continued climate change. The target audience consists of biological and environmental scientists interested in developing a biological observing network in the Pacific marine sector. This forum will also be of interest to both US and international science managers working to develop an network of observing systems in polar regions, such as the SEARCH program (Study of Environmental Arctic Change).

Communicating about Ocean Science with Non-Scientists

Room D139

Scientists and managers who want to improve their ability to communicate about science with non-scientists can definitely do so, beginning with understanding their own mental models of science communication. An explanation of concept mapping will lead to a personal exercise and then group discussion. Brief presentations by learning researchers and professional science communicators will follow, on the science and practice of effective science communication. Ample time will be allotted for discussion.

A Dialogue — Aggregating and Creatively Displaying the World's Ocean Data — A Path to Understanding Climate Change and the Planet

Room E145

Across the globe, coastal nations and states and their research agencies, academic institutions, and others are gathering and analyzing data about the ocean, human impacts on the marine environment, and the inter-relationships between the ocean and the atmosphere. This town hall would extend an invitation to attendees to discuss how that data could be aggregated and creatively displayed for mutual benefit.

The Climatic Importance of the Greater Agulhas System (SCOR WG 136)

Room D137
Sponsored by SCOR

The overarching goal of our new SCOR Working Group (WG) is to improve understanding and awareness of the regional and global climate impacts of the greater Agulhas Current system. In this Town Hall meeting we will announce the specific objectives and designated actions of the WG and invite feedback, discussion, and participation by the larger community. We particularly encourage the participation of scientists with interest and expertise in all aspects of Southwest Indian Ocean and Agulhas leakage research, including any aspect of its dynamics, ecosystems, geochemistry and air-sea fluxes, be it now, in the past, or into the future, through observations, paleoceanography, or modeling.