Big wave in ocean

Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020

16-21 February 2020 in San Diego, Calif.

About Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020

The Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) is the flagship conference for the ocean sciences and the larger ocean-connected community.  As we approach the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, beginning in 2021, it is increasingly important to gather as a scientific community to raise awareness of the truly global dimension of the ocean, address environmental challenges, and set forth on a path towards a resilient planet. 

The Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020 is co-sponsored by AGU, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), and The Oceanography Society (TOS).  Through the combined power of these three organizations, along with the broader conservation-focused community, this meeting provides attendees the opportunity to bridge disciplines, connect communities, and make lasting partnerships. 

Scientific Program

The scientific program for Ocean Sciences 2020 is now live.
View now
Beach and mountains in Brazil

Plenary Videos

The plenaries from Oceans Sciences 2020 are available for view. 

Opening plenary
Tuesday plenary
Wednesday plenary
Closing plenary

Ocean with beautiful sunray sky reflecting on water

For a Resilient Planet

This year’s theme, For a Resilient Planet, centers around the concept that scientists, in partnership with governments and communities, have the power to affect change in fostering healthier and more resilient oceans, a safer and sustainable food supply, and to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Ocean with rocky cliffs

Important Dates

September 2019

Deadlines for abstract submissions as well as town halls, workshops, committee meetings, and other events. 

11 September 2019

Abstract submissions close. In late September through early October, we may need to get in touch with session chairs about scheduling. We ask that at least one session chair be available.

18 September 2019

Deadline to submit a town hall, workshop, committee meeting or social event, and the deadline to submit a travel grant application.

November 2019

Scientific program available

Early November

Abstract acceptance letters are sent and the final scientific program is available online.

January 2020

Registration and housing deadlines

8 January 2020

Early registration closes.

24 January 2020

The housing portal closes.

Plenary speakers

Headshot of Ocean Sciences Meeting speaker Nainoa ThompsonNainoa Thompson

Sunday, 16 February 2020
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: San Diego Convention Center, 6A-F, UL

Nainoa Thompson is the first Native Hawaiian in 600 years to practice the ancient Polynesian art of navigation: long-distance open-ocean voyaging on a traditional double-hulled canoe without the aid of modern instruments. His work has led to a renewed understanding and revival of traditional voyaging arts lost for centuries due to the disappearance of such travel methods and the colonization and Westernization of the Polynesian archipelagoes. As the president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), a non-profit research and educational organization, Thompson recently completed a four-year voyage around the world on the Hōkūleʻa, a traditional, double-hulled voyaging canoe. Through these travels, Thompson and his crew engaged with thousands of people, including world leaders to highlight the importance of ocean resources, cultural legacies, and protection of these critical places in the future. Read Nainoa Thompson’s full bio.

Headshot for Ocean Sciences Meeting keynote speaker Heidi Sosik

Heidi Sosik and Erik van Sebille

Tuesday, 18 February 2020
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: San Diego Convention Center, 6A-F, UL

Heidi Sosik is a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and currently holds the Stanley W. Watson Chair for Excellence in Oceanography. A biological oceanographer and inventor, Sosik and her co-workers have developed automated underwater analyzers that dramatically enhance scientists’ and resource managers’ ability to study microscopic organisms that fuel ocean food chains, interact with Earth’s climate, and sometimes produce harmful algal blooms that threaten ecosystem and human health. View Heidi Sosik’s full bio

Headshot for Ocean Sciences Meeting keynote speaker Erik van Sebille

Erik van Sebille is a physical oceanographer at Utrecht University. He studies the pathways and timescales on which ocean currents transport water, nutrients, planktonic organisms and pollution such as plastic. Van Sebille is the lead of the European Research Council-funded Tracking of Plastic in our Seas (TOPIOS) project with the goal to create a 3D map of marine plastic pollution and track it back to its sources. He has a passion for science communication, having done more than 300 interviews about plastic pollution and advised UK Parliament and the European Commission on the problem’s scale. He was recently named as a 2019 James B. Macelwane Medalist. View Erik van Sebille’s full bio.

Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020 Award Plenary

Wednesday, 19 February 2020
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: San Diego Convention Center, 6A-F, UL

Presentations of the AGU Sverdrup Lecture, the TOS Award Lecture and the ASLO A.C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement and Raymond L. Lindeman Awards.

ASLO Raymond L. Lindeman Award Lecture

Cristina Romera-Castillo
Instituto de Ciencias del Mar-CSIC
This award was first presented in 1987 to recognize an outstanding paper written by a young aquatic scientist. The paper for which Raymond L. Lindeman is remembered, published posthumously in 1942, has since become the foundation for research on the flow of energy in plant and animal communities.

ASLO A.C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award Lecture

Sybil Seitzinger
University of Victoria
The Lifetime Achievement Award was first presented in 1994 to recognize and honor major, long-term achievements in the fields of limnology and oceanography, including research, education and service to the community and society.  Emphasis in selection is given to established aquatic scientists whose work is recognized for its importance and long-term influence. 

AGU Sverdrup Award Lecture

Mary-Louise Timmermans
Yale University
The Harald Ulrik Sverdrup Lecture honors the life and work of geophysicist Harald Sverdrup. The Sverdrup Lecturer is selected for exemplifying Sverdrup’s work with outstanding contributions to the basic science of the atmosphere and the oceans and/or unselfish service promoting cooperation in atmospheric and oceanographic research.

Margaret Leinen

Friday, 21 February 2020
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: San Diego Convention Center, 6A-F, UL

Margaret Leinen, AGU Past President, UC San Diego Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Dean of the School of Marine Sciences.

Leinen is an award-winning oceanographer and an accomplished executive with extensive national and international experience in ocean science, global climate and environmental issues, federal research administration, and nonprofit startups. She is a researcher in paleo-oceanography and paleo-climatology. Her work focuses on ocean sediments and their relationship to global biogeochemical cycles and the history of Earth’s ocean and climate. Leinen leads UC San Diego’s ocean, earth, and atmospheric sciences research and education programs at Scripps Oceanography, the foremost environmental research institution that addresses the most pressing environmental problems facing our planet, provides the knowledge necessary to address these challenges, and teaches the next generation of science leaders.

Prior to joining Scripps, she served as Vice Provost for Marine and Environmental Initiatives and Executive Director of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, a unit of Florida Atlantic University. Prior to that she served for seven years at the National Science Foundation (NSF) as Assistant Director for Geosciences and Coordinator of Environmental Research and Education. While at NSF, she presided over and directly influenced some of the most consequential programs in marine, atmospheric, and earth science. She recently served as a US Department of State Science Envoy for the ocean and was a 2019 winner of AGU’s Ambassador Award.       


Membership discounts

Members of the Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) partner societies receive discounted registration rates to attend the meeting. To receive the discount, your membership must be active during registration.

Additionally, active members are eligible to submit session proposals, tutorials, and abstracts. Contact the societies to join or renew your membership. 

Oceans and partners

Discover San Diego

The Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020 will be held at the San Diego Convention Center located at:

111 West Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

San Diego is known for its mild and sunny weather, as well as its Spanish and Mexican heritage. Popular landmarks and neighborhoods include the San Diego Zoo, USS Midway Museum, Balboa Park, the Gaslamp Quarter, Old Town, and Coronado. We look forward to welcoming you to this diverse, coastal oasis. 

Calm ocean at night overlooking the lights of the San Diego skyline.