Updates From The Consortium For Ocean Leadership
Week of July 2, 2018 • Number 418

President’s Corner

Jogging along the seemingly pristine beach of Monterey Bay last week, I could almost see the ocean that Admiral Watkins envisioned in the U.S. Ocean Commission report of 2004 – An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century:

“The oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes are clean, safe, prospering, and sustainably managed. They contribute significantly to the economy, supporting multiple, beneficial uses such as food production, development of energy and mineral resources, recreation and tourism, transportation of goods and people, and the discovery of novel medicines, while preserving a high level of biodiversity and a wide range of critical natural habitats.”

Like many communities taking steps toward ocean and coastal restoration, the Monterey Bay area has engaged in exemplary measures to clean up its beaches and waters, including reducing the amount of plastic and other harmful material entering the sea and waterways. The region is also home to amazing scientific research and technology development and implementation at several COL members I visited, including Liquid Robotics, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The work at these organizations and institutions leaves me hopeful that members of our consortium will indeed inspire and lead change that will make Admiral Watkins' vision a reality.

The dire need —  and real potential — for ocean science-based solutions to solve the myriad problems our planet faces is certainly not lost on leaders around Monterey Bay, as well as many back in D.C. at the national level. I had the honor of providing remarks at a Navy retirement ceremony for one of these transformational leaders and scientists who contributed significantly to ocean and atmospheric science during his Navy career, Commander (Ret.) John Marburger. His work included developing the Navy’s Arctic Roadmap and DOD’s Sea Level Rise Risk Management publication. I know that his contributions to ocean and atmospheric science won’t end with his retirement, and I eagerly anticipate much more from him in the days ahead.   

I also gave a presentation on ocean science and security to several area leaders, including Congressman Jimmy Panetta, whose remarks following my presentation reflected his personal commitment to the ocean and science. I believe this commitment is growing throughout Congress and reflects true bipartisanship — and not a moment too soon. To this end, Senate appropriators advanced their version of the $675 billion Defense spending bill as the full House did the same with theirs. The Senate bill includes substantial increases for the primary programs that fund the majority of university defense basic research as well as report language highlighting the committee's recognition that "basic research is the foundation for Department of Defense innovation and future technologies." The Senate committee has now approved all 12 appropriations bills; you can find the status of both chambers' activities on spending bills here.   

RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.)
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Member Highlight
Newly Discovered Volcanic Heat Source Under Antarctic Glacier Is Half As Hot As Iceland’s Most Active Volcano
Several kilometers under the ice, researchers from the University of Rhode Island’s School of Oceanography have found evidence of an active volcano spewing large amounts of heat under Antarctica’s fastest melting glacier. The team of scientists discovered biochemical proof of the existence of a volcanic heat source sitting just beneath West Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier, which is already in danger of melting rapidly into the surrounding oceans because of heat from climate change.

Congressional Calendar

Congress will be in recess until July 9, 2018.

Policy Highlight

Preparing Coastal Communities For Change

Experts From Coastal States Highlight Sea Grant’s Role In Addressing Economic Resiliency, Fisheries, Coastal Erosion, Sea Level Rise, And Ocean Acidification

What It Was

The Sea Grant Association, in conjunction with the House Oceans Caucus (chaired by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1) and Don Young (AK-At-Large)), sponsored a congressional briefing titled, “Preparing Coastal Communities for Change: Economic Resiliency, Fisheries, Coastal Erosion, Sea Level Rise, and Ocean Acidification.”

Why It Matters

Environmental changes, including melting sea ice, warming ocean, acidifying waters, and intensifying weather affect more than just the natural ecosystem. They threaten the prosperity of our economy, the stability of our coastal communities, the security of our food, and the health of our families. Hardships experienced as a result of a changing planet can be mitigated by understanding the problems, preparing communities, and planning ahead. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program (Sea Grant) does just that, supporting coastal communities through science and education.

Key Points

Experts from across the U.S. described Sea Grant’s commitment to building resilient coastal communities through science and partnerships. The panel, composed of diverse sectors, agreed the planet, ocean, and Great Lakes are changing (e.g., warming, rising, acidifying), and it is imperative that coastal communities be prepared.

Dr. Robert Steneck (Professor of Oceanography, Marine Biology and Marine Policy, School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine) described the decreasing biodiversity in the Gulf of Maine since the 1600s. The observed shift from a predator-dominated ecosystem to a prey-dominated one is largely due to... 

Click here to read more about the briefing

Also on Capitol Hill

FY 2019 Defense Appropriations Bill

Senate Appropriations Committee - Subcommittee On Defense Markup (26 June 2018)

Opening Statements

  • Chairman Richard Shelby (AL) (Statement not available)
  • Ranking Member Richard Durbin (IL) (Statement not available)
Senate Appropriations Committee Markup (28 June 2018)

S.3159 – FY 2019 Defense Appropriations Act
FY2019 Defense Appropriations Act, Report 115-290


Opening Statement

In the News

House Floor Vote On Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Put On Hold Until After July Recess

H.R. 200 – Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act
Submitted amendments, bill text, and committee report


In the News

Marine Debris, Blue Technology, And Other Maritime Legislation Markup

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (6 March 2018)

Opening Statements

  • Chairman Bill Shuster (PA-9) (Statement not available)
  • Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (OR-4) (Statement not available)
  • Representative Don Young (AK-At-Large)

In the News

Offshore Renewable Energy Legislation

House Natural Resources Committee hearing (26 June 2018)

Discussion draft - National OCS Renewable Energy Leasing Program Act
Discussion draft - Offshore Renewable Energy for Territories Act
H.R. 5291 - Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act


  • Mr. James Bennett, Chief of the Office of Renewable Energy Programs, Bureau of Ocean Management, Department of the Interior (testimony)
  • Mr. Randall Luthi, President, National Oceans Industries Association (testimony)
  • Mr. Roy Francis, Senior Vice President, Gulf Island Fabricators, Inc. (testimony)
  • Mr. Olaf J. Olsen, Lead Representative, Dockbuilders-Divers-Piledrivers, Keystone Mountain Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters (testimony)
  • Mr. Stephen Pike, Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (testimony)

Opening Statements

  • Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-1) (Statement not available)
  • Ranking Member Raúl Grijalva (AZ-3) (Statement not available)

House Natural Resources Committee Markup (24 June 2018)
H.R. 5291 - Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act

Opening Statement

  • Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-1) (Statement not available)
  • Ranking Member Raúl Grijalva (AZ-3) (Statement not available)

In the News

Department of Energy Nominations Hearing

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (26 June 2018)


  • Dr. Christopher Fall, nominated to be Director of the Office of Science, Department of Energy (testimony)
  • Mr. Daniel Simmons, nominated to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy) (testimony)
  • Ms. Teri L. Donaldson, nominated to be Inspector General of the Department of Energy (testimony)
  • Ms. Karen S. Evans, nominated to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response) (testimony)

Opening Statements

In the News


Consortium for Ocean Leadership News

New Deep Ocean Art Exhibit

A new exhibit, Lily Simonson: Painting the Deep, is on display at the Harvard Museum of Natural History featuring unique and paintings of deep-sea environments and organisms, including the infamous yeti crab. Artist Lily Simonson regularly collaborates with the ocean science community, participating in field expeditions, to accomplish her work. Her intense interest in and inspiration from the deep sea and oceanographic science can be traced back to her introduction to the Census of Marine Life (a former COL program). Lily was a featured speaker at the Census’ finale events in London 2010, highlighting how science can inspire art and public emotions around our natural world.  The exhibit will run for a year, through June 2019. For more, please go here

OceanObs’19: Abstracts Online

Earlier this year, abstracts for Community White Papers (CWPs) were solicited from the ocean observing and end user communities. The organizers of OceanObs’19 requested abstracts with the hope they will evolve into overarching CWPs, becoming collectively reflective of community wisdoms and perspectives. Over 2000 authors are now coordinating on 100s of ocean observing topics that will be published in a special issue of Frontiers in Marine Science prior to the conference in 2019. For a full list of approved and consolidated abstracts, please visit here.
The OOI is a large infrastructure project designed to be in operation for 25 years; that is long enough for a researcher to spend almost their entire career engaging with the OOI. Because of these new opportunities, students and early career scientists are diving in to the OOI as early adopters of the system and gaining their foothold for the long haul. This summer, the OOI Communications Team will be highlighting some of these scientists.

Early Career Highlight - Hilary Palevsky and the Irminger Sea Biological Pump

Dr. Palevsky has just returned from three weeks at sea on the OOI Irminger Sea turn cruise examining the balance between biological, physical, and chemical processes that dictate how the ocean and the atmosphere exchange carbon dioxide in the North Atlantic. In this highlight piece, follow Dr. Palevsky's journey from western Pennsylvania to a career in oceanography and how the OOI was able to provide critical pieces to the puzzle of winter ventilation and carbon cycling in the deep ocean.
Read the full article.

Visions '18 Cruise Underway

On June 19th, the R/V Roger Revelle departed Newport, Oregon to begin VISIONS’18, a 47-day expedition to replace and maintain elements of the Cabled Array off the coasts of Oregon and Washington as well as to add some novel sensors. Led by Chief Scientist Deb Kelley, this is the fourth Operations and Maintenance cruise for the Cabled Array implementing organization, as part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Ocean Observatories Initiative.
Read more about the Visions 18 cruise here.

Visit the cruise website for daily cruise logs, images, and the Live Video Feed! You can also follow the cruise on Twitter (@VISIONSops).

Do you have a recent publication using OOI data? Let us know! Simply submit your citation or DOI to our Publication Tracker.

Check out the OOI Special Issue of Oceanography Magazine. 

Want to receive the OOI updates e-newsletter? Sign up for our Mailing List.


Why is the NOSB circulating a community letter for signatures? Because #WeNeedNOSB!
An alumna recently said she believes #WeNeedNOSB because students learn there is something extra amazing about nature when they understand a little bit of the complexities behind the beauty.

 We'll be sharing more alumni thoughts on the lasting impacts of the program, but why do you think #WeNeedNOSB? Tell us, and others, on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, tagging #NOSBRocks and #WeNeedNOSB.

The NOSB Needs Your Support

For more than 20 years, the NOSB has been providing high school students with deep ocean science learning and graduating them to our U.S. ocean science institutions and workforce. Our alumni community—tens of thousands strong—is rich with stories of success in ocean and STEM fields, and our goal is to continue to build on this success for years to come.
But the NOSB is in trouble. The program was launched through federal partnership and sponsorship, which has declined significantly over the past five years. The reduction in federal funding is far outpacing our ability to raise new sponsorship. COL is calling on the ocean science community to demonstrate its strong support for this program and for sustained federal funding, without which the NOSB will likely end.
Please sign the letter urging Congress and the administration to recommit to the NOSB and ocean science education. Please also share the link with your networks of other supportive community members.
Thank you in advance for helping the NOSB and COL advocate for U.S. ocean science and education capacity. If you have any questions, or wish to discuss this call to action, please email

Help Contribute NOSB Competition Questions

Are you a science teacher or a marine scientist with a strong interest in education? Are you an NOSB alum who wants to educate and challenge the next generation of ocean leaders? If so, write buzzer and team challenge questions for the 2019 NOSB competitions!

We are especially interested in questions regarding ocean observing systems and data and encourage individuals with relevant experience and expertise to apply.

Learn more about qualifications and eligibility for hired question writers here.  If you only have time to submit a few questions, the NOSB accepts questions on a voluntary basis throughout the year. Guidelines for question writing, as well as examples and templates, are available on the NOSB website

NOSB Alumni For Spotlights Needed

During the 2016 competition year, the NOSB began sharing spotlights of our talented, dedicated, and inspiring alumni. To date, we've shared stories, career paths, impacts related to NOSB participation, and more about 62 of our past participants. 
We'd love to continue. We want to know where you are, what you are doing and how the NOSB impacted your high school, college, or professional career. Please email us, also providing relevant details such as the years you participated in the NOSB, what high school you attended, and which regional bowl kept you guessing and buzzing in.

The Deadline To Submit A Session Proposal Has Been Extended To July 6, 2018

This year's theme, "Minding the Gaps: Research Priorities for Response, Restoration, and Resilience," seeks to bridge basic and applied research in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as to consider how various stressors contribute to ecological and social resilience. Strong consideration will be given to proposals with an interdisciplinary approach and that offer some combination of:

•    Physical/geochemical processes;
•    Social, health, and biological impacts;
•    Outreach, communications, and education; and
•    Response, restoration or management implications.

Proposals will be accepted until 11:59PM Pacific Time, July 6, 2018. Visit the conference website for more information on the 2019 conference and how to submit a session proposal.


Screenscope Films Releases New Short Videos to Accompany Dispatches from the Gulf 2

Video of the Week: Tracking Ocean Currents – Part 1
Screenscope Films, in partnership with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), is pleased to announce the release of 25 new short videos complementing Dispatches from the Gulf 2, the second documentary film in the Dispatches from the Gulf series.
This week’s Video of the Week is titled Tracking Ocean Currents – Part 1. A team of scientists is embarking on a unique mission to better understand the world’s oceans. Two large research vessels hold more than 1,000 devices called drifters that will be thrown overboard - at very careful intervals, in a very specific pattern - to see where they drift. Real-time data from these tiny biodegradable buoys will recalibrate our understanding of ocean currents. To be successful, the team has to actually get out into the middle of the Gulf. But the weather has other plans... 

More shorts are available on the Dispatches from the Gulf YouTube Channel here, and educational resources can be found here. If you are an educator, or know someone who is, you can request a free copy of Dispatches from the Gulf 1 and 2 on DVD to use in your classroom here.
Dispatches from the Gulf is made possible in part by a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. The GoMRI is a 10-year independent research program established to study the effect, and the potential associated impact, of hydrocarbon releases on the environment and public health, as well as to develop improved spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization and remediation technologies.  An independent and academic 20-member Research Board makes the funding and research direction decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research.  All research data, findings and publications will be made publicly available.  The program was established through a $500 million financial commitment from BP.

IOOC Launches New Metrics For Ocean Observing Systems (MOOS) Task Team

The Interagency Ocean Observation Committee (IOOC) has commissioned a team of federal subject matter experts that will develop a set of metrics to help monitor and evaluate the status of U.S. observing activities at-large. These metrics will enable ocean observing programs to evolve toward successful outcomes, promote continuous improvement, and enable strategic decision making Additionally, they will be used for the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) as a means of communicating program aims, status, and progress. These metrics will reflect indicators related to Essential Observing Variables (EOVs)—physical, chemical, or biological—to help understand how well elements of the ocean domain are observed in time and space, determine vulnerabilities and opportunities in observing systems, and inform management and policy decisions to promote oceanographic research and operations. The IOOC team will provide their final deliverable in the form of pilot metrics in the Spring of 2019.

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