News and Announcements

TOS NEWS – October 13, 2020

1. From the President, Martin Visbeck

With the fall equinox behind us, the Northern Hemisphere is rapidly moving toward the darker season, while the pandemic maintains a grip on many societies. We had to rapidly adapt to a new environment of ocean science, ocean teachings, and community communications. In-person meetings have almost completely vanished, giving way to online exchange. We are learning every day to improve our digital communication skills. But are we also shifting our science approach to new forms of digital workflows? Have our data also become more interoperable and shared? Will an increasingly digital environment make science more equitable within our societies and around the globe? We have established a new position on the TOS Council to harness those opportunities and open up more fully to the digital science world. In Europe, there is a political push to make all data about our planet more connected, higher resolution, and easier to access through an initiative called Destination Earth and the ambition to build Digital Twins of the earth and the ocean. TOS members might be interested to hear more about the projects and engage as early ones are developed.

Despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, we have received a few excellent nominations for TOS Fellows and Awards. However, we can do better and the Nomination Committee has extended the nomination deadline to November 15, 2020. Moreover, we have not done well at all with nominations for the new Early Career Award, so for this round of nominations, we have waived the requirement of being a current TOS member.

So, this is a good opportunity to support the excellent young talent around you by nominating them for the TOS Early Career award. And I would be particularly happy to receive nominations in line with our ambition to embrace and recognize the full diversity of ocean sciences. Read more about all of the TOS Honors here.

2. Congratulations to Ed Fry, 2020 Jerlov Award Recipient

Dr. Edward S. Fry of Texas A&M University has been selected as the 2020 Nils Gunnar Jerlov Award recipient. The Jerlov Award, named for ocean optics research pioneer Nils Gunnar Jerlov and funded by NASA and the U.S. Office of Naval Research, is bestowed every two years to recognize scientists for significant advancements in ocean optics, outstanding achievements in interdisciplinary ocean science research and related collaborative areas, and contributions toward education and mentoring. Learn more here.

3. Announcing JEDI Committee Members

We’re pleased to confirm the members of the newly formed Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee: Dick Crout, Mona Behl, EeShan Bhatt, Susanne Craig, Erin Meyer-Gutbrod, Frank Muller-Karger, Beth Orcutt, Tashiana Osborne, Charitha Pattiaratchi, James Pierson, and Amber Shearer. The committee plans to meet soon virtually, and TOS members can learn more about plans and activities by viewing the JEDI Committee webpage.

4. Honors Nomination Extended to November 15, 2020

As mentioned above, the deadline to submit nominations for TOS Fellows, as well as the Early Career, Mentoring, and Ocean Observing Team Awards has been extended to November 15, 2020. For more information about the TOS Honors program, follow this link.

5. Oceanography June issue, Early Online Releases Posted

The June issue is now fully online after much delay caused by COVID Also be sure to check out the articles and commentaries now posted on the Early Online Release page:  

A Review of Secchi’s Contribution to Marine Optics and the Foundation of Secchi Disk Science

Commentary: Maury for Modern Times: Navigating a Racist Legacy in Ocean Science

Commentary: Equity and Safety in Polar Oceanography? Let’s Start with Equal Chances of Survival. Literally.

6. Membership Renewals and Membership Record Update Requests Coming Soon

In a few weeks, all regular and sponsoring members will receive renewal notifications for the membership year beginning January 1, 2021. During the online renewal process, you’ll be asked to provide some demographic information (to help TOS track diversity factors) and to opt-in to have your name, institution, area of interest, and email address listed in the online directory which is accessible only to other TOS members. We encourage members to opt-in for inclusion in the online directory; in addition to helping members connect, it is an important resource when encouraging nominations for TOS Honors.


UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development

– Version 2.0 of the Implementation Plan of the U.N. Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development has been published.

–  Call for Decade Actions launched. Submit ideas form programs, projects, or activities from October 15, 2020 – January 15, 2021.More details available here.

U.S. National Committee for the Ocean Decade 

The U.S. National Academies are introducing a national committee that will serve as the voice of the U.S. scientific community during the U.N. Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which will run from 2021 to 2030. The U.S. National Committee for the Ocean Decade is comprised of the experts who regularly advise the National Academies’ Ocean Studies Board, joined by experts who advise the National Academies’ Science and Technology for Sustainability Roundtable, Marine Board, and Gulf Research Program. Committee functions include establishing communication channels among participating organizations, organizing webinars, and convening meetings to promote and highlight Decade activities.

The Committee is hosting a public session Meet the Committee and Help Define the Decade on Friday, October 16, from 2:00-4:00 PM EDT. Follow this link for registration information.

We congratulate TOS Applied Technology Councilor, Dr. Larry Mayer, for his selection as Chair of this committee!

Request for Community Input: Expanding systems Approaches for Earth Science

The U.S. National Academies is seeking community input for a study on expanding systems approaches for Earth science (atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, geosphere, and human institutions and infrastructure) research at NSF. This study will develop a vision for a systems approach to studying the Earth and identifying facilities, infrastructure, coordinating mechanisms, computing, and workforce development needed to support that vision. Answers to this questionnaire will help the authoring committee better understand the range of issues associated with this complex topic. Responses will be accepted through December 31, 2020.

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