News and Announcements

TOS NEWS – June 8, 2020

1. From the President, Martin Visbeck

These days a lot of uncertainty about the future is also affecting the ocean science community. The world around us is changing fast. Many of us struggle to cope with the challenges that are a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic, unsettling inequalities, and uncertain budgets. However, some fixtures remain: The United Nation general assembly in its resolution 63/111 of 5 December 2008 included paragraph #171 which simply said: “Resolves that, as from 2009, the United Nations will designate 8 June as World Oceans Day.” The concept of a “World Oceans Day” was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a way to celebrate our world’s shared ocean and our personal connection to the sea, as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it. I am sure that many members of TOS are actively engaging in ocean-related activities today and during the week. The ocean’s importance to the future of humanity is more obvious to many than ever before. But still, more can be done to connect and engage with citizens around the world to celebrate the ocean but also discuss the pressures due to human activity and develop solutions to address them. We have asked TOS Council members to share their engagement with all of us, and their responses are below.

2. What do you plan to do on World Oceans Day? TOS Council members share their thoughts…

This World Oceans Day, I was planning to celebrate together with the “Ocean Voyagers” pupils from several schools participating in the Adopt a Float project at the Institut de la Mer de Villefranche (France). The coronavirus crisis, however, prevents us from organizing such an event and underpins my view of a growing need to further develop digital tools and resources. So, I will take the opportunity and assist UNESCO’s IOC Virtual Ocean Literacy Summit

Carolyn Scheurle

Education Councilor

World Oceans Day falls on the same day that NYC starts Phase I of reopening, with beach-going remaining discouraged. When I do get to the beach the summer, I will pick up trash as I walk. I am so encouraged by all the cleanup efforts organized by World Oceans Day!

Galen McKinley

Chemical Oceanography Councilor

I plan to celebrate World Ocean Day by tuning into Schmidt Ocean Institute’s “SOI Brings the Ocean to You” virtual event (live on Facebook and YouTube) connecting with R/V Falkor while it operates in the Coral Sea Marine Park off Australia. I’ll also be virtually attending Capitol Hill Ocean Week on June 9th. Even though I’m at home, I’ll be donning ocean-themed attire both days as well!

Allison Miller

TOS Secretary

I will be working on the ocean chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change sixth assessment. For World Oceans Day, however, I will take a moment to remind my elected representatives that climate issues are ocean issues. The ocean is where more than 90% of the excess heat related to global warming is found.

Alan Mix

Past President

This morning (weather permitting), my family and I will take our paddleboards to the lagoon behind Shell Key, a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, off of Saint Petersburg, Florida. In addition to enjoying being on the ocean and observing marine life, we will spend time cleaning up the beach.

Amelia Shevenell

Geological Oceanography Councilor

I will be sitting on my deck, looking out over False Bay Biological Preserve with Haro Strait and Vancouver Island in the background. Suppressing thoughts about COVID-19 for now, the more pressing question is – will the Southern Resident orcas be returning this summer?

Charles Greene

Biological Oceanography Councilor

Sadly, I will be participating in at least 4-5 Zoom/GoTo/WebEx/Teams meetings. Happily—they are all ocean-related -including listening in on the “Battle of the Ages“—NOSB champions against a group of old Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL) ocean scientists—so I will be immersed in ocean business on World Ocean Day…. and maybe even see some of my colleagues humiliated…

Larry Mayer

Applied Technology Councilor

3. DIY Oceanography – Seeking submissions

Guest editors Melissa Omand and Emmanuel Boss are seeking contributions to this new Oceanographydepartment. Contributing authors share all of the relevant information on a homemade sensor or instrument so that others can build, or build upon, it. The short articles will also showcase how this technology was used successfully in the field. The first contribution was published in the March issue of Oceanography. See Oceanography’s Author Guidelines page for detailed information on submission requirements. 


Program Director (Rotator), Physical Oceanography Program, Division of Ocean Sciences, Directorate of Geosciences

The Physical Oceanography Program (PO) within the Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) in the Directorate of Geosciences (GEO) announces a nationwide search for a Program Director (Rotator) with experience and expertise in any aspect of physical oceanography. The PO Program supports research on topics associated with the physical structure and movement of ocean water masses and quantities within them, across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. This includes interactions of ocean circulation and fluid dynamics with ocean biology and chemistry, and with the atmosphere, solid earth and ice. More information about the position, the possible appointment options and instructions for applications can be found at the “Career Opportunities” section of the NSF website or the following this link.

Program Director, Chemical Oceanography Program, Division of Ocean Sciences, Directorate of Geosciences

The Chemical Oceanography Program (CO) within the Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) in the Directorate of Geosciences (GEO) announces a nationwide search for a Program Director (Rotator) with experience and expertise in any aspect of chemical oceanography. Follow this link to learn more. The CO Program supports research into the chemistry of the oceans and the role of the oceans in global geochemical cycles. Areas of interest include chemical composition, speciation, and transformation; chemical exchanges between the oceans and other components of the Earth system; internal cycling in oceans, seas, and estuaries; and the use of measured chemical distributions as indicators of physical, biological, and geological processes. The person selected for this position will work with the other Program Officers who oversee the CO Program to balance the award portfolio across the entire range of disciplines supported by the Program. 

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