As a long-time member and fan of The Oceanography Society (TOS), it is a great honor to serve as its president for the next two years. I want to take the opportunity in my first column to remind you of all the great activities that TOS conducts and to enlist your help in expanding our membership. If any of your students or colleagues are not members, please point out the benefits of TOS membership and encourage them to join.
The Oceanography Society was founded in 1988 to disseminate knowledge of oceanography and its application through research and education, to promote communication among oceanographers, and to provide a constituency for consensus-building across all the disciplines of the field. We are the professional society of oceanographers. As such, our journal, Oceanography, is truly interdisciplinary. We publish four issues a year in hard copy and online and are part of the ISI Web of Science Citation Index Expanded (we received our first impact factor this year). The topical nature of the issues presents a comprehensive view of oceanographic programs, theme areas, new technologies, and policy issues. Oceanography articles are written to appeal to a broad audience so that colleagues outside of a particular field of expertise can understand and appreciate the science. Some issues have been used as texts or required reading in graduate oceanography classes. The Oceanography writing style is also appealing to policymakers. You may not know that Oceanography is sent to over 200 senators, congressional representatives, and staff on Capitol Hill. Perhaps more than any other scientific journal in our field, Oceanography can help influence decisions about funding ocean research and ocean policy.
An important focus of TOS is on undergraduate and graduate education. Oceanography has two education columnists who each contribute to the journal twice per year, providing advice on items such as how to construct a course outline and the importance of studying abroad. In addition, TOS publishes hands-on oceanography labs (see p. 165 and also http://www.tos.org/hands-on), and in 2009 published a whole booklet of inquiry-based labs, available in English, Spanish, Catalan, and French (go to http://www.tos.org/hands-on/teaching_phys.html to download a copy). In order to provide oceanography graduate students with ideas for jobs outside of academia, TOS recently started publishing and posting online “career profiles” (see p. 177 and also http://www.tos.org/resources/career_profiles.html).
TOS brings national and international recognition to leaders in oceanography by presenting a number of awards (http://www.tos.org/awards_honors.html). The Munk Award honors a scientist for significant contributions to our knowledge of ocean acoustics. The Jerlov Award is given to a scientist for significant contributions to our knowledge of ocean optics. In addition, TOS selects Fellows each year for their contributions to ocean science, management, and education.
Another important TOS activity is co-hosting ocean science meetings. Along with AGU and ASLO, we organized the 2010 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland. In 2012, we are the lead society in organizing and hosting the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Salt Lake City.
The membership of TOS is 1,317. I would like to see this membership increase, especially among younger scientists and under-represented groups. If current members can provide TOS (firstname.lastname@example.org) with names of colleagues at their institutions who might be likely new members, we will be happy to contact these people by sending a personal letter inviting them to join.
Over the next two years, I look forward to talking with you and hearing your suggestions on how we can continue the excellence of TOS.
– Mike Roman, TOS President