I’m dedicating this column to an important, but all too often neglected facet of our community’s work: education. Like many of nay colleagues I have, at best, an amateur’s portfolio of involvement in educational activities in the ocean sciences. Like virtually all of my colleagues, however, I acknowledge that without more consideration of this part of our community, we will suffer. Education tends, often, to be the last subject addressed as we develop agendas for ocean conferences. It is sometimes tacked on as a final element of a program plan in ocean research. And education is the part of our community that is always underfunded and underrepresented. Yet, undoubtedly, a major reason that you are reading this magazine right now is that you were the beneficiary of some ocean science education at some time.
Volume 15 Number 4 represents the final issue in which Dean McManus will publish his Education Column for the Society. For three years, now, Dean has provided a continuing series of stimulating, provocative and wonderfully insightful perspectives on how we, as a community of ocean scientists, did, do, and should engage in a variety of educational endeavors. His columns have been a constant source of fascinating recommendations, and, sometimes, well-justified chastisement. I would like to think that at least a handful of our readers have changed their attitudes towards, and practices in ocean education, as a result of Dean’s thoughtful and exquisitely, written pieces. Dean, on behalf of the membership of The Oceanography Society, please accept our gratitude for volunteering so much time and effort to share your insights with us.
Oceanography will endeavor to continue the tradition that Dean developed, and I am making arrangements for the baton to be passed to other equally talented columnists. That’s what I can do. I ask you to take a few minutes and look back at some of Dean’s previous columns. See, once again, if there are some ‘actionable’ items in there for you. Revisit some of the novel thinking that has appeared in these pages. That’s the kind of legacy that The Oceanography Society should be able to produce. And, oh, by the way, I’m sure Dean would like that.
– Richard W. Spinrad, Editor