Consider this issue of Oceanography a wedding announcement. Two years ago, we held a “celebration” for the engagement of The Oceanography Society (TOS) and Oceanology International Americas (OIA). Like all Miami parties, the 2001 festivities were exciting, full of provocative material, and just a little out of control. But everybody saw the signs for a successful marriage. Now, as TOS and OIA formally join together in 2003 in New Orleans, we are undoubtedly starting down a long trail of extraordinary and unique conferences and exhibitions. The TOS/OIA 2003 effort will be the largest oceanographic event in the Americas this year, and this issue of the magazine is the lasting testimony to this successful merger. Long-standing members of TOS will recognize this issue of Oceanography as one in a regular and continuing series of professional publications for the society (this is our 16th year of publication), and as the compilation of abstracts for the TOS Conference. Repeat attendees of the OI series (including the 30-year series of OI conferences and exhibitions that were once held in Brighton and—“victims” of their own huge success—have now moved to London’s EXCEL Centre) will recognize this issue of Oceanography as the catalogue for the OI Exhibition.
But, I hasten to point out that this is more than just the merger of two already successful efforts. This “marriage” is yet another reflection of the community leadership and unique role played by TOS. A review of the content of this issue of Oceanography will prove to the reader that TOS is not just another professional society. The wonderful and unique blend of basic research, societal applications, technological breakthroughs, and policy perspectives that are represented in these pages cannot be found in any other single oceanographic publication. The reader should also pay close attention to the diversity of authorship reflected in the materials contained herein: government, industry, academia, and non-governmental organizations. Note also, the mix of experiences, from the freshest perspectives of young graduate students, to the knowledge gleaned from the icons of oceanography. The body of understanding, and the diversity of backgrounds reflected in these pages makes the union of TOS and OIA a wedding for the ages. Here’s to the start of a wonderful marriage!
– Richard W. Spinrad, Editor