The upcoming biennium promises to be an important period for The Oceanography Society. With a sincere thank you on behalf of our membership to Larry Clark for his strong leadership and guidance as President, we all look to 2007–2008 as a time of opportunity. During the next two years we will face some important decisions and be challenged by powerful drivers of change. For example:
- The United States' first ever Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy will be released this winter. What will this mean for TOS? How should we take best advantage of this unique document?
- The Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) will continue its trajectory toward full deployment. The contributions of the Global Ocean Observing System, the U.S.'s Integrated Ocean Observing System, and the Ocean Observatories Initiative are all critical in this regard. Can TOS serve as an important factor in this development?
- Abrupt climate change and other intriguing scientific issues will play ever-more important roles in the Climate Change Science Program. How can we, as TOS members, ensure the ocean's role is appropriately represented in these efforts?
- Whole new systems for providing warnings of natural hazards will be implemented (e.g., the U.S. Tsunami Warning System). Will these operational efforts be important contributors to the mission of our society?
These are just the technical issues. In addition, there will be a whole set of geopolitical and social issues that will face our community, including a Presidential election in the United States.
Over the next two years, The Oceanography Society will be pursuing some new ventures and continuing to develop recent ones. In past issues of the magazine you have seen both Larry and me discuss the virtues of establishing a formal certification program for oceanographers. I am delighted to report that the first steps for assessing such a program have been taken. During my watch I will work with all of the membership to strengthen this effort. Additionally, this last year we saw the start of the joint meeting activities with our sister societies. The successes we’ve seen already in that effort will be built upon and extended in the years to come, with an even more diverse set of meetings and conferences.
There is no doubt we will face a range of important roles and activities for the society in the upcoming two years. Our challenge will be to expend our time, energy and effort on those issues where we can have the greatest value to our membership. For that reason, I look forward to an active dialogue with the membership through meetings, correspondence, and all other forms of interaction. Our society has strength through the engagement of our membership. As we face these new challenges, I am eager to lead us to new opportunities.
—Richard Spinrad, TOS President-Elect