Over 350 researchers, graduate students, and industry and agency representatives from 33 countries gathered in Portland, Maine, USA for the 2014 Ocean Optics conference. During the five-day event, participants listened to oral presentations on range of topics in ocean optics and attended four dedicated poster sessions that provided presenters with the opportunity to highlight their research results.
The highlight of the week was the awards banquet. George Kattawar (Texas A&M University) was presented with the Jerlov Award recognizing his achievements in ocean optics. Curtis Mobley introduced Dr. Kattawar and summarized his impressive qualifications and contributions to the field. The certificate presented to Dr. Kattawar read as follows:
Dr. Kattawar is internationally recognized for his contributions to radiative transfer theory and its applications to light propagation in the ocean. His work has centered on the use of polarization to study a wide variety of theoretical and applied topics in oceanic optics and related fields, including three-dimensional geometries and time dependence. He has mentored over 40 graduate and postdoctoral students, and his courses and lectures have received numerous teaching awards.
The Jerlov Award is sponsored jointly by TOS, NASA, and ONR.
The other prestigious award presented at the conference was for the Best Student Paper—the results of which were kept secret until the banquet. The winner was Catherine Mitchell of the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland, UK). Honorable Mention certificates were given to: Amir Ibrahim, Grace E. Kim, and Linhai Li. More details about the award and the program are available at http://www.tos.org/oceanopticsconference/best_student_paper.html.
As the conference drew to a close on Friday, participants cast their ballots for two other awards: Best Speaker (awarded since 2004) and Best Poster (new in 2014). Curtis Mobley was selected as the best speaker for his talk on “Polarized Reflection and Transmission Properties of Wind-blown Sea Surfaces” and will have the honor of ringing the conference bell to open the 2016 Ocean Optics Conference. Raul Bardaji is the first winner of the Best Poster award for: “A Spatio-Temporal Analysis with KdUINO Data, a DIY Citizen Science Instrument.” The next Ocean Optics Conference will convene in Victoria, BC, Canada in October 2016—updates on the program and deadlines will be posted at http://www.oceanopticsconference.org.
— Jennifer Ramarui, Conference Coordinator