The goal of I is to contribute to the Society’s goals of disseminating knowledge of oceanography, promoting communication among oceanographers, and providing a forum for building consensus. In this editorial we discuss some challenges we have, some changes we are making, and how you, as members of TOS, can help.
First, of course, we need articles. This includes technical papers like Wally Broecker’s explanation of the “conveyer belt”; papers that unify many concepts into one coherent hypothesis, presented in a way that is understandable to all oceanographers. We need more papers like Klaus Wyrtki’s reminiscences about his education, which raise issues such as whether students should be required to take courses outside their discipline. This question is just as relevant (and hotly debated) today as it was during his days in graduate school. And we need letters to the editor, or point/counterpoint dialogues, not only about technical issues, but on questions such as the future direction of TOS or of national and international policies affecting oceanography. In this issue Alan Longhurst starts the dialogue. Let us know what you think.
International participation is critical. Our science is one of the most international on Earth, so we must keep a global perspective. Yet, how is this done? Though we have ever-improving electronic communications, it is still difficult to interact at the international level in journals. Alan Longhurst presents some of these issues very clearly in his letter, and he speaks for many others from whom we have heard. We hope that you will consider his comments and give us suggestions for more we can do. One possibility might be a regular column featuring discussion of international aspects of our science.
A new feature of Oceanography appearing in this issue is “The Oceanographer’s Toolkit.” This section will focus on developments in software, hardware, and other topics such as data sources. The emphasis will be on tools that can be used by a large number of people, rather than the highly specialized ones requiring major hardware resources. Perhaps you know of tools that have been developed privately or are not widely known in our community.
We always welcome good research articles, but Oceanography is not just a technical journal. Technical papers apply to only one of the three goals of the Society, that of disseminating knowledge. There are many other issues on which we can communicate, from educational concerns to public policy. If you have an idea for an article, send us a one-page outline at any time. We will let you know within two weeks if it is appropriate and what the publication schedule would be.
— Larry Atkinson and Constance Sancetta