Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 16 Issue 04

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Volume 16, No. 4
Pages 5 - 5


H. Lawrence Clark Alexandra Isern
First Paragraph

In his somewhat whimsical and futuristic article in a 1989 issue of Oceanography, the eminent oceanographer Henry Stommel describes what it might be like working in the Slocum Mission Control Center of the World Ocean Observing System. He describes a vision of a facility capable of monitoring the global ocean, using a fleet of small neutrally-buoyant floats dispersed throughout the oceans and transmitting back a variety of real-time oceanographic data to Mission Control Central. Stommel was a visionary and one of the first oceanographers to recognize and articulate the need to study the oceans on space and time scales that are appropriate to better understand their dynamic natural processes. Through recent technological advances and pressure from societal needs, a realization of Stommel’s vision of the future is rapidly approaching.


Clark, H.L., and A. Isern. 2003. Overview. Oceanography 16(4):5, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2003.01.