This issue of Oceanography celebrates a seminal event: the joint conference of The Oceanography Society (TOS) and Oceanology International Americas 2001 (OIA2001). The TOS membership is intimately familiar with the society’s biennial scientific meeting. OIA2001, however is a premiere event in the Americas, and a joint meeting of the two communities has never been attempted before. Just getting two groups to meet together is nothing new, but bringing ocean industry and the marine scientific community together has not been done with such formality, fanfare, and promise. Take a look through this volume of abstracts, then take a look at the program for OIA2001. You’ll see the synergy.
George Bernard Shaw once said that marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity. I am convinced that if you put a technologist or a policy maker or a resource manager in the same room as a researcher, you’ll usually make some progress. That’s what this conference is all about. Then add the fact that the final competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl will also be conducted simultaneously…not to mention the many other conferences and symposia that are scheduled for this joint forum. I think we can count on some trail-blazing while TOS and OIA2001 share a venue.
But the test comes long after we all depart from Miami Beach. The value will be measured in impact. Regardless of the goals of OIA2001, The Oceanography Society stands to make some significant changes as a result of this “joint venture.” Our membership ranks from industry can grow. Our expression of research diversity, as manifested in our membership, can expand. Our general sphere of influence can become broader. I find that exciting.
As we go to press with this issue of Oceanography, the conference in Miami Beach is many weeks away. As you read these words, the conference is not far in time. How will these words ring, years from now, when you look over this issue of Oceanography nostalgically?
– Richard W. Spinrad, Editor