In this column I want to make you aware of a number of items being discussed and moved forward by your Society through your elected TOS Council members.
ASLO’s dissolution of its relationship with AGU as a sponsor of the biennial Ocean Sciences Meeting lead ASLO and TOS to develop a long-term agreement for a biennial Ocean Research Conference. The first ASLO/TOS Ocean Research Conference was recently held in Hawaii, with about 1700 registrants representing over 35 countries. It was a tremendous success. The venue was pleasing and the meeting intellectually stimulating and exciting. The Conference was a complete partnership between TOS and ASLO, combining formats and approaches of both groups. The plenary sessions revealed the value of discussing subjects that are of interest across all disciplines and fields of oceanography from academic, to government, to policy, to education. Likewise, the concurrent sessions permitted attendees to focus on particular topical areas of interest. This meeting “worked and worked well.” TOS and ASLO will review the meeting and comments from members so that improvements can be implemented in the future.
TOS, ASLO and AGU have also been working to develop an MOA for a jointly sponsored biennial Ocean Sciences meeting beginning in 2006 that would overcome the previous conditions that lead to the dissolution of the ASLO/AGU agreement. TOS took the first “shot” at the new agreement, and we have had fruitful back-and-forth discussions and revisions with ASLO and AGU. Your TOS Council provided both specific and general guidance to me for this document. Of course a good document doesn’t guarantee success but it better ensures an equitable, fair and transparent arrangement among all parties. We are hoping for success, but if not, both ASLO and TOS would commit to our 2006 meeting and make plans. In addition, the Estuarine Research Federation (ERF) has had discussions with us about becoming partners in our joint meeting. Our members have overlapping interests as well as some distinct interests needed to make for a more inclusive meeting covering the entire range of oceanography topics.
The 2005 TOS/Spearhead joint meeting and exposition called Oceanology International Americas was canceled due to Spearhead being purchased by another firm and a change in their strategic directions. This happened quite late in the planning stage so TOS Meetings Committee Chair, Dr. John Kindle has been working with Dr. Larry Clark, TOS President-Elect to develop the 2005 meeting. UNESCO and TOS have discussed holding the 2005 meeting in Paris as an international venue for our international Society. Those of you who attended the June 1998 TOS/UNESCO meeting in Paris will recall what a wonderful and exciting venue and meeting that was. TOS will keep you posted on email and on our web site. TOS has initiated or is considering a number of farreaching actions for its members that make it more relevant and responsive to member needs and meet TOS objectives as stated in our charter. “...engaging in activities to:
- advance basic oceanographic research;
- disseminate knowledge concerning basic oceanographic research;
- promote broader understanding of oceanography;
- promote the education of ocean scientists;
- advance the development of technology to study the oceans and advance public understanding of developments in the field of oceanographic research and the relationship of such research to scientific research in general."
Simply stated, TOS seeks to benefit its members and the entire oceanographic community. Although membership has grown slightly our impact will be greater, and benefits will increase, with a larger membership. We must reach out to the next generation of oceanographers. Discuss TOS with your colleagues, as many students as you can, your industry colleagues and education and policy colleagues. Urge them to join the Society. To best represent the community’s interests, the Society needs you and your colleagues to be active members. The Council has approved the development of a TOS Fellows Program. As the draft policy for the TOS Fellow Program states, “The Oceanography Society (TOS) Fellows Program recognizes individuals who have attained eminence in oceanography though their outstanding contributions to the oceanographic sciences or their applications during a substantial period of years. TOS members from all fields will be considered for Fellowship, including academia, engineering, industry, government, education and policy.” Fellows would have to have been members of TOS for at least three years and no more than 0.5% of the total membership can be elected in any one year.
In addition, the draft policy states, “The very origins of TOS are rooted in bringing together and recognizing individuals involved in all fields of oceanography, and to be aware of equity issues across fields and across gender and race. The main criterion for Fellow is to recognize outstanding and sustained contributions and devotion to the broad field of oceanography.” The Council is forming a Fellows Committee under the leadership of Dr. Van Holliday (TOS Council member) to first develop the protocols and procedures for the Committee and then moving directly into the first round of nominating Fellows to the TOS Council. If you are interested in nominating a TOS member for this honor, we hope to have the first call out for Fellows this summer with a submission date due by September 30, 2004.
Dr. Ellen Kappel has signed on as the new Editor of Oceanography, and Ms. Nancy Caputo is assisting her. Working with them through all the financial and other issues is the TOS Executive Director, Jennifer Ramarui, and a select set of Associate Editors. The magazine has won awards, and given the energy and direction of Ellen and her team we imagine it will happen again. We continue to have four issues a year with topics that are not only of interest to researchers but also to educators, policy-makers and industry.
The Council continues to move the Society towards a course of electronic/web-based communications, including renewals, meeting registration and publications. This is being done methodically and thoughtfully at each step to avoid most if not all issues that arise as we go in this direction. If mishaps occur we apologize and ask that you contact the business office at email@example.com to let us know.
Finally, please join me in welcoming Dr. Vernon Asper (Marine G&G Councillor) and Dr. Jim Ammerman (At-Large Councillor) as the two newest elected Councilors to your Society.
As I hope is apparent your Society is being active for you, and we appreciate and need your support.
— Eric O. Hartwig, TOS President
(The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Naval Research Laboratory.)