Story: Ocean Visions 2019 Launches in Atlanta This Week
Ocean Visions: Leading Institutions Gather to Cultivate Innovative, Scalable, Science-Driven Solutions to Ocean Challenges
ATLANTA, April 1, 2019 – Leading ocean science and engineering institutions are joining forces to create Ocean Visions, a scientist-driven ocean conservation venture aimed to foster collaboration between top researchers, conservationists and entrepreneurs committed to solving some of the biggest challenges facing ocean health.
The endeavor’s first summit “Ocean Visions 2019: Climate” kicking-off Monday, April 1, will focus on generating ocean-based science and engineering successes in the areas of resilience, adaptation, mitigation and sustainability.
“The ocean is our past and our future. Healthy people, healthy communities and healthy economies depend directly on a healthy ocean,” said Jane Lubchenco, a marine ecologist and distinguished professor at Oregon State University. Lubchenco is the first recipient of the Tethys Award, created to honor role models who contribute to, promote, enable or raise awareness of ocean solutions and inspire new generations of ocean experts and leaders. Lubchenco will deliver the Tethys Lecture during the summit’s opening ceremony live stream on April 1.
Ocean Visions represents the nation’s leading organizations in ocean research and science - Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), Smithsonian Institution, Stanford University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography University of Georgia, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Georgia Aquarium , Monterey Bay Aquarium and Birch Aquarium at Scripps – coming together to collaborate on scientifically sound, scalable, impactful and viable ocean conservation solutions. Participants will work toward an agenda focused on:
creating a network bringing together non-profits, industry and other private and public groups to focus on translational research;
hosting regular summits to highlight the latest research and scalable concepts to address ocean conservation needs;
launching a fellows program to foster an integrated community of scientists, engineers, policy makers, stakeholders and other groups who can exchange knowledge and experiences; and
sponsoring startup competitions in the heart of academic institutions to engage young talent.
“The challenges facing humanity are global and connected, so we need a unified approach like Ocean Visions in order to solve them,” said John Davis, the Smithsonian’s Provost and Under Secretary for Museums, Education, and Research. “The Smithsonian has been exploring the rich networks between people, nature and culture for a century and a half, and we look forward to bringing that knowledge to bear toward a healthy and sustainable ocean.”
Oceans provide food and jobs valued at $2.5 trillion dollars each year, making it the seventh largest economy in the world. Unfortunately, ocean health has been declining as climate change impacts threaten critical ocean ecosystems, overfishing pushes stocks past the point of recovery, millions of tons of plastic pollute the ocean every year and coastal dead zones continue to increase. Finding solutions to these pressing challenges is more urgent than ever.
“To manage emerging ocean uses and unprecedented levels of ocean impact from climate change, overfishing and pollution, we need new tools to anticipate tipping points, and identify management and policy options for avoiding such catastrophic shifts,” said Fio Micheli, co-director of Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions. “This is an exciting opportunity to coordinate and integrate science and engineering to generate the knowledge base and collaboration networks that enable such ocean solutions.”
Georgia Tech is hosting the April 1-4 Ocean Visions Summit. Learn more about the Ocean Visions 2019 program.
About Ocean Visions
Ocean Visions was founded by leading ocean research and conservation organizations to address the growing need to coordinate and integrate science and engineering and generate a knowledge base that enables ocean solutions. The Ocean Visions consortium consists of the leading organizations in ocean conservation: Georgia Institute of Technology, Smithsonian Institution, Stanford University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography University of Georgia, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Georgia Aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium and Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Visit http://www.oceanvisions.org/.