The landscape for oceans is changing rapidly, and not uniformly in a bad way – there are positive trends and accomplishments. We seem to be at a tipping point, moving away from exclusively doom and gloom messages about the ocean to embrace a new phase of ocean optimism, where sustainable ocean solutions are available and being implemented. Nevertheless, most members of the general public, policy makers, ocean scientists and engineers are unaware of the totality of what has been accomplished and what could be accomplished in the near-term based on existing initiatives. Furthermore, there is a growing need to coordinate and integrate the science and engineering to generate the knowledge base that can enable ocean solutions.
About Ocean Visions Initiative
The Ocean Visions Initiative (OVI), a collaborative effort co-organized by Stanford University's Center for Ocean Solutions and Woods Institute for the Environment, the Smithsonian Ocean Portal, Georgia Tech's Ocean Science and Engineering Program and the Scripps Center for Climate Impacts and Adaptation, was created to specifically highlight current and past successful ocean initiatives while driving the movement forward.
Fiorenza Micheli, the David and Lucile Packard Professor of Marine Science at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station, senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, co-director at Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions and partner of the Ocean Visions Initiative explains, "Ocean Visions will create a concrete pathway for scientists and engineers, to design and execute research that enables ocean-based solutions."
The initiative itself is a set of events organized to highlight and bring together scientists across interdisciplinary fields to discuss current and future efforts focused on oceans and climate. Specifically, these events aim to target diverse topics such as enhancement of climate resilience/resistance, conservation strategies that promote and incentivize reduction of CO2, ocean-based energy production systems and sustainable food production systems for ocean-reliant communities.
The first three initiatives for the Ocean Visions Initiative are planned for the period between March 2018 and October 2019. The first event is the 1st International Summit Ocean Visions ’19 – Climate Success in resilience, adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development. The summit, a collaboration with the IOC-UNESCO and the Ocean Conservancy, will be held at Georgia Tech in April 2019 and will focus on establishing a forum for scientists and engineers to develop a knowledge base for tackling some of the most pressing issues facing the climate and the ocean.
The Ocean Visions Initiative also will include a special collection of peer-reviewed articles in the journal Frontiers of Marine Sciences, highlighting innovative technology that has successfully advanced solutions at the ocean, climate and human interface.
An Uncommon Dialogue, scheduled for Fall 2019 at Stanford University, will include stakeholders as well as scientists and engineers and will feature a subset of the success stories identified in the previous summit and special issue.
The four main goals and outcomes of the Ocean Visions Initiative include:
1. developing a forum for scientists and engineers to discuss and exchange research ideals
2. generating an adaptive knowledge base
3. highlighting the natural and social sciences as well as engineering to enable informed ocean solutions
4. engaging with stakeholders and decision-makers to create a concrete pathway to translate science and engineering into applications for ocean solutions.
To learn more, please visit the Ocean Visions Initiative website.