Opportunity to examine challenges facing UK marine science

The Challenger Society for Marine Science

A vision for sustained observations of the marine environment is the subject of an open meeting later this month.

On Tuesday 17 September the Challenger Society for Marine Science, in collaboration with the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), will host a Prospectus for UK Marine Sustained Observations at the Royal Society in London.

The event will celebrate and scrutinise the past and future of long-term marine observations with a series of talks and a panel-led discussion session.

Marine scientists benefit from putting their research into a historical context, which can only be done when sustained observations are available. Sustained observations make a unique contribution to marine and climate science and require long-term commitment.

In this rapidly changing economic climate there is a clear need to outline a future vision for sustained observations that identifies priorities and support mechanisms. The Prospectus offers the opportunity for the community to define their view of a national and international strategy for sustained observations of the ocean.

The one-day meeting will feature an interdisciplinary series of talks by some of the UK’s foremost early- to mid-career marine scientists, alongside an overview of UK sustained observations, as well as an international perspective. The speakers will address questions such as: How have sustained observations contributed to research in marine and climate science? What are the critical scientific problems that depend on long-term measurements? What are the priorities for sustained observations in the future? The talks will be followed by a panel-led discussion session, featuring prominent and established UK marine scientists, entitled A strategy for UK marine sustained observations: objectives, obstacles and solutions. The panel will be chaired by Professor Nicholas Owens, director of the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science. Professor Owen says “Unfortunately the support needed for sustained observation networks invariably falls between operational agencies and research funders: This meeting will bridge the divide and demonstrate that a joined-up approach is what is needed.”

Outcomes from the meeting:

A special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society will be published in 2014 containing papers by all the speakers at the meeting. http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org


0940 Prof. Nicholas Owens, Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science

Sustained UK Marine Observations: Where have we been? Where are we now? Where are we going?

1020 Dr. Eleanor Frajka-Williams, University of Southampton,

Sustaining observations of an unsteady ocean circulation 

1100 Tea/coffee

1120 Dr. Nick Dunstone, Met Office Hadley Centre

        Climate modelling and prediction

1200 Dr. Stephanie Henson, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

        Slow science: the value of long ocean biogeochemistry records 

1240 Dr. Nova Mieszkowska, Marine Biological Association

        In it for the long run: the role of time-series in tracking impacts of environmental change in marine food webs 

1320 Lunch

1420 Dr. Mark Tamisiea, National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool

        Measuring the boundaries of sea level 

1500 Dr. Povl Abrahamsen, British Antarctic Survey

        Sustaining observations in the polar oceans 

1540 Tea/coffee

1600 Dr. Ian Mitchell, Joint Nature Conservation Committee

        How do we tell policy-makers that marine biodiversity is “on target” or “missing the mark”?

1640 Dr. Nicholas Bates, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences

        International perspectives on sustained ocean observations and open ocean time-series

1720 Panel discussion: A strategy for UK marine sustained observations: objectives, obstacles and solutions

                Panel chair:

                        Prof. Nicholas Owens, Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science

                Panel members:

                        Prof. Karen Heywood, University of East Anglia

                        Prof. Laurence Mee, Scottish Association for Marine Science

                        Prof. Ed Hill, National Oceanography Centre

                        Dr David Mills, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science