Ocean Partnerships for Sustained Observing

Summary and Expectations

Sustained ocean observing requires reliable funding and decision support from myriad partner organizations and end-users. This session will examine next steps for galvanizing these stakeholders into an international collective impact organization to strengthen ocean observing governance over the next decade. Town Hall panelists will engage the audience in a discussion about how we develop formal partnerships to augment networks between the ocean observation science community with nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, academia, government agencies, and the commercial sector. The importance of ocean data for national security, the economy, and society, as well the international coordination required to support a global system, makes governments primarily responsible for supporting ocean observations. However, there is an opportunity for new models of support of a sustained observing system within and beyond government structures. Long-term planning and partnerships with private and nonprofit sectors could address some of the challenges in sustaining observations, which includes support for workforce and technology development. Achieving this will require new cooperation beyond what has been achieved to-date. Up to recently, the many ocean organizations that do exist have tended to operate more on their own than jointly. Led by the organizations that coordinated OceanObs’19, this session will engage speakers and the audience in a discussion about how to improve governance to advance ocean observing, addressing broad issues with many constituencies.

Expected Outcomes/Recommendations

  • Identify willing champions and experts to facilitate a network of advisors and collective impact organizations that help with trans-sector partnership development and maintenance at national to regional to global scales.
  • Design and implement an international, organizational structure for the development and resourcing of global partnerships around Capacity Building and maintenance in ocean observations (and larger ocean science).
  • Create a framework for partnership building that provides guidance for research institutions, countries, philanthropies, etc. that wish to establish programs around ocean observations, products, and/or services.