.... MTS/IEEE Oceans Conference 2005 - Washington, D.C. - September 19-23
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Oceans 2005 MTS/IEEE - "One Ocean"

Welcome to

Thank you for visiting the OCEANS 2005 MTS/IEEE “One Ocean” Conference website. The conference was held in Washington, D.C. from September 18-23, 2005.

We have included links to some of the conference highlights and will be adding more information in the next few months. If you have already signed up for email updates, you will receive notification of new material. If you are not already signed up, you may still subscribe to our mailing list. And feel free to provide any comments that you have about the conference or send any photos that you would like to contribute (please note photo credit) to oceans2005@earthlink.net.

The Marine Technology Society and the Oceanic Engineering Society of the IEEE present the Oceans Conference each year for the benefit of the global ocean community. Please see their sites for information about society activities and membership opportunities. For information about future conferences, see the OCEANS Conference main website.

We hope that you were among the over 2,000 attendees from nearly 40 nations who participated in over 250 events during a six-day program that included about 500 oral technical paper presentations, nearly 200 exhibit booths, 25 plenary presentations from senior leaders in Washington and throughout the community, 9 focus sessions that brought together those both familiar and unfamiliar with specific topics to engage dialogue, a wide range of tutorial sessions, special presentations from the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society, a student poster competition with incredible entries, a broad spectrum of social events to encourage networking, and a first-ever Town Hall meeting on Friday morning that was the capstone event for the conference.

The conference also dedicated a special focus to education and outreach with a dynamic program that included a MATE/ROV demonstration, a full day of tutorial sessions for local educators, a plenary session on education, a presentation of the NOSB competition, a luncheon dedicated to education, a live career panel webcast for students, and the largest ever group of education-focused technical paper presentations.

The opening keynote address by Dr. David Sampson, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce, emphasized the vital role of the oceans in our global society. James Connaughton, Chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality in the Executive Office of President George W. Bush, provided the keynote address about the U.S. Ocean Action Plan during the “One Ocean” Banquet that included a special video welcome from Sir Arthur C. Clarke. Philippe Cousteau of EarthEcho International presented an encouraging challenge to all conference attendees on behalf of students and educators during the “One Ocean” Education Luncheon. Cristian Samper and Hans-Dieter Sues of the Smithsonian Institution presented plans for the Smithsonian Ocean Science Initiative and the new Ocean Hall, which is currently under construction in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and will provide an incredible advance in ocean education and outreach worldwide. Emory Kristof and Greg Marshall from National Geographic presented their cutting-edge developments with underwater photography/videography and Crittercam, respectively, that are rapidly advancing our scientific knowledge of underwater events and animal behavior that previously we could only imagine.

The conference presented four plenary sessions: Maritime Homeland Security; Monitoring Ocean Resources and Health; Ecosystem Management; and Education, Literacy, and Outreach; with insightful and poignant presentations from senior leaders in Washington and throughout the global community. These included Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher (NOAA), Dr. Lydia Thomas (Mitretek Systems), Rear Admiral David Kunkel (U.S. Coast Guard), Robert Winokur (U.S. Navy), Commander Clayton Diamond (U.S. Department of State), John Kreider (Oceaneering International), Dr. Jack Kaye (NASA), Dr. Alan Chave (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Vice Admiral Roger Rufe (Ocean Conservancy), Ambassador John Richardson (European Union Commission), Dr. Andrew Rosenberg (University of New Hampshire), Rear Admiral Richard West (Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education), Dr. David Evans (Smithsonian Institution), and Dr. Sylvia Earle (Deep Ocean Exploration and Research).

The program also included the new element of Focus Sessions, which brought together those both familiar and unfamiliar with specific topics to engage dialogue and develop future synergy. These included information about the reports of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission, U.S. Ocean Action Plan, European Commission Green Paper on Maritime Policy, Integrated Ocean Observing System, Research Directions for NOAA, Ocean Legislation of the U.S. Congress (search for "ocean"), Oceans and Human Health, the JOCARA Indian Ocean Quest, and the U.N. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology.

The capstone event on Friday morning was a first-ever “One Ocean” Town Hall meeting with Admiral James Watkins (U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy) and Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher (NOAA) and moderators Dr. Richard Spinrad (NOAA) and Jim Rosebush (GrowthStrategy Inc.) on “Requirements, Actions, and Results.” They discussed the way ahead in the context of the “One Ocean” conference theme and held an engaging dialogue with conference attendees.

This session and the plenary presentations provided the foundation for the inaugural conference deliverable – The “One Ocean” Report Card – that will be issued in draft form within the next few months. This document will provide a short and concise roadmap of where we are and where we need to go in order to make a difference in the future of our global ocean and what we as members of ocean professional societies can contribute to achieve results. Please bear in mind it is not intended to be the end-all of all documents (we are neither that bold nor naïve), but rather to enhance and support the many important efforts that are in progress. However, we must keep the light shining on requirements, actions, and results.

OCEANS 2005 MTS/IEEE was a landmark event for the ocean community in bringing all of these elements together in one time and place, but it is also understood that the hard work for our One Ocean has just begun.

The “One Ocean” theme was chosen for this conference to recognize that our global ocean is not only in peril because of the direct actions of mankind, but it is also more tightly interwoven with the current state and future of our global society than most people even realize. Ocean issues of national security and terrorism, global commerce and transportation, food resources, jobs, mineral resources, discovery of new medicines, climate change, coastal stresses from population migrations, and many other challenges directly impact our day-to-day lives and the future for our children. We must engage the public and stress the necessity of maximizing our understanding of the ocean, balancing our use and stewardship, and looking forward with new and exciting science and technology to meet and overcome these challenges. It is time to transition from “consultants” to “resultants” and make a difference now for the future of our One Ocean. For a more in-depth discussion of “One Ocean,” please read the Soapbox article in the August 2005 edition of Sea Technology.

Our conference committee has now returned to their day jobs (yes, we are all volunteers), but in our spare moments, we are wrapping up the after-conference work that will include lessons learned for future conference committees and preparing the draft of The “One Ocean” Report Card discussed above. We welcome your comments about the conference and the future of our One Ocean. Contact oneocean@earthlink.net about how you can participate in the future of our global ocean community.

Become a One Ocean Resultant. Make a difference.