Important advances in our understanding of the ocean systems and in our ability to plan and implement solution strategies come from recognizing the role of the interactions between ocean dimensions (e.g. humans, marine ecosystems, and climate). Each of these dimensions exerts pressures on the other (see blue path in diagram) but also provide resources and services (see orange path in diagram below). The main themes for OceanVisions2019 – Climate is on success stories (e.g. case studies) in the areas of adaptation, mitigation, and sustainability. Adaptation dynamics increase the resilience of marine life and human systems to the diverse set of climate impacts (see red shields in diagram under adaptation), mitigation strategies on the other hand aim at reducing the impact of human activities on climate (e.g. CO2 emissions) (see blue shield in diagram under mitigation). Finally, the goals of sustainability and sustainable development are to ensure that humans interact with the other dimensions of the ocean (e.g. climate and ecological systems) in ways that protect the long-term health of the ocean while maximizing benefits to society and human well-being (see green shields in diagram around the human system under sustainability). The summit will also focus on our current ability to generate integrated understanding and synthesis of the dynamics of exchange at the interface between the human, climate and marine ecosystems dimensions of the ocean.
SESSION I - Adaptive Social-Ecological Systems: Coastal Climate Change
Co-Chairs: Mark Merrifield (Scripps), Robert Nicholls (Southampton University), Emily Grubert (Stanford University), Joel Kostka (Georgia Tech)
This session will focus on advances in science and engineering that enable coastal communities to address, and develop management strategies and tools for, issues associated with climate variability and change, in particular the physical, biological, chemical and human dimensions of sea level rise and increasing extreme events (e.g. marine heatwaves, hurricanes). The goal of the session is to build on existing successes to develop a framework for conducting coastal science and engineering research in connection with, and in support of, decision-makers is coastal communities.
SESSION II - Resilience of Coastal Ecosystems: Tropical Oceans and Coral Reefs
Co-Chairs: Nancy Knowlton (Smithsonian), Kim Cobb (Georgia Tech), Rob Dunbar (Stanford), Mark Hay (Georgia Tech)
This session will focus on the natural and social sciences and engineering that enable innovative approaches in the conservation of tropical ecosystems, their biodiversity and the services they provide to coastal human communities. The goal of this session is to identify a set of promising and potentially scalable case studies in both research and management that lead to more resilient ecosystems.
SESSION III - Protecting Ocean Health: Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia
Co-Chairs: Sara Cooley (Ocean Conservancy), Kirsten Isensee (IOC-UNESCO), Frank Stewart (Georgia Tech), Kostas Konstantinidis (Georgia Tech)
This session will highlight advances in science and engineering that enable innovative strategies for understanding, managing, and predicting the rising threats associated with ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH). This includes expanding and improving the OAH observation and monitoring systems, exploring of submerged aquatic vegetation as a management tool, advancing modeling to identify drivers of OAH and potential hotspots, and exploring impacts to water quality. The goal of this session is to identify case studies that can inform near-term and long-term strategies for dealing with the challenges associated with OAH.
SESSION IV - Sustainability of Ocean Resources: Marine Spatial Planning
Co-Chairs: Anna Zivian (Ocean Conservancy), Fiorenza Micheli (Stanford), Mary Hallisey (Georgia Tech)
This session aims at identifying case studies where science and engineering are enabling sustainable and scalable approaches in the spatial planning of marine resources such as marine protected areas and aquaculture farms. The goal of this session is to build on existing case studies to identify areas of critical knowledge gaps, modeling approaches that can optimize planning, and strategies for informing actionable policies.
SESSION V - Mitigation: Scalable strategies for Blue Carbon
Co-Chairs: Emily Pidgeon (Conservation International), Chris Field (Stanford), Matthew Realff (Georgia Tech), David Koweek (Carnegie)
This session will focus on the science, technology and policy advances that enable the mitigation of climate change through the restoration and sustainable use of coastal and marine ecosystems. Approaches include expanding the role of seagrasses, seaweeds and wetlands to act as carbon sinks to reduce climate change and locally moderate ocean acidification. The goal of this session is to highlight success stories that show how integration of science, policy and engineering can lead to blue carbon mitigation solutions that are potentially scalable.
SESSION VI - Integrated Modelling of Human and Climate Impacts on Ocean Systems
Co-Chairs: Annalisa Bracco (Georgia Tech), Micheal Alexander (UCAR), William Cheung (UBC), Colette Wabnitz (UBC)
This session will highlight innovative approaches that enable integrated understanding of the interactions between climate, ecosystems and humans in ocean systems for the purpose of evaluating, predicting and managing the impacts of human and climate pressures. The goal of this session is to identify challenges in our ability to generate a synthesis of the complex dynamics of ocean systems that can serve as decision-support information to managers and policy makers. The session will not overly focus on new observing systems, which will receive comprehensive coverage at the upcoming OceanObs’19 meeting.
Although the specific goals of each session will differ, overall the sessions objectives should aim to:
- highlight success stories (e.g. case studies) where science, both social and natural, and engineering have contributed to or informed ocean solutions
- allow marine scientists and engineers to dialogue with, and hear from, multiple stakeholders and decision makers to better understand how their research may contribute to future ocean solutions
- identify areas of research that are most critical and primed for action-oriented translational work towards enabling ocean solutions
- complete an overview paper for the special issue in Frontiers of Marine Science to showcase some examples of success cases that can translate into scalable solution strategies, outline challenges and opportunities for future research (e.g. research project that leverage overlapping interest between academic researchers and decision makers, etc.)
Each session will have 2-3 invited speakers (20min slots), a set of lightning talks (~10min slots), structured discussion (1-1.5 hours), and posters. For each session, we anticipate that the discussion will be synthesized into the white paper to be published in the Frontiers of Marine Science special issue. The chairs will be responsible for structuring the discussion of the session towards the goals of the white paper in coordination with the invited contributors.