Explore the Decade


Hawaii to host major international conference on ocean observations

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

United Nations / Ocean Science & Technology / Ocean Policy & Sustainable Development / Business & Industry / Donors & Foundations

Honolulu, Hawai’i — From September 16-20, 2019, scientists, practitioners, and stakeholders from around the world will convene in Hawai’i for OceanObs’19, An Ocean of Opportunity. From autonomous ocean exploration technologies to questions of international governance, attendees will discuss recent advancements in the field and how to implement a sustained, multidisciplinary, and integrated ocean observing system.

Held outside of Europe for the first time in its history to better connect with and highlight the work of stakeholders in the Pacific, this decadal conference series will bring over 1,200 experts from more than 60 countries together to bridge the gap between the technical and scientific aspects of ocean observing and its applications and societal benefits. The conference will culminate in a consensus declaration with actions to guide the field over the next decade, complementing the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

“While many may not realize it, people across the globe benefit from timely, reliable ocean observations every day. More accurate weather apps, sustainable seafood plans, and even today’s surf forecast are all thanks to our ever-advancing ocean observing capabilities,” said Dr. Eric Lindstrom, Physical Oceanography Program Scientist in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA. “Connecting the people who design new technologies for ocean observing systems with those who use them for research or decision-making is just one vital aspect of OceanObs’19. We need to make sure that, as a community, our priorities are aligned and support each other’s progress.”

The conference is uniquely collaborative. One hundred and forty Community White Papers written by authors worldwide and published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Marine Science form the basis for the conference’s 24 community-led breakout sessions. Each breakout session will ask participants to craft and agree upon one to three key recommendations for the future of ocean observing, which will then be reported to the rest of the conference the following morning. Breakout session topics will include:

• Climate Change and Variability
• Global Observing System for Marine Debris
• Traditional Knowledge Building
• Observing Technology Innovation

In addition to the main conference, there will be a variety of side events and workshops held before and during OceanObs’19. The day before the conference officially starts, OceanObs’19 will welcome students and early career professionals for a special event offering curated talks and networking opportunities connecting them with mentors as well as their peers. The conference will also feature an Ocean Art Showcase in the Exhibit Hall with performances on the evenings of the 17th, 18th, and 19th.

The registration fee will be waived for credentialed members of the media. Please visit our registration page or contact media@oceanobs19.net for details. For more information, visit the conference website  and follow us on Twitter (@OceanObs19, #OceanObs19).


IOC-UNESCO at OceanObs’19

The GOOS Office will represent the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) at OceanObs’19. GOOS – The Global Ocean Observing System is a programme executed by the IOC and co-sponsored by the IOC, the World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Science Council. Through expert panels, projects and regional and global coordination groups, GOOS supports the design, coordination and implementation of an integrated global ocean observing system. At OceanObs’19, GOOS will present its new 2030 Strategy, aimed at responding to the growing need for ocean information of our society. Useful resource: The Global Ocean Observing System 2030 Strategy

About OceanObs’19

OceanObs’19 is a community-driven conference that brings people from all over the planet to communicate the decadal progress of ocean observing networks and to chart innovative solutions to society’s growing needs for ocean information. As the third installment of the decadal conference series, OceanObs’19 will celebrate progress across national, regional, and global ocean observation networks while establishing commitments to execute the collective vision for these systems over the coming decade.


Albert Fischer, Program Director, GOOS Office, IOC-UNESCO

Abby Ackerman, Media Contact, Consortium for Ocean Leadership


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