Federal Agencies’ Provide Strategic Outlook on the Future of Ocean Observations

Originally posted on the Marine Technology Society Website
Author: MTS President-Elect Zdenka Willis

Earth observations impact our lives every day. The United States relies on a robust system of Earth observations from satellite, aerial, shipboard, and in situ platforms to enable individuals and organizations to make informed decisions to strengthen public safety and boost the marine economy. At a Town Hall event at the 2019 Oceans Conference, “Federal Strategic Vision for Ocean Observing,” federal agency leaders discussed their strategic vision for the next 18 months.

In December 2019, the White House Office of Science Technology and Policy (OSTP) released the second National Plan for Civil Earth Observations. New observational technologies and analytics from a broad array of entities calls for a new way of doing business.

In response the National Plan for Civil Earth Observations, defines the Earth Observations Enterprise and focuses on collaboration and robust dialog to reshape America’s strategies for the collection and use of Earth observations. The plan outlines the Administration’s priorities and focuses the Nation’s civil Earth observations efforts. The U.S. Group on Earth Observations (USGEO) Subcommittee will use this plan to coordinate implementation of the recommended actions.

Strong coordination among the multi-sector enterprise will:

  • Advance observational capabilities Improve America’s ability to bolster infrastructure resilience;
  • Improve Earth system prediction capabilities by leveraging the power of Earth observation data and fostering strong research environments;
  • Foster a thriving Earth observation economy; and Retain American science and technology leadership

The Panel at the 2019 Oceans Conference gave the components of the of the Earth Observations Enterprise a chance to hear agency strategic goals, priorities, programs, and needs. To hear from the marine technology sector about their challenges with growing their business, advance ideas and research and areas where government can change practices to lower barriers.

After the panel presentations, Agency representatives toured the exhibit floor which gave them the opportunity to see new technologies and interact with the exhibitors.

Overall, the event was well received, and we look forward to continuing this dialog at the future Oceans Conferences.

By President-Elect Zdenka Willis