Panel: UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Special Panel

Wednesday, October 7

Description coming soon.

Craig McLean

Moderator: Craig McLean

Craig McLean is the Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) office. He is responsible for directing and implementing NOAA’s research enterprise. Among numerous formal international engagements in science and technology, Mr. McLean serves as the U.S. Representative to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the Co-chair of the U.S. European Union Marine Working Group.

Mr. McLean previously served as NOAA’s Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator of the National Ocean Service, and was the founding Director of OAR’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and served nearly 25 years in NOAA’s Commissioned Corps, making Captain’s rank. Among his achievements and accolades, Craig led NOAA’s planning for the Smithsonian Institution’s Sant Ocean Hall and has won the Department of Commerce Silver and Bronze Medals, the NOAA Corps Commendation Medal, and Special Achievement Medal.

Introduction to the Decade and How to Get Involved

Panelist: Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin

Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin is the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and Assistant Director-General of UNESCO. He is an oceanographer, marine engineer, meteorologist, and climatologist.

He graduated in 1978 as marine engineer, defended his Ph.D. in 1982, and received the academic distinction of Doctor of Sciences Thesis in 1995. In 1980, he started to work at the Hydrometeorological Center of Russia occupying positions from junior researcher to a head of laboratory. In 1990–1991, he gave a course of lectures on numerical modelling at the Geographical Faculty of the Moscow State University. In 2000, he joined the International Ocean Institute, initially as consultant and later was selected as the Executive Director. In late 2001, he joined the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as the Senior Scientific Officer of the World Climate Research Programme, contributing to international coordination of climate research on polar, ocean, cryosphere, stratosphere and atmospheric chemistry. He was appointed as Executive Secretary of IOC following voting to form a short list of preferential candidates by the IOC Executive Council. He took the post in March 2015. In 2017, by a Presidential decree he received a distinction of the Emeritus Meteorologist of the Russian Federation.

Dr. Rysbinin’s research started in 1970s with studies of turbulence in stratified fluids and analytical studies of the ocean circulation and thermodynamics. He is one of key contributors to the first technology of medium-range (weekly time scale) weather prediction in the USSR (1980s). In 1990s, he was the scientific leader of national research on marine meteorological services. Also, then he led a major shelf engineering study aimed at determining the safe burying depth of a polar offshore pipeline in presence of sea ice and. He is originator of several mathematical models for ocean, atmosphere, wind waves, etc., and an author of hundreds of scientific publications.

Since early 1980s, Dr. Ryabinin has been involved as an expert in various activities of the United Nations. He has contributed to core design of such international initiatives as the Global Ocean Observing System, Joint Technical Commission of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and IOC for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology, International Polar Year 2007/2008. Soon after his arrival to IOC, the Commission proposed the idea of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). In August 2020, the Implementation Plan for the Decade was submitted to the consideration of the United Nations General Assembly.

Emerging Tech

Panelist: Dr. Jyotika Virmani

Dr. Jyotika Virmani is the Executive Director of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, a philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing oceanographic science, research, and exploration. Prior to this, she was the Executive Director of Planet & Environment at XPRIZE and Prize Lead for the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE to spur innovations of unmanned and autonomous deep-sea technologies to map the sea floor rapidly, accurately, and at a high resolution. Dr. Virmani joined XPRIZE in 2014 as the Technical Director for the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, a competition for pH sensor development to measure ocean acidification. Before joining XPRIZE, Dr. Virmani was the Associate Director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography and a Senior Scientist at the UK Met Office. She has a Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography from the University of South Florida, a M.S. in Atmospheric Science from SUNY at Stony Brook, and a B.Sc. in Physics from Imperial College London.

Clean & Healthy Ocean

Panelist: Dr. Elva Escobar Briones

Dr. Elva Escobar is a full time professor in oceanography at Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (ICML) UNAM. She has contributed with new knowledge to deep sea biodiversity conservation and sustainable use through scientific research on board UNAM’s Research Vessels and publications in collaboration with national and international institutions. These results have been used to define policies, design conservation networks and programs in the deep ocean. In addition she contributes with capacity building programs in oceanography. She is a member of the UN Decade Executive Planning Group.

Panelist: Dr. Laura Kong

Director, International Tsunami Information Center

Dr. Kong has been the Director of the ITIC since 2001. As Director, she oversees a Centre that supports the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in its efforts to deploy tsunami warning and mitigation systems globally.  The ITIC has been a primary provider of information and expertise for technology transfer, awareness, training and capacity building in tsunami warning and mitigation for the IOC, and is currently a Specialized Training Center for Tsunamis within the IOC’s Ocean Teacher Global Academy. She is a graduate of Brown University and received PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1990.

Predicted & Transparent Ocean

Panelists: Dr. Vicki Ferrini

Dr. Vicki Ferrini is a Senior Research Scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) and an Affiliate Associate Professor at the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire. Her research interests include seabed mapping and geoinformatics and she has focused most of her career working to make marine geoscience data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR). As Head of the Seabed 2030 Regional Data Center for the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, she works closely with international stakeholders to develop regional bathymetric data products that contribute to larger global syntheses.

Predicted & Transparent Ocean

Panelists: Dr. Larry Mayer

Dr. Larry Mayer is a Professor and Director of The Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire. He is currently the Chair of the National Academies of Science’s Oceans Studies Board, a U.S. Arctic Research Commissioner, on the State Dept.’s Extended Continental Shelf Task Force, and Vice Chair of the Board of the Ocean Exploration Trust. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the Stockholm University, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2018 and as a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2019. In 2020 Larry became the first recipient of the Walter Munk Medal from The Oceanography Society. Larry’s current research deals with sonar imaging and remote characterization of the seafloor as well as advanced applications of 3-D visualization to ocean mapping problems and applications of mapping to Law of the Sea issues, particularly in the Arctic.

Safe Ocean

Panelists: Dr. Bruce Howe

Research Professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA

Dr. Bruce Howe develops ocean observing sensor network infrastructure, including cable systems. Projects have included basin-scale acoustic thermometry and planning, development and operation of cabled observatories including the NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative and the ALOHA Cabled Observatory. He currently serves as Chair of the ITU/WMO/UNESCO-IOC Joint Task Force SMART Cable initiative to integrate sensors into ocean-spanning submarine telecommunications cables.

Productive Ocean

Panelist: Robin Brown

Robin Brown has recently retired as the Executive Secretary of PICES, the North Pacific Marine Science Organization. Prior to his time in PICES, he served for 30 years as an oceanographer and then Research Manager at the Institute of Ocean Sciences of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. He has been actively engaged in the discussions and planning for the Ocean Decade.