It was also pleasing to see a large number of presentations and posters at the AMSA Conference referring to use of IMOS data. AMSA conferences provide a useful annual benchmark, and penetration in 2012 was demonstrably better than 2011.
“Whilst the IMOS office used to attend AMSA to promote IMOS, it is pleasing to see the promotion of IMOS data is community driven now,” says IMOS Director, Tim Moltmann, who attended the conference.
The IMOS community would also like to extend our congratulations to Dr David Griffin, who received the 2012 AMSA Jubilee Award and presented the opening keynote address on extreme oceanic events. Dr Griffin has developed tools to assist in translating ocean science for society in his role as a physical oceanographer.
"David's contributions to physical oceanography have flowed to scientists, students, teachers, marine safety specialists, industry, marine archaeologists, recreational users of the marine environment and the Royal Australian Navy.
"His work has covered the potential future of Australia's ocean renewable energy, leading CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans remote sensing team, assisting with the search for HMAS Sydney and the hospital ship Centaur and developing the IMOS OceanCurrent website,” says AMSA President Professor Lynnath Beckley.
In his opening keynote presentation to AMSA Dr Griffin said there is economic and environmental value in knowing how robust ecosystems are following extreme events.
“I would argue that ‘extreme oceanic events’ have received much less attention than they deserve from the science community.
“Indeed, science doesn’t yet have a developed vocabulary for the many different types of extreme oceanic events,” he said.
Dr Griffin said marine scientists are now catching up with meteorologists in terms of tools and data to monitor variability of environmental conditions. They now have two decades of sea surface height measurements, a decade of the autonomous Argo ocean sampling program, and the emergence of coastal and deep ocean gliders, backing up the traditional ocean mooring arrays and shipboard observations.
A significant contributor in the past five years has been Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System.
“Marine scientists are moving from a world of sparse observations to one that is becoming much more data-rich. Sensors on satellites complement observations by drifting and diving instruments.
“Agencies around the world have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on ocean observing systems. But that is nothing compared to the economic impacts of climate variability, some of which could be prevented by better understanding of the environment.
“The research opportunities are there,” Dr Griffin said.