The Earth is a 'blue planet' with over 70% of its surface covered by ocean and Australia is a marine nation with the third largest ocean territory on Earth. The ocean is a natural resource that has delivered massive economic, social and environmental benefits to generations of Australians.
In 2006-7 the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) provided the opportunity to create, for the first time ever, a single, national Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).
Such research infrastructure is needed to enable systematic and sustained observation of our marine environment at national scale. This is necessary if we are to understand the marine environment sufficiently well to be able to manage it sustainably for the benefit of future generations.
Senator Jonathon Duniam, who represented the Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, described IMOS as an ‘international leader in ocean observing’.
“The achievements of IMOS over the past decade have been outstanding.
“From the rise in global ocean temperatures detected by the Argo array; to the tagging of Southern Ocean elephant seals that are collecting crucial climate data where other observing platforms can’t go,” said Senator Duniam.
IMOS is a collaboration of highly capable organisations, deploying sophisticated platforms and sensors into the marine environment, and making all of the resultant data openly accessible for research and other purposes.
Senator Duniam spoke of the value of such national collaborations.
“Our future competitiveness, not just the state of Tasmania but as a nation, relies upon the activities taking place throughout our universities and research centres,” he said.
‘From Observations to Impact’ provides an introduction to IMOS, a brief history, an explanation of the need for IMOS, and a description of the national capability that has been created. However, as IMOS Director Tim Moltmann points out, the bulk of the publication is about impact, described from the perspectives of places, and partnerships.
“The places that IMOS has delivered impact range from the high tropics to Antarctica, east coast and west, from harbours to the deep ocean,” said Mr Moltmann.
“The partnerships that create impact come through working with industry and working with universities undertaking research training, through international collaboration to study a globally connected ocean, through working with centres of excellence in marine science and working with the major marine research programs addressing national priorities,” he said.
The IMOS community thanks its stakeholders across Australia and globally for their interest, contributions and support to date. We hope everyone enjoys reading our publication and continues to share in our passion for high quality marine science with real world impact.
“The Australian Government has recently made an ongoing commitment to NCRIS and we look forward to delivering even greater impact in our second decade,” said Mr Moltmann.