December 2022 OES Beacon

From the President (December 2022)

Christopher Whitt, OES President

It was a pleasure to see so many of our colleagues and partners together again at OCEANS 2022 Hampton Roads. As we close 2022 with success, we also look forward to 2023 with even more activity across the Society and opportunities for us as members.

While our community came together in Hampton Roads for the latest technology, your Society leadership, the Administrative Committee (AdCom) met for the first time in person since 2019. The AdCom meeting had a strong focus on strategic planning for the future of the Society. Earlier this year, we adopted an update to our Mission and Vision. Our Vision is “a collaborative community working towards a safe, healthy, and productive ocean” and our Mission is “to be the professional home of people passionate about ocean science, engineering and technology.” As you can see, this reflects our understanding that the Society exists to bring our community together.

Another important responsibility of the AdCom is to elect our Executive Committee (ExCom). At this year’s meeting, an unusual number of officers were due for election, partially because of the Constitution change which we as members approved this past summer. Our first Executive Vice President (2023-24) is Brandy Armstrong. Brandy was previously our VP for Professional Activities. The new office of Exec VP will be responsible for Strategy, Governance, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity, as well as supporting the President. I am grateful to my colleagues to be re-elected to serve a second term as President, from 2023-24.

Our new VP OCEANS is Venugopalin Pallayil, who has just completed a term as VP Technical Activities. Succeeding Venu as VP Technical Activities is Shyam Madhusudhana. After being elected as Executive Vice President, Brandy resigned as VP Professional Activities. Therefore, in an interim election, Stephen Holt was elected as VPPA for 2023. For the JOE Editor-in-Chief, Karl von Ellenrieder was elected as EiC-elect for 2023, to become EiC for 2024-25. Finally, Bill Kirkwood was elected as Treasurer-elect for 2023, to serve as treasurer for 2024-25. The office of Secretary had no candidates and remains open. You can expect to hear more from the new ExCom in the first Beacon issue of 2023.

The ExCom election resulted in two vacancies on AdCom, and so the AdCom voted to appoint Andreas Marouchos and Hari Vishnu to complete the terms for the vacated seats. We look forward to welcoming Andreas and Hari to AdCom in 2023.

With our next leadership team in place, we are looking to 2023 to see a full spectrum of meetings and activities. Of course, there will be the OCEANS Conferences, in Limerick, Ireland, in June and Gulf Coast USA in September. Additionally, there are several workshops and symposia around the world on more specific topics (see the report from the VP of Workshops and Symposia). We expect to have increased presence at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston as well as OTC Brazil in October. In addition to these meetings, we also know many Chapters and Student Branch chapters are planning more activities for 2023.

Finally, we intend to expand the Society efforts to address sustainability in 2023. We already have the Ocean Decade Initiative, which aims to connect our members to the needs and opportunities within the science community, which is coalescing around the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. In addition, we intend to address the sustainability of OES activities directly.

As always, there are more exciting projects and opportunities than there are people to develop them. If you wish to get more involved in Society activities in any way, please email me!