June 2021 OES Beacon OES Beacon

Drop the Mask!!  Global OCEANS 2021 San Diego – Porto is bringing us back together!

Robert Wernli, Global OCEANS 2021 San Diego Co-Chair

The Global OCEANS 2021 San Diego – Porto committee invites you to participate in this event—in person in beautiful San Diego, California, and virtually in Porto, Portugal. We will once again be able to assemble at this truly Global, diverse and prestigious conference and exposition regarding our most critical resource—the oceans. This will be the 8th time the OCEANS conference has come to San Diego and the first for Porto.

The OCEANS conference is jointly sponsored by the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (IEEE/OES) and the Marine Technology Society (MTS). This international conference is a major forum for scientists, engineers and those with an interest in the oceans to gather and exchange their knowledge and ideas regarding the future of the world’s oceans. Since we combined the Porto and San Diego conferences into a single event due to the pandemic, the local organizing committees (LOCs) are working together to address their respective original conference themes.

Our Global OCEANS 2021 Porto themes are:

Opening the Ocean Frontier:  A New Age of Discoveries

Ocean science and technology for the benefit of humankind

The theme for Global OCEANS 2021 San Diego is “Sustaining our Oceans . . . Sustaining our Future,” reflecting on the critical nature and importance of our industry and its sustaining technologies.

In addition to the excellent technical program for which OCEANS is well known, Global OCEANS 2021 San Diego will be structured with three key underlying categories of interest to all attendees:

InFocus” – on the latest in new and emerging technologies

InQuire – on innovative research and science

InVest – investment strategies and spending priorities from high-level stakeholders and officials from the U.S. and international governments, the oil and gas industry, Departments of Defense and Energy, local and federal regulatory agencies and a wide range of ocean industries.

So, is our technical program coming together, even in the dying throes of the pandemic? That is a very big YES! We have received 740 abstracts: 403 virtual (54%), 337 on-site (46%). 107 of the abstracts are submitted by students for the Student Poster Competition. Of those accepted, 20 or so will receive funding to come to the conference and participate in the competition and the others will join the technical program. The abstracts, from 42 different countries, cover 97 technical areas. And, with our virtual program, all accepted authors can make it to the conference, even if there are travel restrictions still in place. With over 200 of the abstracts from the U.S., the in person technical sessions should be tightly packed. A series of televised special sessions, panels and forums will also be held.

Our Tuesday and Wednesday morning plenaries will certainly highlight the conference presentations. Our speakers will include Honorary Co-Chair Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the UN Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and Assistant Director General of UNESCO. The OCEANS conferences are coordinated with the kickoff of the United Nations “Decade of Ocean Science (2021-2030)” and will provide a forum for the program for the upcoming decade.

Also speaking at the plenary will be our Honorary Co-Chair Margaret Leinen, Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). The involvement of SIO will certainly add to the success of the conference. OCEANS 2003 teamed with SIO for their 100th anniversary. The result was the largest OCEANS conference ever held with over 5000 attendees and 300+ exhibitors.

We’re also about to announce our third Honorary Co-Chair, from the U.S. Department of Defense, who will soon join us.

The exhibitors are also returning to the conference circuit and it looks like we’ll sell out the exhibit space, which has a centrally located theater to highlight our exhibit technology. In-situ demonstrations by some exhibitors, that will be televised back to the conference halls, are also planned at a nearby pier.

And to top things off, the San Diego portion of the event will kick off with a two-night film festival and weekend golf tourney. Receptions will be held on Monday and Tuesday nights with the gourmet Wednesday night Gala being held around the resort pool at the conference hotel. And for those who’d like to add a little holiday time to their trip, San Diego offers a variety of entertainment and activities that include the Birch Aquarium, the San Diego Maritime Museum, Sea World, Mexico, San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park, all just a short ride from the Town and Country Resort and Conference Center. Combine all that with a spectacular coastline sporting magnificent beaches, great shopping, and the cuisine of the wide range of international restaurants, and you can see why San Diego is one of the most desirable destinations in the world. We look forward to physically greeting you in San Diego in September, 2021, and virtually in Porto, at the Global OCEANS 2021 San Diego – Porto conference.