Oregon State’s vice president for research, Rick Spinrad, has been tapped to chair a federal committee on ocean observing systems. The 13 marine scientists, conservationists and industry stakeholders will advise the Integrated Ocean Observation System, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on data collection, management and technological innovation.
As a former research leader at NOAA and the U.S. Navy, Spinrad brings a unique perspective to the task. In addition, Oregon State’s central role in the $386 million Ocean Observing Initiative funded by the National Science Foundation puts him on the front lines of the mission. A fleet of undersea gliders and an array of moored observation platforms are being deployed by the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.
“Most people are familiar with the value of weather observations — radar, rain gauges, and so on — in improving forecasts,” Spinrad notes. “We have a need for a similarly robust set of ocean observations to support a broad range of needs including fisheries, shipping and transportation, national security and protection from natural hazards. This committee is a major step toward focusing federal efforts toward this goal.”