January 1, 2015 – Global Oceans recently participated in the October 2014 meeting of the Global Ocean Observing System in the Indian Ocean (IOGOOS) held in Phuket, Thailand in conjunction with the meetings of the Sustained Indian Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research Program (SIBER) and the Indian Ocean Resources Forum (IRF).
Planning for the 2nd International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2) initiative was a primary focus of the meetings, and in that context Jim Costopulos, CEO of Global Oceans delivered a presentation entitled “Mobilizing Research Platforms & Instrumentation in the Indian Ocean: An Adaptive, Collaborative Approach”.
In addition to the adaptive operational and infrastructure deployment capacity embodied in the Global Oceans model, the presentation proposed three organizational frameworks for IIOE-2 expedition development. The frameworks are designed to support iterative planning and optimized logistical efficiencies; and to strategically align research activities and collaboration to maximize scientific objectives.
Proposed expedition-originating frameworks included “time-scheduled regional expeditions” based on spatial-temporal clustering of proposed research; formation of “small institutional consortia” with operational alliances aligned with collaboration potential, regional and scientific focus and capacity building needs; and a “bottom-up process model” based on a disciplinary cross-cutting analysis of science plan activities, integrating common operational configurations and fully exploring collaborative potential.
The presentation noted that one or more of these regional framework models could persist as an organizing mechanism in the Indian Ocean basin to support a continuing expedition infrastructure capacity beyond the IIOE-2 timeframe. A continuing capacity, supported by Global Oceans’ regional- deployment vessel model, could also support a long-range research agenda extending to the Southern Ocean and Indo-Pacific regions.
Such an approach would counter a long-standing lack of manned-platform research capacity in the Indian Ocean basin and would support the research needed for a greater understanding of this increasingly critical region.