Breaking Waves: Ocean News

01/28/2020 - 14:19
Ocean Leadership ~ 28 January 2020 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy 1650 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20504 Re: Request for Information on the American Research Environment Dear Joint Committee on the Research Environment: On behalf of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL), which represents our nation’s leading ocean science, research, and technology organizations from academia, industry, and the larger nonprofit sector (to include philanthropy, associations, and aquariums), I appreciate the opportunity to provide comments on the American research environment. A strong research enterprise is critical to our nation’s strength and competitiveness, and I am pleased at your efforts to determine “actions that Federal agencies can take, working in partnership with private industry, academic institutions, and non-profit/philanthropic organizations, to maximize the quality and effectiveness of the American research environment.” I have two suggestions to ensure “the research environment is welcoming to all individuals and enables them to work safely, efficiently, ethically, and with mutual respect, consistent with the values of free inquiry, competition, openness, and fairness.” First, as you work to determine efforts the federal government can take across each of your four key areas, I suggest working with consortia such as COL — that represent the nongovernmental parties you wish to partner with — to create an enduring advisory construct that will ensure that the best information and practices from across the U.S. research enterprise are considered as the research climate evolves. Many organizations and institutions, as well as federal agencies, already have best policies and practices in place to address issues such as sexual harassment. The challenge now is to ensure these existing (and new) best practices are consistent throughout the research environment — federal and nonfederal — and that they are upheld. Organizations like COL, that are composed of these nonfederal partners, can serve as conduits to examine best practices and shine light on those that should be adopted or publicized across the U.S. research enterprise. Federal agencies have a key role to play in empowering and enabling others through these partnerships, and every effort should be made to take advantage of mechanisms and structures that already exist to ensure a high level of consistency and avoid reinventing the wheel. Additionally, while most people may think of the “typical” research environment as a laboratory or university, it is important to note that the ocean science research environment extends beyond that, offering distinct challenges not found in other research environments. In addition to their work in labs and classrooms, researchers spend months at a time, often in close quarters, on boats, in submersibles, and in isolated field stations. It’s critically important that the challenges of these remote working conditions are considered when thinking about the research environment and that policies and procedures put in place are effective for those in any working environment. Thank you again for the opportunity to provide comments on the American research environment. I would be happy to meet with leadership at any time to discuss these suggestions in more detail. Respectfully, Jonathan W. White, RADM (Ret.), USN President and CEO Consortium for Ocean Leadership The post Comments on the American Research Environment appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
01/28/2020 - 11:50
Acidity is making shells of crab larvae more vulnerable to predators and limiting effectiveness in supporting muscle growth The Pacific Ocean is becoming so acidic it is starting to dissolve the shells of a key species of crab, according to a new US study. Scientists found that the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable species for recreational and commercial fisheries, is starting to weaken as its larvae are affected by rising ocean acidity. Continue reading...
01/28/2020 - 11:30
Adaptation to bushfires might not be achievable without stronger action to curb emissions, letter warns Australia’s current position as “ground zero” for both the impacts of climate change and policy uncertainty presents an opportunity for the country to emerge as a leader in responding to the climate crisis, according to Australian Research Council laureates. In a letter signed by 80 ARC laureate fellows, some of Australia’s top researchers said claims strong action to cut emissions would be economically destructive have no basis and are not “consistent with Australia’s traditional optimism and ingenuity, nor with historical experience”. Continue reading...
01/28/2020 - 11:30
Ernst & Young review finds several factors preventing ‘rapid, targeted and impactful’ funding Projects aimed at stimulating drought-affected communities are taking almost 18 months to complete, says a review of the Coalition’s drought communities program, raising doubts about the $300m scheme’s effectiveness. As the government announced a shake-up of the funding model to guide a $47m expansion of the program, a review undertaken by Ernst & Young has found that the design of the flagship drought package has so far shown “limited ability to target areas being economically affected because of drought”. Continue reading...
01/28/2020 - 11:04
Indigenous leader urges focus on native knowledge as study shows rainforest areas under tribal stewardship manage carbon better Ecosystems will continue to collapse around the world unless humanity listens to the expertise of indigenous communities on how to live alongside nature, a prominent Amazon leader has warned. Tuntiak Katan of the Ecuadorian Shuar people, who is vice-president of the pan-Amazon organisation representing communities in the river basin, said governments were spending millions of dollars on environmental consultants while largely ignoring the land management skills of the planet’s indigenous people that could help combat the climate crisis and biodiversity loss. Continue reading...
01/28/2020 - 10:48
Ocean Leadership ~ Assistant Scientist in Oceanography (Physical Oceanography/Biogeochemical System Approaches) The Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), an independent U.S. not-for-profit marine research institution based in Bermuda, is seeking an early career candidate for an Assistant Scientist position. We seek applications from current postdoctoral scholars/fellows or recent PhD graduates in oceanography or closely related subjects. We welcome a broad range of potential topics for study, including physical oceanography process studies at all scales, biogeochemical research with practical experimentation, and system modeling with strong integration of data. We seek a candidate who will take advantage of the opportunities and facilities offered at BIOS which include bi-weekly access to the deep ocean, repeat measurements and long-term monitoring of ocean properties, integration of glider observations with traditional ship-based measurements and laboratory access for chemical and biological measurements and experimentation. The successful candidate will oversee a fleet of autonomous underwater gliders equipped with sensors systems for biogeochemical and physical oceanographic research. Experience with proposal writing targeted at the US federal agencies (e.g., National Science Foundation, NOAA, NASA) will be an asset. The recipient will receive full salary support for a two-year period, with possibility of extension depending on performance success (e.g., grant funding with the US federal agencies) with the primary emphasis on supporting the individual’s research promise in his/her chosen area of research. Support is also available for startup equipment, relocation, travel to scientific meetings, equipment and supplies. Scientific activities at BIOS are wide-ranging, collaborative and include oceanographic and atmospheric time-series studies and a broad range of coral reef research. Major long-term initiatives of BIOS include the following: Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS; http://www.bios.edu/research/projects/bats/) Hydrostation S program (http://www.bios.edu/research/projects/hydrostation-s/) the Oceanic Flux Program (http://www.bios.edu/research/projects/oceanic-flux-program/) BIOS-SCOPE (http://scope.bios.edu/); and, (5) the M/V Oleander project (http://oleander.bios.edu/). The institution supports the operations of the RV Atlantic Explorer, a UNOLS research vessel making 20+ short cruises to the time series stations each year. BIOS also operates three autonomous underwater gliders with near-continuous, year-round occupation at the time series stations (the Mid-Atlantic Glider Initiative and Collaboration (MAGIC; http://magic.bios.edu/). Additional information on BIOS can be found at http://www.bios.edu/. Although primarily a research position, opportunities exist for teaching and mentoring at the undergraduate graduate student level (http://www.bios.edu/education/). A Ph.D. or equivalent experience in an appropriate discipline is required. Qualified candidates should submit their application to include: a cover letter, a statement of research interests, and a curriculum vitae including names of references to: The HR Manager, BIOS, 17 Biological Station, St. Georges, GE01, Bermuda martin.wyer@bios.edu The position will remain open until filled. Questions about the position and the research opportunities available at BIOS may be directed to William Curry, President and CEO (william.curry@bios.edu), Nicholas Bates, Director of Research (nick.bates@bios.edu). BIOS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and operates a drug-free work place and learning environment The post Assistant Scientist, Oceanography, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (Jul. 22) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
01/28/2020 - 09:03
Amount of clean energy bought by companies triples in two years, with Google biggest buyer The world’s biggest tech companies fuelled a record surge in the amount of renewable energy sold directly to global corporations last year, according to new figures. The amount of clean energy from renewable energy developers bought by companies has tripled in the past two years, driven by a growing corporate appetite for sustainable energy. Continue reading...
01/28/2020 - 07:54
Judge says ‘abject failure’ by CPS left case lacking key prosecution witness as police officer goes on holiday All charges against five Extinction Rebellion protesters have been dismissed at City of London magistrates court. The deputy district judge, Vincent McDade, said there had been an “abject failure” by the Crown Prosecution Service. A police officer who had been due to be a prosecution witness was not given enough notice about the date of the trial and had booked a holiday. Continue reading...
01/28/2020 - 06:55
National Grid and Scottish Power project was two years late and has suffered outages National Grid and Scottish Power face an investigation by the energy industry regulator after repeatedly bungling the startup of a £1.3bn subsea power cable which is supported by home energy billpayers. The high-voltage power cable began transmitting renewable electricity from Scottish windfarms to homes and businesses in England and Wales in late 2017, about six months behind schedule. Continue reading...
01/28/2020 - 03:00
Proposed new post-Brexit rules may apply only to animals being sent for slaughter and fattening, not breeding stock The export of tens of millions of chicks every year from the UK may not fall under a promised “ban” on live exports, as the majority of the trade is for breeding stock. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs told the Guardian that the new rules would include poultry, but specified that they would be applied to animals being sent abroad for slaughter. A spokesperson said: “The government has committed to ending excessively long journeys for live animals, including poultry, going for slaughter and fattening. We will shortly launch a public consultation outlining our plans to improve animal welfare in transport, and encourage as many people as possible to share their views to help shape future policy.” Continue reading...