Bridging Ocean Engineering and Science at Ocean Sciences Meeting 2022

Hari VishnuEarth Observation, Ocean Decade

OSM 22 will be held in hybrid format with the in-person component at Hawaii. (Feel free to distribute this flyer for publicity)

This is OES’s first year as technical co-sponsors to this event. We are very excited to be a part of this and hope to strengthen the engineering dimension at this conference.

9 Aug, 2021

Hari Vishnu

The UN Decade of Ocean Sciences has put the focus on Oceans, and highlights that exploring and understanding them are a crucial need to help tackle the many challenges facing humanity. There has been no better time than now, to brainstorm how to tap into the power of engineering and technology to achieve this.

Wikipedia defines engineering as the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items [1]. Oceanic engineering (OE) is the application of engineering to study the Ocean and its related bodies, using engineering principles, tools and solutions. It is often multi-disciplinary, and often involves a combination of many fields. Since a tectonic shift in Ocean scientific capabilities is necessary for us to develop a better understanding of how the Oceans work, engineering is poised to play a key role in this knowledge transformation.

With this in mind, the IEEE OES is aiming to play its part during the Ocean Decade to bridge the gap between Ocean science and engineering, and bring engineering to the Decade. One of the many ways we plan to achieve this is to participate in the Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) to be held in 2022 in Hawaii. This year’s theme at OSM “Come Together and Connect,” emphasizes the importance of working together. It focuses on strengthening the Ocean sciences community through discussing both basic and applied research while making scientific and social connections.

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OSM 22 will be held in hybrid format with the in-person component at Hawaii.).

OSM 22 will be held in hybrid format with the in-person component at Hawaii.
(Feel free to distribute this flyer for publicity)

This is OES’s first year as technical co-sponsors to this event, and we are excited to be a part of this. In line with the theme, we hope to strengthen the engineering dimension at this conference. OSM is one of the largest conferences in this field and attracts a very large ocean science and engineering community.

As part of this, OES will be conducting several special sessions focusing on the use of engineering to solve problems facing the Ocean scientific community. These sessions are listed below along with their abstract. All sessions will be held in hybrid format (except OM02). If you find it interesting and relevant to your research project, consider submitting an abstract to these sessions. The deadline for abstracts is 29 September 2021.

Apart from the special session, we will also be organizing a Town Hall aimed at Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) and Scientists. If you are an ECOP looking to connect with academia and industry experts, and trying to find avenues to access equipment, software, expertise or data for your career, do consider attending this Town Hall to brainstorm ideas to bridge your requirements with the solutions available.

OD06 Advances in Machine Learning for Oceanographic Sensing Applications

Organizers: Michael Bianco, Venugopalan Pallayil, Hanumant Singh, Kitty Kam

The use of Machine Learning (ML) for analysis of geophysical data is now ubiquitous in academia and industry. In this session, we will bring together scientists and practitioners from a range of related disciplines in Earth and oceanographic signal processing, who are using and developing cutting-edge ML-based analysis techniques. We are specifically interested in examining issues relevant to the use of ML in a broad range oceanographic and Earth sensing modalities, including acoustics, optics, and sensor array processing. Challenges to be addressed include ML-model generalization in uncertain environments, lack of labelled datasets (e.g. unsupervised and semi-supervised learning), and ML model prediction confidence). We also welcome contributions towards statistical sampling strategies and techniques as applied to ML in the area of ocean sensing and monitoring.

OD14 Digital Ocean

Organizers: Pattabhi Rama Rao, Venugopalan Pallayil, Venkatesan R, Hanumant Singh 

UN Decade facilitates to deliver a “quantum leap” forward in simulating and understanding the Earth’s weather and climate leading to more precise forecasting using ocean data from In-situ and delayed mode. In order to advance computing performance and scalability, researchers/ocean modelers would require high-performance super computing systems EXASCALE at an affordable cost with newer techniques such as Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, etc. and Visualization tools. Also, the quantum of data to be handled will increase exponentially to manyfold by 2030. This session will provide a platform for Researchers/Ocean modelers and Engineers to discuss futuristic data storage and computational needs and possible solutions with experts from IT/Computer Industry.

OS10 Marine Litter and Microplastic Monitoring and Understanding

Organizers: Rene Garello, Mishra Pravakar, Audrey Hasson, Bhavani Narayanswami 

Marine litter is of growing global concern and is a multi-dimensional problem with economic, environmental, cultural, and human health costs. While quantitative information on production and use of plastics is to a large extent available, the fate of plastics discarded or leaked into the environment is highly uncertain. In particular, knowledge of how much plastic at different scales down to micro and nano levels reaches the ocean and the trajectories of the plastic in the ocean remain poorly known.

In order to address these issues, we propose a progamme based on the following main topics:

  • Environmental implications of single use of plastics and challenges and constraints involved region wise in containing the mismanaged plastic pollution and if they can be standardized.
  • Inclusion of best practices based on social, cultural and economic aspects that can improve the waste management on landside and in the offshore region.
  • Public participation and awareness in management of plastic consumption and disposal, and approaches to enable behavior changes in the society as well as manufacturers and industry and their response to phase out single use plastics.
  • Determination of a strategy for monitoring marine litter in the ocean: need to identify marine litter and assess marine litter observation and detection methods; coupling between observations and ocean circulation models.
  • Detailed understanding on the monitoring and quantifications of marine litter viz., meso, micro and nano-plastics, their pathways, distribution and transport processes from land to the ocean by sharing the methodology, data on plastic leakage to the marine environment.
  • Development of monitoring platforms: there is a wide range of non-comparable monitoring approaches that limits the development of indicators and spatial or temporal assessments.
OS11 Observing and Predicting the Global Coastal Ocean

Organizers: Emma Heslop, Brandy Armstrong, João De Souza, Paul di Giacomo 

Most human interaction with the ocean happens in the coastal zone. Responding to climate change, and effective management of coastal resources will require the development of a modern, agile, knowledge and information infrastructure that includes effective ocean observing systems, tailored models and information services, and fostering the use of standards and best practices.

Major challenges include enhanced ocean observations at regional and local scale, extending the existing regional observing capabilities and linking to GOOS. Similarly, downscaled regional models should include physical processes not represented in the global simulations, and better resolve the continental shelf bathymetry and geometry. New in situ and satellite data and new data assimilation schemes are needed to constrain model solutions, improving reliability and regional reanalysis with better optimised initial conditions for operational forecasts. Existing ocean observing technologies will likely not be sufficient; new instrumentation and measurement approaches will also be required.

This session is aligned with the CoastPredict initiative, that focuses on common ocean features, to produce predictions of natural variability and human-induced change in coastal areas, and upgrading the infrastructure for exchange of data with standard protocols.

To create a forum for discussion around building integrated observing and modelling solutions in the coastal zone, supporting the Ocean Decade outcomes, we invite abstracts in areas such as:

  • Integration of observations and modelling for service delivery
  • Building a trusted information infrastructure in the coastal ocean
  • New techniques that increase predictability from events to climate;
  • Innovative approaches and methodologies for coastal ocean observation;
  • Studies of global coastal ocean multi-scale interactions, and land-shelf-atmosphere-open ocean connections;
  • Interaction and uptake of traditional knowledge for ocean management.
OM02 Pairing autonomous monitoring with modeling to expand capacity and develop new understanding of coastal ocean systems

Organizers: Brandy Armstrong, Kemal Cambazoglu, Jerry Wiggert, Travis Miles

The use of autonomous platforms for both research and operations in coastal oceans has expanded rapidly over the past decade. These applications include monitoring air-sea interactions, marine mammals, ecosystems, sediment resuspension and transport, water quality, ocean acidification, among others. These observational systems are becoming more affordable, modular, capable and ubiquitous. Maritime stakeholders, operational resource management agencies, and researchers from private and public organizations are still seeking more complete and sustained ocean information globally in order to design and support policy options that sustain ocean-related human benefits.

Autonomous systems are increasingly paired with ocean models to expand impact and improve model solutions. New capabilities are being developed to use these model outputs to inform and maximize the information collected by autonomous systems and fill observational gaps. Ocean model solutions can be used to plan for autonomous vehicle deployment, to optimize sampling paths for autonomous vehicles, to enable targeting of features with adaptive sampling methods. The co-development of autonomous observing networks and numerical models is increasingly important in regions and conditions where ship-, buoy-, float-, and satellite measurements are not affordable, feasible, or limited by environmental conditions.

The UN Ocean Decade has identified capacity building as one pathway toward fulfilling coastal ocean data needs. The combination of autonomous ocean observations and numerical models can be leveraged as force multipliers while serving to expand regional observational capacity. We seek to engage coastal autonomous ocean observation and modeling groups, including those interested in developing new collaborations and integrated global approaches. Early career and under-represented groups are encouraged to submit to this session.

OT17 Ocean Observation for the Small Island Developing State (SIDS)

Organizers: Venkatesan Ramasamy, Atmanand Malayath, Robert Duncan McIntosh, Doug Wilson

Under the UN Decade, there is an enhanced focus to develop science for the society and for the Small Island Developing State (SIDS) to address the climate change risk and impacts from extreme weather events and sea level rise. Further to develop and implement nature-based solutions and benefit from the blue economy. SIDS are the most vulnerable state subjected to vagaries of the Ocean but out of 25 Island states on the basis of population and area, not even 10 of these Island nations, have sustained ocean observations. This session will focus on Ocean Observation for SIDS with objectives to highlight the need to have ocean observations, capacity to apply ocean observations for social and economic benefit, and to improve the forecasts for severe weather events experienced by SIDS. The topics will also include ocean observing with newer technologies, data access, QC, modeling and data products with funding opportunity. The Capacity development for SIDS is vital and act as the primary catalyst to achieve sustained ocean observation and forecasting. Suggested topics

  • Island Nation to Regional to Global: The need for, increased local knowledge, increased sustainability; Importance of growing base of traditional knowledge, Best Practices, Regional cooperation linked to poolicy on Earth System approach
  • Technology: New cost-effective technologies; Upskilling locals for in-country technical maintenance
  • Resources: Co-funding opportunity, Public-private partnership, Sustained capacity development

Probable sample Questions

  • What is the relation of ocean science in Island nations with global ocean observation?
  • How do you approach multidisciplinary observing aspects for SIDS?
  • What challenges citizens face in SIDS due to coastal hazards what assistance is required?
  • What are the technological limitations faced by Island nations to develop and sustain ocean observation system?
  • What is the link between Fisheries and Tourism to Ocean observation data collection for SIDS?
HL14 Autonomous Sensing and Monitoring in Polar Environnments

Organizers: Andreas Marouchos, Hanumant Singh, Venugopalan Pallayil

The Polar regions, the Arctic, the Antarctic and Greenland, are undergoing significant change due to anthropogenic forcing. Despite their critical importance in understanding climate change, these regions remain some of the most undersampled regions on the planet. This session will address the role autonomous sensing and monitoring to enhance our ability to map these areas both spatially and temporally, especially in areas that are remote and difficult to get to, and to obtain measurements that span winter, spring and fall in the austral regions as opposed to most measurements that are made in austral summers.

We will engage the engineering community and field scientists across a variety of disciplines to build bridges across these somewhat disparate communities.

Town Hall: Connecting Early Career Scientists with Academia and Industry Experts

Organizers: Hari Vishnu, Stephanie Kemna, Venugopalan Pallayil

This forum will enable direct interaction between early career scientists and leading researchers, academics, engineers and experts in the relevant industry who are solution-providers and manufacturers of sensors and other ocean science equipment. The session will help to understand the needs of the researchers in their respective areas of work, and help develop solutions in consultation with the relevant industries by fostering this dialogue. For example, it will look at what accelerated technologies and solutions are required to meet the "UN Decade of Ocean Science" objectives, and how the industry can help to develop suitable solutions for these bearing in mind the needs of early-career scientists, thus adhering to the 'co-designed solution-oriented' philosophy of the Decade. Industries may also be able to offer existing solutions on a volunteer basis or offer cost-effective solutions, especially to researchers from economically backward countries, thus accelerating the pace of ocean science in these regions.

The following specific topics will be discussed: New sensors and technologies, calibration, standards and best practices, software, offshore structural design, safety, capacity building methods etc.

Target audience: Early-career Ocean professionals looking for avenues to access and use data or equipment,  and looking to connect with leading researchers and solution-providers of sensors and ocean-science equipment who can enable this.

Goals: Seed a discussion to bridge between needs of early career professionals, engineers and solution-providers, involving the whole audience. Crystallize specific points on requirements and concerns, and brainstorm ideas to bridge them.