March 6, 2017
On March 4-5, 2018, the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) and the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research & Technology hosted a workshop, From Surface to Seafloor: Exploration of the Water Column. A total of approximately 50 people participated in the workship, representing a wide range of expertise, including mooring-based observations, eDNA, remotely operated vehicle-based investigation, chemical oceanography, microbiology, midwater ecology, biologging, technology development, and more.
Workshop breakout sessions covered baseline characterizations of the water column, key scientific questions and data gaps, ways to leverage existing opportunities, and recommended requirements for a dedicated water column exploration program. Participants engaged in rigorous discussions on all of these topics, providing valuable input to guide future water column exploration initiatives.
The workshop, which was the first time the community had been brought together to discussion water column exploration, was proceeded by the ASLO Aquatic Sciences meeting, and many of the workshop attendees were also at the conference. OER took advantage of this opportunity to bring a group of 10 water column experts to the University of Hawaii Exploration Command Center to participate in midwater transects conducted as part of the 2017 American Samoa Expedition: Suesuega o le Moana o Amerika Samoa on February 27. Additionally, OER staff co-chaired a conference session on March 2 entitled, Characterizing Exploration in the Water Column.