Convergence of Ideas and Communities Plenaries
presented by Sigi Gruber and Scott Rayder

Sunday, 11 February

6:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.

Portland Ballroom, Level 2

Sigi Gruber has been Head of the Marine Resources Unit, in the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, since 2014. The Unit defines, implements and monitors Research and Innovation objectives and priorities to support the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy and its related Seabasin Strategies, thereby contributing to the sustainable and responsible management of marine resources, both in Europe and globally. In 2011, Gruber headed the Unit responsible for EU S&T cooperation with North America, Latin America and the Caribbean; in 2007, Gruber headed the Unit responsible for Relations with Third Countries. Prior to that, she was Head of Sector for Researchers’ Careers with responsibilities related to the European Charter for Researchers, the Modernizing Agenda of European Universities and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. Gruber started to work for the European Commission in 1991, as an expert for the LINGUA Program. Afterwards, she worked in the Directorate General for Education and Training where she was responsible for the actions dealing with foreign language learning for vocational training and for policy development of the European Union’s vocational training program, the Leonardo da Vinci Program. Prior to joining the European Commission, Gruber worked in the public and private sector in Italy and Germany.

Scott Rayder is Senior Advisor to the President of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. He provides strategic direction on UCAR budget and policy issues, and brings extensive experience in building relationships and opportunities with a wide range of funding organizations. Scott has worked with senior officials in the federal executive branch as well as Congress, focusing on programs supporting weather forecasting, climate monitoring, and environmental analysis. As Chief of Staff to NOAA Administrator Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., United States Navy (Retired), Scott was charged with formulating, guiding and integrating policy, budget, and program initiatives with senior management to ensure consistency across its diverse program responsibilities, both within NOAA and with NOAA’s partnering organizations. Scott has a BA degree with a dual major in government and geology and a Masters in Public Administration.

Tuesday, 13 February

10:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

Portland Ballroom, Level 2

Claudia Benitez-Nelson, College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor, Marine Science Program and Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences, University of South Carolina.

The building blocks of life: From oceanic to molecular scales and back again

The research of Benitez-Nelson focuses on the biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus and carbon and how these elements are influenced by both natural and anthropogenic processes. She is a diverse scientist, with expertise ranging from radiochemistry to harmful algal bloom toxins and is highly regarded for her cross-disciplinary research.

Benitez-Nelson has authored or co-authored more than 90 papers, including lead author publications in the journals Science and Nature. She has been continuously supported by research and education grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, among others.  Her many honors include the Ocean Sciences Section’s Early Career Award, Fulbright and Marie Curie Fellowships, and National Academies of Science/Humboldt Foundation Kavli Fellow.

John Dabiri, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, California, USA

Biological Propulsion in (and of?) the Ocean

Dabiri’s research focuses on science and technology at the intersection of fluid mechanics, energy and environment, and biology. Honors for this work include a MacArthur Fellowship, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Popular Science magazine named him one of its “Brilliant 10” scientists for his research in bio-inspired propulsion. For his research in bio-inspired wind energy, Bloomberg Businessweek magazine listed him among its Technology Innovators, and MIT Technology Review magazine named him one of its 35 innovators under 35.

In 2014, Dabiri was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics and the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, and he is a member of the U.S. National Committee for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.

Wednesday, 14 February

10:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

Portland Ballroom, Level 2

TOS Munk Award Lecture

Presented by Andone Lavery, Associate Scientist with Tenure, Department of Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

New platforms, technologies, and approaches for acoustic remote sensing of the ocean

Since 2002, Dr. Andone C. Lavery has been a Member of the Scientific Staff, Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Her research interests include high-frequency acoustic scattering and propagation in discrete and random media, developing physics-based acoustic scattering models for marine organisms and small scale fluid processes, performing laboratory measurements for validating scattering models, developing instruments and signal processing methods for ocean measurements of scattering from biologics and physical processes. Most recently, her research has focused on the acoustic characterization of organisms in the ocean Twilight Zone, the characterization and quantification buoyant estuarine plumes, and the adaptation of acoustic sensors to a variety of emerging ocean sensing platforms.

AGU Sverdrup Award Lecture

Presented by Sybil Seitzinger, Executive Director, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, University of Victoria

Nitrogen Hunting from Land to Ocean

Dr. Seitzinger is the executive director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. Previous positions included serving as the executive director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) based in Stockholm, Sweden, and as director of the Rutgers/NOAA Cooperative Marine Education and Research Program and visiting professor at Rutgers University in the US. She served as president of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography from 2006-2010.  She is widely cited for her research on land-atmosphere-ocean biogeochemistry, with a focus on changes in the global nitrogen cycle and how humans are affecting it.  Her research spans a range of spatial scales from molecular level organic chemical characterization to models at global scales.

ASLO A.C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award

Presented by Lisa Levin, Distinguished Professor, Integrative Oceanography Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Beautiful Benthos: From the water’s edge to the deep and back again

Known in the ocean sciences community for her “insight, collaborative spirit and tireless dedication to deep-sea research,” Levin has been a leader in advancing conservation and observation of deep sea ecosystems. She served as Director for the Center for Marine Biodiversity (CMBC) and Conservation for six years, founded and co-leads the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI), and has been instrumental in efforts to develop a Deep-Ocean Observing Strategy. A recognized and respected voice on threats to aquatic ecosystems, Levin’s reviews, commentaries, and policy papers can be found in venues such as Science and Nature. She has served numerous roles in the scientific community, such as an editor and referee to many journals and is a frequent session chair at ASLO and other conferences. She also regularly communicates with decision makers, ranging in scope from local advisory boards to global assemblies such as the International Seabed Authority and United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Friday, 16 February

4:15 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Portland Ballroom, Level 2

Michael McPhaden is a Senior Scientist at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Washington. His research focuses on large-scale tropical ocean dynamics, ocean-atmosphere interactions, and the ocean’s role in climate. Over the past 35 years, he has been involved in developing ocean observing systems for climate research and forecasting, most notably the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) moored buoy array in the Pacific for studies of El Niño and the Southern Oscillation and companion arrays in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

McPhaden is a Past President of AGU and has served as a chair or member of science advisory committees sponsored by organizations such as the World Climate Research Program, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He has published nearly 300 articles in the refereed scientific literature and has collaborated with scientists on every continent. McPhaden is a Nansen medalist of the European Geosciences Union, a Sverdrup medalist of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and a fellow of the Oceanography Society, AMS, and AGU. McPhaden will provide the closing remarks, entitled “Next on the Horizon.”