ST Conference PreviewOCEANS '10 MTS/IEEE
This year's OCEANS conference, hosted by the Marine Technology Society (MTS) and IEEE's Oceanic Engineering Society, will be held from September 20 to 23 in Seattle, Washington, at the recently expanded and remodeled Washington State Convention and Trade Center.
The conference will feature locally relevant themes that reflect trends in the international ocean community, as well as the traditional topics presented at all OCEANS conferences. Conference organizers said that special programs and events have been planned to enhance attendees' and exhibitors' experience in Seattle, a city that also hosted the 1989 and 1999 OCEANS conferences.
The conference theme, 'Innerspace: A Global Responsibility,' focuses on shared responsibilities for the complex, dynamic ocean system. The plenary session will provide highlights of this theme during an overview of ocean engineering, technology and policy issues both in the United States and overseas.
Among those scheduled to speak at the plenary session are Dr. Asahiko Taira, executive director of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology; Liu Feng, executive director of the Chinese Ocean Mineral Resource Agency; and Nii Odunton, secretary general of the International Seabed Authority. Conference organizers said that these distinguished guests' speeches will underscore the intersection of science, engineering, technology and policy in oceans management.
Approximately 475 abstracts have been submitted from authors in 26 countries, guaranteeing a full and diverse technical program, conference organizers said.
Special topics of local interest this year include 'Operational Ocean Observing Systems: Contributions to Science and to Society,' 'Research Ocean Observing Systems,' 'Marine Renewable Energy,' 'Coastal Hazards: From Science to Resilience' and 'Enabling Technologies for Ecological Studies of Aquatic Organisms: Zooplankton to Whales.'
Given Seattle's location in the Pacific Northwest, these topics will focus on the Pacific Rim, which will function as a proxy to study the oceans worldwide, conference organizers said. Keynote speakers in each local topic area will present new directions for marine science and technology on international, national and local levels.
OCEANS '10 will feature events similar to previous conferences, including exhibitors, vendors, papers, tutorials, a student poster competition, receptions and award luncheons.
Conference organizers said they expect strong attendance in the exhibit hall, thanks to careful planning of events to maximize foot traffic. Registration will take place at the entrance to the exhibit hall, and free Internet access will be provided at a location inside the exhibit area. Monday's icebreaker reception will take place in the exhibit hall, and a box lunch will be served there Thursday. Furthermore, the exhibit hall will open after Tuesday morning's plenary session and will be the only scheduled activity until the MTS Awards Luncheon held later that day.
Wednesday night will feature a gala reception in the award-winning Museum of Flight. Because of the central role aviation and Seattle-based Boeing Co. have played in the city, the museum offers a unique showcase of flight-related history and advanced technology that will appeal to conference delegates and their family and friends, conference organizers said. Guests will be able to see many famous planes, including a Sopwith Camel, a Concorde airplane, President John F. Kennedy's Air Force One, a Lockheed SR-71 and Soviet-era MiGs.
The Washington State Trade and Convention Center, located in downtown Seattle inside the bus system's ride-free zone, is within walking distance to the historic Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center, the Seattle Art Museum, the waterfront and ferries to Bainbridge Island and Bremerton. In addition, Seattle is home to large and small marine technology companies, innovative small businesses and business-development organizations, conference organizers said. A number of tours will be available to highlight the city and its history.
Among the sponsor and patron opportunities is the 'Sponsor-A-Student' program. A grant from the Office of Naval Research is already paying travel and registration expenses for the 25 top-ranked students who have submitted abstracts. For each $2,500 contributed through the sponsorship program, one more student will receive travel and registration support. Conference organizers said the goal is to increase the total number of students being sponsored to at least 30. Interested organizations can obtain information on 'Sponsor-A-Student' and other patron opportunities on the conference website.
Among the planned events is a program to introduce local high school students to ocean science and technology and a demonstration of remotely operated vehicles for students.
A professional development workshop for teachers is planned, and MTS will host a job fair that is being advertised to local universities and students attending the conference; the job fair will alert students to opportunities in marine science and technology, conference organizers said.
Attending students will also be able to submit their resumes to MTS, which will match job postings with potential candidates.
For more information on patron opportunities, registration, exhibiting and conference events, visit www.oceans10mtsieeeseattle.org.
The following list of exhibitors was updated as of press time: