For session scheduling and an importable calendar, please see the Programme page.

Working sessions & tracks

Communicating science using modern media

Convener: Paola Espitia (Ola'pi Creative)
Format: Panel and open discussion

About the session

Ocean science is complex, and many of the environments being investigated are difficult to access often resulting in an “out of sight, out of mind” scenario. Compounding the science communication challenge further, confusing and inconsistent messaging is often spread by the media. Thus, the need for high quality science communication is stronger than ever, but many scientists lack the training to clearly speak about their research, let alone share their research in a way that’s engaging and memorable.

As physical distancing rules continue and more people are tuned to digital media, there opens up an opportunity for ocean scientists to build a virtual presence that allows them to connect more widely across society and engage global participation in ocean stewardship. During this panel discussion, ocean-focused podcasters, livestreamers, vloggers, and bloggers will share their insights on why modern media is an effective tool for science communication, what methodologies are working, how storytelling is making science more accessible, and what kind of support is needed from Ocean Best Practices to connect more widely to target communities.

Conveners and Panelists

Ola'pi Creative Co-founder, Paola Espitia is making media that moves. For two decades, she studied coral restoration as a marine biologist. When she realized she could make a bigger impact for the ocean through storytelling, she became a Speaker at Sea cruising over 17,500 nautical miles educating thousands of people about the ocean and how to restore her. She continues to inspire ocean stewardship through her live interview show, Conversations with Paola, and is amplifying the work of conservation leaders and outdoor advocates through her media agency, Ola’pi Creative. However, her biggest contribution towards a better, bluer future is raising an outdoor-loving son.

Livestream show:
YouTube channel:

Video tutorials:
How to make better videos
How to get more video views
7 ways to lessen your impact on the ocean


Franziska Elmer PhD is a research fellow with School for Field Studies at the Center for Marine Resource Studies in South Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands and the executive producer and co host of the Sargassum podcast. She has spent much of her career in the Caribbean, including volunteer work and an internship at STENAPA in St. Eustatius and faculty positions at CIEE in Bonaire and SFS in South Caicos. Furthermore, she serves as treasurer for the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean and is an Island Innovation Ambassador. Her research focusses are on coral recruitment, stony coral tissue loss disease and the impact of Sargassum beaching events on ecosystems and local communities. In 2020, Franziska gave TEDx talk in Luzern: How a Marine Biologist Became a Climate Pirate. Since January 2020, Franziska has been on a climate change sabbatical in which she volunteers for various projects working to help solve this crisis.

YouTube channel:
Tedx Talk:


Robby Thigpen is the Founder of Marine Conservation without Borders and one of the hosts for the Sargassum Podcast. His work of ethnotranslating marine science into the Indigenous & Creole languages of fisher folk in the Greater Caribbean Basin unifies his own coastal fishing heritage, study in the biological sciences and insistence on honoring people as they are.

Fishing coastal Carolina waterways is a family heritage for Thigpen. His training as an anthropologist encouraged him to bring a learner’s mind to the Indigenous communities, in which he has been immersed since 2006 when he did his senior thesis on a Belizean fishing cooperative. Then, employing a stable isotope analysis to elucidate food webs of the Indigenous lobster fishery of the western Caribbean, he saw how frequently overlooked were the very people supplying the lobsters for a global market. He also gathered that the Indigenous fishers pulled upon their own deep generational knowledge, even while he saw how Western science education so often failed to successfully impact fishing practices.

His solution to these several problems is to teach ecology in the language—and thinking—of Indigenous stakeholders. To date, more than a dozen ethnotranslations of his prototype marine ecology textbook have been completed for the greater Caribbean basin and beyond. Several of the forthcoming titles will detail primates, sea turtles, marine megafauna, parrots, invasive species, sargassum and macroplastics for the Indigenous schools in Maya communities of Quintana Roo México. After this phase they will take on the world!

Sargassum Podcast:
Digital Library:


Yanasivan Kisten did his BSc and MSc Degrees at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and his PhD at Nelson Mandela University in South Africa, where he is currently a postdoctoral researcher. He has generally worked in marine animal ecophysiology, testing the potential future impacts of environmental change on animal health, particularly the early life stages of fishes. He also founded a science communication media brand called Geekoscopy where he hosts podcasts, articles and videos on various social media platforms.

Ocean related episodes:
Chris Parsons, Joshua Drew, Umvelt

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

The value of effective communication across stakeholder groups is central to teaching and learning ocean methods and agreeing on best practice. We're looking forward to learning how and why participants have used their media and communication approaches to transfer ocean knowledge, and how to address challenges on the way. We look forward to learning how to enhance our outreach approaches, guides to producing ocean methods, and technologies to link across media types in this session and its follow-up activities. Moreover, we will be thinking abuot how we can better support ocean communicators in sharing their know-how, and linking their methods with those of other stakeholders, particularly those working in fields with high technical and/or conceptual specialisation that are challenging to communicate.

Ocean Rights: an Earth-centered approach to ocean governance

Convener: Michelle Bender, Constanza Prieto Figelist (Earth Law Centre)

Format: Webinar with moderated discussion/audience interaction

About the session

How may adopting and implementing an Earth-centered approach (Rights of Nature) transform decision making and human interactions with the Ocean?

Western law and society largely treats the Ocean as a resource and property here for human utility and benefit. As a result, interactions between humans and the Ocean have been fueled by human and economic interests, leading to over-exploitation and harm. Earth-centered governance and the Rights of Nature is a framework to transform our anthropocentric paradigm and worldview to that of interconnected relationships and reciprocal responsibilities.

Rivers, national parks and mountains have been recognized as legal persons or entities subject of rights. The session will begin with a panel discussion that will delve into emerging precedents and how such practices can increase ocean protection. The session participants will then workshop recommendations for practices (principles and standards of law and policy) that may help communities consider the intrinsic values and needs of the Ocean in decision making.

About the panelists

Michelle Bender is the Ocean Campaigns Director at the Earth Law Center, an Executive Committee member of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and a member of the IUCN's World Commission on Environmental Law. Michelle is the founder of the Ocean Rights framework, spearheading the development of an Earth-centered framework for ocean law and policy, and in 2018, she was named one of the fifteen "Youth Ocean Leaders" taking on the world at the World Ocean Summit. (the first photo with blue blazer)

Constanza Prieto Figelist is a Chilean Lawyer working as the Earth Law Center's Latin American Legal Director. Constanza founded the Latin American Legal Department at Earth Law Center in 2020. She is a leading expert on the Rights of Nature in Latin America with a specialty in protecting rivers and marine ecosystems. Her work to fight for the rights of ecosystems in the courts now extends to several countries in Latin America.

Dr Elizabeth Macpherson is an Associate Professor in Environmental and Natural Resources Law at the University of Canterbury. Her research interests are in comparative environmental and natural resources law, human rights and Indigenous rights in Australasia and Latin America. She has published widely on these topics, including the award-winning book Indigenous Water Rights in Law and Regulation: Lessons from Comparative Experience (2019, Cambridge University Press). She currently co-leads two major externally-funded research projects: Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge project funded by the New Zealand Government on Law and Policy for Ecosystem-Based Marine Management; and Norwegian Research Council funded project Riverine Rights: Exploring the Currents and Consequences of Legal Rights for Rivers.

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

Most if not all of our ocean practices are subject to national, international, or community-based legal frameworks, protocols, or requirements. Understanding how these frameworks interact with cultural values as well as the intrinsic value of the natural environment is a considerable challenge; however, this will be a foundation of meaningfully pursuing the sustainable development and conservation objectives inherent to contemporary ocean observation and applications. With the increased multi-sector focus on the ocean, the OBPS is keen to develop its understanding of this space, and to incorporate measures to increase the visibility of the legal and ethical context of each practice in its repository. We look forward to the insights, materials, recommendations, and new collaborations from this session and its follow-up activities.

Promoting ocean science for society in the International Baccalaureate's Environmental Systems and Societies module

Convener: Roland Schmidt-Belach

Format: Open meeting and facilitated discussion

About the session

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is an internationally recognized two-year university preparation program for students between the ages of 16-19 offered by an International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) accredited school. Students receive their diploma when they successfully complete assessments in six subjects that meet the requirements from each of the 6 subject groups together with the core requirements of an extended essay, Theory of Knowledge and community service. Students are evaluated externally by examiners through a final exam and an internal assessed project using standardized subject specific criteria.

Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) is a transdisciplinary subject that upon successful completion, meets the IBDP criteria for both the Humanities (Group 3) and Science (Group 4) subjects, allowing students greater flexibility to meet their graduation requirements. Its Internal Assessment (IA) is designed to engage students to investigate how an environmental issue affects specific aspects of an ecosystem in a unique context which include oceans and coastlines.

Historically, teacher resources for supporting students in their IA investigations are strongly influenced by terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem methods. A significant need and interest has been expressed by ESS teachers in expanding investigation techniques to more suitably address environmental issues that impact marine ecosystems. Specifically what is needed is training in effective universally recognized methods, affordable equipment, access to scientific research databases and research appropriate field trips that can make ocean and coastline investigations affordable and accessible to students taking ESS.

This can be achieved through (but not restricted to) the following:

  • Establishing a list of suitable marine investigation techniques, field work experiences, IA research questions or topics.

  • Expert support from the research community for teachers and students with background information to support their development of suitable research questions for IAs.

  • Access to reliable secondary data sources

  • Establish guidelines for researchers to understand what makes a good IA project to support the development of suitable materials in collaboration with teachers.


How can we get more students interested in Ocean research and how can research help schools in this?

  1. Brief workshop introduction

    • Personal introduction

    • IBDP and ESS practical and Internal Assessment (IA) requirements

    • Nature of ESS IA types (field/lab work, secondary data and surveys)

    • Potential needs ESS teachers and students would benefit support with

  2. School field trip case study

    • Ha Long bay, Vietnam - UNIS Hanoi

  3. Open Q and A session on how we can get more students interested in ocean research and have the research community support schools. Possible areas for discussion are

    • Student career options

    • Enhance interest/participation in ocean research

    • Teacher advisory group to help support with

      1. developing research questions,

      2. find and assess secondary data and reliable resources and

      3. access expert opinion

    • Virtual field trips - i.e. tour of the research vessel

      1. Drone surveys? What else you would like to see

    • Citizen science kits and protocols and send data to common database

      1. Zonation, genome sequencing, clip on sensors to boats/boards

      2. School networks to survey river quality as water moves to ocean

    • CAS - sustainable development - community based monitoring of endangered species, beach cleanup, monitoring,

    • Summer project/trips - IA data collection

  4. Wrap-up, summary and where do we go from here (to lead to an action plan).

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

With only a few exceptions, ocean-focused education and practical experience is underrepresented in high-school curricula. This very likely impacts the number of students that seek out ocean careers or activism. This session offers an opportunity to understand how global ocean practitioners can inspire the next generation of ocean professionals and enthusiasts, and offers great potential to link citizen science campaigns with formative educational experiences. The IB's ESS subject - with its blend of socially and scientifically focused content complemented by community service and theory of knowledge modules - has particularly high potential for numerous ocean initiatives to formulate creative educational programmes. We anticipate this will be the beginning of a sustained OBPS activity bridge high-school education to the knoweldge of global ocean community.

Enhancing the value of marine omics/eDNA practices across the ocean community

Conveners: Raïssa Meyer (AWI), Nick Jeffery (DFO-MPO), Christina Pavloudi (HCMR), Katie Pitz (MBARI), Robyn Samuel (University of Southampton), Susanna Theroux (SCCWRP), Jodie van de Kamp (CSIRO), Alison Watts (UNH)

Format: Track: Three webinars with panel discussions and breakout rooms

About the session

Biomolecular ocean observing and research - and the omic techniques that fuel them - are rapidly evolving domains describing biodiversity at its foundational level, giving insight into the structure and function of marine ecosystems over time and space. To achieve global scale biomolecular ocean observations, and contribute to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and beyond, research groups will need a system to effectively share, discover, and compare “omic” practices and protocols.

To address the above, the “OBPS Task Team 21-03: Omics/eDNA Protocol Management” was established to build a corpus of omics protocols on the OBPS that are carefully curated with standardized metadata tags to improve the user-driven discovery of omics/eDNA protocols.


Through this track we aim to gain a better understanding of where the community sees the most potential, the biggest challenges, and the greatest value in the omics/eDNA value-chain, and how the OBPS can best support those.


  1. Progress report and objectives for 2022: Updates on the Omics/eDNA Protocol Management Task Team since last OBPS workshop

    • Present and evaluate existing needs for omics protocol development in the OBPS across the biomolecular observation (marine omics) value chain (from sample collection, sample processing, data analysis, and sharing of data with society).

    • Consider future goals of the Task Team, including cost and resource requirement estimation for each protocol

  2. Recommendations to the OBPS: how can the system add more value to the omics/eDNA community?

    • What is the minimum information needed for an Omic Protocol (metadata tags)?

    • Which community-use metrics are most valuable to evaluate protocols?

    • How can we increase the machine readability of omics protocols within and beyond the OBPS?

    • What user interface / experience enhancements are needed to better engage the omics community? How can we leverage omic metadata to cluster, sort, present, and interlink protocols and other methods?

  3. Gap analysis across the omics/eDNA value chain: The need for new partners and perspectives

    • What membership and perspectives are we missing?

    • How can we sustainably link to biological reporting frameworks (e.g. indicator frameworks) through stabilising our methodology?

All are welcome, and we seek new members to increase the scope and diversity of perspectives and expertise in our Omics/eDNA Task Team.

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

This track features the outputs of an OBPS Task Team, convened as an outcome of last year's OBPS Community Workshop. We're eager to hear a public-facing, comprehensive update on their progress and their recommendations for how the OBPS can bring more value to the omics/eDNA community. Working with members of our OBPS Steering Group, this Task Team has gained a familiarity with the OBPS and its value chain, such that its recommendations have increased actionability on our side. We hope that other communities will use similar mechanisms for working with us, and co-developing the OBPS at all levels.

The journey to developing the AORA Marine Microbiome Roadmap (and beyond)

Conveners: Margaret Rae, Shawn Robinson (Fisheries and Oceans Canada), Kelly Goodwin (NOAA), Pier Luigi Buttigieg (Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration // GEOMAR)
Format: Moderated open meeting

About the session

New insights on the significance of microscopic ocean life have shown it affects almost every aspect of our lives (health, food, industry, ecosystems). For society’s future, we need to more deeply investigate the many microbiomes of the marine realm, integrate novel technologies, and incorporate microbiomes into new policies that foster truly sustainable development.

This informational session will recount how the Atlantic Ocean Reasearch Alliance's (AORA) Marine Microbiome working group delivered its high-level roadmap and briefing document to orient multinational and multilateral strategy on observing the Atlantic Microbiome ( Marine microbiome researchers from Canada, the European Union, and the United States of America, alongside a diverse group of stakeholders, participated in this work and the outcome, which is the result of extensive consultation with those who directly participated in the workshops well as others that were invited to comment on the work as it progressed.

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

The value of activities that bridge science to policy will only increase and diversify as the UN Ocean Decade catalyses greater interaction at this crucial interface. The OBPS seeks to develop its capacity to provide dedicated support to all stakeholders who wish to communicate with policy makers, and welcomes consultation from those that have engaged here. We anticipate that dedicated task teams will emerge from sessions such as this one, leading to collections of science-policy communication methods across which we can begin convergence activities supported by targeted technologies.

Coordinating genomic sampling across a European Infrastructure

Convener: Ioulia Sant (EMBRC/EMO BON)
Format: Panels and discussion with audience interaction

About the track

The European Marine Biological Resource Centre has launched the first coordinated genomic observatory that focuses on the marine coastal biodiversity of Europe: the European Marine Omics Biodiversity Network (EMO BON). The network includes 16 observatories that have agreed to use common and standardized protocols for sample collection. How can this challenge be met in partnership with the OBPS and the wider ocean community?

High-quality and well-managed sample collection methodology is the foundation of trustworthy data and information products. The value of the many tested methodologies for sampling the marine genomic biodiversity is high, but these methods are scattered among different research groups and difficult to track and assess for inclusion into infrastructure-level processes. This session will initiate a discussion on the genomic sample collection and will aim to identify and suggest best practices in the collection of marine samples. The session will open by presenting the challenges and benefits of adopting common sampling protocols and it will continue in breakout rooms. The output of the session will assist researchers with the methodology decision depending on their focus.


  1. Identify and discuss the current sampling methodologies for genomics

  2. Identify the routines that should be followed regardless of the method (e.g. cleaning, storage, maximum filtration time, minimum volume/mass of sample)

  3. Identify the checkpoints before sampling depending on the targeted organism and analyses

  4. consider the sample collection when targeting other omics methodologies (pitfalls, common procedures, special considerations)

This track will have the following sessions:

  • Seawater Sampling Panel, with foci on sampling microbiomes, eDNA, viruses, and micro/meso/macro- plankton

  • Marine Sediment Sampling Panel, with foci on sampling microbiome, meiobenthos, and macrobenthos

In each session, we encourage input on omic techniques other than genomic sampling (RNA, protein, metabolite sampling), to prepare for expansion in this domain.

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

Long-term infrastructures with regional focus, but global coordination needs, have unique methodology management challenges: they must balance innovation, reliability, cost, coverage, and deployment feasibility all while harmonising capacities across different operational scenarios. During this track and its follow-up activities, the OBPS team will be thinking about how our technologies, templates, workflows, and coordination mechanisms can better support the discovery, evaluation, alignment and endorsement of methods within and across infrastructures like the EMBRC. Further, we'll be assessing how we, along with the communities of practice using the OBPS, can support increase convergence at a global scale, while expressing endorsements at a regional or local scale.

Best practices and current barriers to sharing guidelines, policies, standard specifications, and protocols on ocean data

Convener: Allison Miller, Corinne Bassin (Schmidt Ocean Institute),
Format: Panel and open discussion

About the session

It is becoming easier than ever to acquire large amounts of data about the ocean. Data collected on board research vessels, by sensors, buoys, and floats around the world and through in situ and lab-based analysis, are one of the most valuable ocean assets. Making the data openly available allows for more rapid science and international collaboration over time. Today, while oceanographic data is increasingly being made publicly available, significant volumes of data remain inaccessible, are difficult to integrate/re-use, and many obstacles related to best practices in ocean data sharing remain.

This session will focus on how we can support the development of best practices to overcome the current barriers to sharing ocean data guidelines, policies, standard specifications, and protocols. With the onset of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and the subsequent endorsement of the IODE’s Ocean Practices for the Decade, there could not be a better time to have this conversation.

We look forward to having a participatory discussion with a variety of practitioners across the data pipeline about on topics such as:

  • How do we help practitioners find the best digital practices for their needs?

  • How do we “advertise” or promote new data when it is available?

  • How do we advance the recognition of the benefit and value of openly sharing data?

  • How can we ease entry into the data sharing world?

These initial conversations are needed to address the challenges surrounding open data sharing practices and allow for continued improvements in the exchange of ocean data.


Allison Miller holds a B.S. in Marine Science with a minor in Environmental Science from Coastal Carolina University, and a M.S. degree in Oceanography from Florida State University. She previously managed the National Oceanographic Partnership Program at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, facilitating partnerships in a variety of ways and in 2009, dove in DSV Alvin off the coast of Costa Rica on a mission to service IODP’s CORK observatories. She is the Council Secretary for The Oceanography Society.

Allison is the Research Portfolio Senior Manager, responsible for the management and oversight of all research projects undertaken by SOI. This includes managing scientific grants, contracts, and agreements as they pertain to the scientific research using SOI assets and managing the data created and collected by SOI assets. She is also responsible for maintaining harmonious and productive relationships with scientists and engineers who work with SOI, as well as supporting other scientific and research groups that interact with SOI.


Corinne Bassin has worked in both the private and public sectors with experience across oceanography, scientific programming, software development, and data. She has a B.S. in Math/Applied Science from UC Los Angeles and an M.S. in Interdisciplinary Marine Science from UC Santa Barbara. Following graduate school, Corinne worked as an oceanographic researcher at the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory, clocking in many hours aboard research vessels on Puget Sound. She then went on to work as a data analyst and software engineer in the technology sector with a focus on temporal and spatial data. Before joining Schmidt Ocean Institute, Corinne was contracted to NOAA Fisheries as a developer on a variety of software and analytical tools for scientists. She led the NOAA Fisheries Integrated Toolbox, coordinating a national effort to centralize access to fisheries modeling software. She led a grassroots effort to adopt strategies to encourage open-source software development across NOAA Fisheries.

Corinne has a special interest in developing and designing data visualizations that combine scientific integrity with beautiful user experiences. She enjoys exploring ways to create engaging and informative data stories, especially those centered on earth observation data. As Data Platform Manager, she will work to increase the availability and accessibility of Schmidt Ocean Institute’s data.

Dr. Erik Cordes is an Associate Professor and the Vice Chair of Biology at Temple University. He has spent over 16 months at sea on over 30 research cruises, 10 as Chief Scientist. The research in his lab is focused on understanding the areas of the deep sea that support the highest biomass communities: deep-water coral reefs, natural hydrocarbon seeps, and hydrothermal vents. He studies these ecosystems at all levels of organization, from energy flow in ecosystems and patterns of community assembly, down to gene expression and microbial processes.

Dr. Cordes worked on deep-sea corals for his M.S. at Moss Landing Marine Labs, worked on cold-seep ecology for his Ph.D. at Penn State University, and studied the microbial communities within hydrothermal vent chimneys during his NSF Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Harvard. His work is centered around the ability of organisms to shape their environment and increase habitat heterogeneity, but has increasingly become focused on the ability for humans to impact these processes in the deep sea.

Dr. Vicki Ferrini is a Senior Research Scientist and Associate Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. She received her B.A. in Geology/Biology from Colby College and earned a M.S. in Marine Environmental Science and Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography at Stony Brook University. Over the past 20+ years she has worked in environments from shallow water coastal areas to the deep-sea using ships, boats, submersibles and towed platforms.

Vicki is heavily involved in geoinformatics and data management and spends much of her time working on projects focused on making marine geoscience research data publicly accessible. Her research interests include bathymetric mapping throughout the global oceans and making marine geoscience research data publicly available and easily accessible to scientists and the public.

Shawn Smith received a B.S. in Earth Science from Michigan State University and a M.S. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He previously worked at the Byrd Polar Research Center, his work focused on boundary layer air flow over the Antarctic and included a nine-week field expedition to west Antarctica. After two years at the BPRC, he moved to a research position at the WOCE Surface Meteorological Data Center.

Presently, he is a Senior Research Associate and Director of the Marine Data Center at the Center for Ocean-Atmosphere Prediction Studies at Florida State University. His focus continues to be assessing and improving the quality of meteorological and underway flow-water observations collected on oceanographic research vessels. His team’s mission is to provide routine access to high-quality, underway, marine meteorological and surface oceanographic data to support scientific and operational activities.

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

This session highlights several key issues in ocean data sharing, which the OBPS can engage with:

  1. While there are many powerful technologies and services for the release and exchange of ocean data, identifying the right approach (guidelines, policies, method, etc) appropriate for a set of stakeholders is often very challenging.

  2. Community guidelines and policies on data release and reuse are often not aligned and not compatible, leading to digital silos and the need for substantial resources to share effectively.

  3. Data are generally decoupled from the methods that generates them, standards they comply to, and policies they are released under. During this session, we'll be

During this session, we'll be thinking about how the OBPS can help the community address these (and other) challenges. For example, by activating our technology development and recommendations to improve the link between well-archived methodologies and data sets and creating dedicated spaces to improve coordination of data policies, transaprently balancing interests and constraints.

Ocean best practices to facilitate marine conservation

Convenecs: Sara Pruckner (UNEP-WCMC), Lauren Weatherdon (UNEP-WCMC), Emmett Duffy (Smithsonian Institution); Ward Appeltans (IOC-UNESCO/OBIS); Frank Muller-Karger (University of South Florida)

About the session

This session will highlight best practices in ocean observing that support conservation activities, with examples of methodologies and standards for monitoring Essential Ocean Variables and protected and conserved areas, and their use to inform conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of marine biodiversity. We will outline examples of data flows and associated value chains, highlighting the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), MBON, Smithsonian MarineGEO, and the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS), and how these strengthen the knowledge base for public and private sector decision-making. We will conclude by introducing and discussing ways to collaborate with the UN Ocean Decade programme Marine Life 2030, which builds on more than two decades of effort to establish a globally coordinated system to deliver actionable knowledge of ocean life in service of sustainable development and ocean conservation.

Objectives & Outputs:

  • Focusing on examples of how data interoperability has helped conservation, promote common data schemas and data standards to streamline coordination of global data collection and management.

  • Developing recommendations for updating the OBPS to improve the link between science and conservation efforts (e.g. focused indexing of conservation practices; endorsement of protocols).

  • Motivating community to submit data through accepted best practices to open repositories such as OBIS, by demonstrating how their data can be used to improve conservation, restoration, and policy.

  • Building and strengthening networks of data providers and data users to improve communication and impact.

  • Strengthening links across Decade Programmes that promote interoperable methods (cross-linked collections) and convergence/endorsement streams

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

Bringing practitioners together to bridge science and sustainable development is central to the OBPS mission and its role in the Ocean Practices for the Decade programme. This session's focus on transferring scientific innovation to conservation outcomes will provide key perspectives which we hope to generalise across the OBPS value chain. We will synthesise the outputs and recommendations of this session with others focused on marine life and its presence across Decade Programmes, as all of these note the need to interface with conservation organisation. Together, we can reduce the duplication of effort and create cross-community and interprogramme coordination through shared methodology management.

Marine litter & debris: Towards best practices in monitoring, knowledge creation and the linking of knowledge to action

Conveners: Hans-Peter Plag (Old Dominion University), Rene Garello (IEEE)

Format: Track with thematic sessions: panels and audience interaction

About the session

Understanding and addressing marine litter and debris is a global priority, engaging scientists, industry, governments, conservationists, and the general public. Managing the methods to address marine litter is a wide-ranging challenge: This track will comprise five working sessions to reflect on a selection of needs and opportunities for improving method archiving, development, exchange, and convergence. Sessions will focus on:

  1. Citizen science monitoring of marine litter

  2. Co-creation of research agendas and knowledge on marine litter and its sources

  3. Linking knowledge to action addressing the challenge of marine litter

  4. Assessing risks associated with current and future marine litter

  5. Cross-sectoral community building for actions on marine litter

These working sessions will have brief presentations of the current state and main challenges, followed by panel and/or round table discussions, and draw insight from the IEEE/OES Plastics in the Ocean Initiative, the GEO Blue Planet Steering Committee, and the Marine Debris Working Group of Blue Planet.

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

Marine debris has clear as well as subtle impacts across ocean communities and environments. At the OBPS, we seek insight into how to build effective user interfaces and experiences with the diverse stakeholder communities engaging with marine debris. During this track, we'll be identifying which opportunities we can scale into follow-up activities (etc. task teams, expert liaisons, technology development) and how to interlink those represented here with those of other consortia working in the marine debris domain.

A focus on solutions to support citizen science - both connected to and independent of professional communities - is especially valuable, as the OBPS seeks to empower the public in ocean observation and action. Compiling and sharing local the manuals and guides powering successful campaigns can inspire more global action. Additionally, we welcome the discussion on risk assessment: every method in the OBPS is associated with some form of risk, and increased, localised risk literacy in our workflows, templates, and management technologies.

Global Partnership on Marine Litter Digital Platform: Enabling data & interoperability to guide action

Convener: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML)
Format: Webinar with Q&A

About the session

This session will introduce the GPML Digital Platform Phase 2, which focuses on data interoperability and stakeholder connectivity. The session will update attendees on progress made to date and provide opportunities to discuss further strengthening this work, as well as the platform’s interoperability with OBPS.

Key features:

  • Data Hub with data maps and layers and data catalogue to support action

  • Crowdsourced and curated global, regional, national and local resources

  • A multi-stakeholder online community to foster ad hoc and regular collaboration

Featured Partners:

  • CounterMeasure Consortium

  • UNEP Freshwater and DHI

  • Open University

  • University of Leads and UN Habitat

  • Florida State University

  • Alliance to End Plastic Waste

The GPML Digital Platform is an open-source, multi-stakeholder platform that compiles different resources, connects stakeholders and integrates data to guide action. The resources cover all stages in the plastics life cycle, with respect to prevention of litter and waste, design and production, use and consumption, waste management and marine litter monitoring and capturing. Read the Concept Document here, and the One-pager here.

The Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) is a multi-stakeholder partnership which brings together all actors working on marine litter and plastic pollution prevention and reduction. Find out more and how to join here.

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

Creating sustainable interoperability between the OBPS and global digital platforms such as the GPML Digital Platform is a central part of our strategic plan and a pillar of the Ocean Practices for the Decade Programme. Understanding the priorities of such systems - especially where they overlap with the functionalities of communities linked to the OBPS - is a priority to build interoperable technologies and shared value chains. Work to do so with the GPML has already begun through the development of shared semantic technologies, laying the foundation for machine-actionable interoperability between OBPS and the GPML.

OC-NET: Ocean cities Challenges & Solutions

Conveners: Vanessa Sarah Salvo (ICM-CSIC),
Format: Track

About the session

This session will be an initial, open interaction between the Ocean Cities (OC-NET) UN Ocean Decade Programme and the OBPS, openly establishing collaborative actions for improved methodology exchange across and beyond our stakeholders. OC-NET networks marine cities committed with sustainability, permeability and regeneration of natural marine environments, for and with its population. OC-NET is an interdisciplinary and bottom-up transformative program, which will change how coastal cities and their inhabitants perceive, interact and evolve with the ocean, from the surrounding waters to the single global ocean. Cities concentrate most of the world's population. Thus, they have a major impact on land-ocean ecosystems and climate and are among the least resilient environments. OC-NET combines scientific knowledge, research synergies, and social awareness to effectively impact the city's evolution and the ocean's sustainability. Starting on June 8, 2021, and initially running for 5 years (07/06/2025), with 2 years of implementation plus 3 years of operation. OC-NET will naturally scale up in time as a result of its own process of reflection and action, so that it may eventually extend for the entire decade. Lead institution(s): Mediterranean Center for Marine and Environmental Research (CMIMA-CSIC), Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC), Unitat de Tecnologia Marina (UTM-CSIC)

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

Alongside the other Decade programmes represented at this workshop, we're eager to better understand the methodology management needs of OC-NET, particulary at the interfaces of science, city management, policy, and the public. As a "first contact" session, we'll be actively listening to how OC-NET seeks to achieve its ambitious aims, and develop - with the support of all participants - a set of follow-up activities to align action with the OBPS and Ocean Practices for the Decade.

Where the poles meet the oceans: Documenting data flows into aggregators

Conveners: Pip Bricher (Southern Ocean Observing System), Antonio Novellino (EMODnet Physics), Jay Pearlman (OBPS), Patrick Gorringe (EuroGOOS)

Format: Moderated open meeting

About this session

Increasingly, data portals are aggregating or federating feeds of data from many sources, as they attempt to provide comprehensive access to particular kinds of data for their users, and as part of a “collect once, use many times” ethos. As these aggregations proliferate, it is increasingly important to document the data flows around them and the provenance of all data, both to maximise the transparency of a data portal to its users and to help data managers identify potential duplication of datasets, QC/QF processes, and gaps in their data holdings. We also recognize that ease of user access should be consistent across aggregators.

This is a joint session with Polar Data Forum IV (, a series of conference sessions and workshops to make progress on increasing the FAIRness of polar data. During the session, we will identify existing tools and the best practices to document them, and decide on a process for documenting data flows. The SOOSmap aggregator will serve as an example of a data aggregator in this session and involves both polar and oceanographic data, offering clear collaborative potentials.

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

Standardised and machine-readable (meta)data is a foundation of the OBPS and linked to all aspects of its value chain. In a very concrete sense, the OBPS is also an aggregator of (meta)data, and our strategic and technology development plans call for continuous alignment and interoperability with global data systems, such as the Ocean Data and Information System and the Ocean InfoHub. This session will be instrumental in establishing activities to improve how the OBPS - through the ODIS Architecture - can create sustained links to Polar data systems.

Observing Air-Sea Interactions Strategy (OASIS): Towards best practices in radiation measurement

Conveners: Laura Riihimaki (CIRES--CU Boulder/NOAA), Alcide di Sarra (ENEA), Meghan Cronin (OASIS), R. Venkatesan (National Institute of Ocean Technology) and Cheng Xue (Ocean University of China)
Format: Track - expert working sessions, with open attendance

About the session

The Observing Air-Sea Interactions Strategy (OASIS) is a UN Ocean Decade Programme which aims to provide observational-based knowledge to fundamentally improve weather, climate and ocean prediction, promote healthy oceans, the blue economy, and sustainable food and energy. Within this programme, a working group has formed to develop best practices for radiation measurement. During this track, this expert group will continue their work to develop these best practices and release them through publications cross-indexed in the OBPS.

This Track has 2 primary objectives:

  1. Finalize radiation measurement best practices with current technology and knowledge of the impact of operational choices.

  2. Discuss high priority experiments/activities & needed new technologies to improve radiation measurements.

Each session in this track will have both presentations and discussions.

Session 1: Overview of current state of best practices & invited presentations about remaining information needed to finish best practice paper.

Session 2: Invited presentations and discussion about comparison experiments to quantify uncertainties and test new technologies.

Session 3: Where do we go from here? Summarize what was heard in previous sessions, and discuss action steps.

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

This track combines the expert and community consultation elements of the OBPS value chain through supporting a focused expert group bring a set of best practice recommendations into a broad community of practice. Additionally, this session demonstrates a possible work pattern between the OBPS and Decade programmes such as OASIS: facilitating programme-level methodology development, archiving, metadata markup, discoverability, and convergence. Follow-up activities such as endorsement of the group's outputs will be explored during the workshop, as well as the potential to create a standing collaboration on methodology development and updating throughout the OASIS and Ocean Practices for the Decade programmes.

Open ocean eddy covariance best practices planning workshop

Conveners and discussants:

Format: Expert planning session for best practice development team (attendance by invitation)

About the session

Consortia within the marine eddy covariance community would like to deliver a best-practices guide for eddy covariance measurements and a method to both quality control and intercompare data from different sites/campaigns. The impetus for these efforts came from a discussion session at the 2019 Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere (SOLAS) Open Science Conference in Sapporo, Japan. SOLAS has stated they strongly support this effort, which is also linked to on-going processes within ESA, SCOR-OASIS and ICOS. In this first (virtual) meeting, invited participants will plan this effort by determining its specific goals, who should be involved from the wider community, and what steps will be taken to deliver a community best practice.

Background reading...

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

Similar to other sessions linked to the OASIS UN Ocean Decade Programme, this track primarily activates the external coordination and partnership building elements of the OBPS value chain. We welcome that this session incorporates the OBPS as a methodology management and archiving solution at the very beginning of this expert group's activities. In this way, we can align our activities at the planning phase of best practice development, reducing overheads and allowing more effective co-development.

Shipboard training -towards multi-regional best practices

Conveners and discussants:

  • Kristin Beem (OSU, USA)

  • Eva-Maria Brodte (AWI, Germany)

  • Peter Croot (NUIG, Ireland)

  • Danilo Calzans (FURG, Brazil)

  • Tahlia Henry (UCT, South Africa)

  • Lilian Krug (POGO, Portugal)

  • Luis Pinheiro (University of Aveiro, Portugal)

  • Sophie Seeyave (POGO, UK)

  • Kelsey Barnhill (NOC, UK)

  • Andrea Carbulotto (EUROFLEETS)

  • Nubi Olubunmi Ayoola (NIOMR, Nigeria)

Format: Open meeting with panel discussion

About the session

This track is organised by Founding Members of the nascent All-Atlantic Floating University Network. The Network is being developed to strengthen and develop further training at sea in the Atlantic region, where greater exchange and collaboration between new and existing programs is essential, including sharing of methods and the identification/development of best practices. This cooperation network is in line with the Galway and Belém Statements by engaging partners from the whole Atlantic region with a common objective. In addition, the Network will contribute to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development objectives in Capacity Development and Ocean Literacy. The Ocean Best Practices System Workshop presents an opportunity to bring together the members of the All-Atlantic Floating University Network to 1) initiate its work on sharing methods to create best practices, 2) to bring in potential new partners (with a longer-term view to expanding beyond the Atlantic) and 3) to link the shipboard training community to the best practices community, for mutual benefit.

The track will consist of two 1h sessions on the following themes:

Session 1:

This first session will set the scene by sharing information on some of the major shipboard training initiatives and how their teaching modalities lead to successful outcomes. We will focus on how the Network can share their local best practices for conducting training at sea (teaching modalities, practical and cultural issues and challenges, etc). In the discussion, we will explore how systems like the OBPS can best support the Network’s activities. For example:

Can we create training forums to exchange effective methods and identify which practices are best where?

Can trainers and students post questions on individual methods archived in the OBPS such that authors and others “watching” the documents can react?

How can we coordinate methods in the OBPS with full training courses in the Ocean Teacher Global Academy (OTGA)?

Session 2:

The second session will then dive into how the Network can best use the OBPS repository and its discovery interface for finding teaching resources/protocols, archiving existing ones, and as a student resource for further learning, reuse and updating. Questions for discussion may include:

What is the best way to organise/package teaching materials and resources? Regionally? Thematically? Which keywords are most used in the field?

What metadata on records in the OBPS would be the most useful for the Network?

How can students and alumni provide feedback on materials and support their revision?

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

The best “best practices” can be taught to and adopted by many practitioners across a wide range of operational contexts. Further, the best ways to teach ocean methods to specific audiences (evaluated by those audiences themselves) are often far less visible than they should be.

Developing a collaboration with the All-Atlantic Floating University Network is an exciting opportunity for the OBPS, which can offer a safe, globally visible home for teaching materials and related methods that complement full training courses on systems like the OTGA. We hope this track can seed a task team to explore how communities can create, share, and converge best practices on teaching at sea and to help us develop new capacities to support all ocean training programmes.

A Digital Twin Ocean Maturity Model

Conveners and discussants:

  • Steven Adler (CEO Ocean Data Alliance)

  • Ngan MacDonald (Chief of Data Operations Institute for Augmented Intelligence in Health Institute)

  • Joe Royer (Solutions Architect at Principal Financial Group)

  • Ivan Milman (IBM Watson Decision Platform)

Format: Open meeting with panel discussion

About the session

A Digital Twin is an exact computational replica that represents the structure, behavior and context of a physical thing. It's more than a reflection in a pool of water. It's a dynamic model that continuously evolves in step with the evolution of the real thing.

To digitally twin the ocean, we need autonomous, in situ, Internet of Things sensors reading the micro and macro world continuously and a host of mathematical formulas to transform all that data into digital objects people can use every day for the millions of use cases that matter to them.

Most cities are far from having an instrumented coast that collects data in situ to provide the foundation for digital twin objects. Scaling cities to rapidly advance requires rapidly developing best practices between cities with common tools.

The Ocean Data Alliance believes a Digital Twin Ocean Maturity Model, developed by cities and for cities can help benchmark current organizational behaviors, classify them by maturity level, and develop roadmaps to instrument faster.

In this session, we will explore how other industries have used Maturity Models to increase operational efficiency by talking with professionals from the financial services industry.

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

Maturity models are flexible and powerful frameworks to assess qualitative abilities of organisations and teams and their potential for continuous improvement. They're particularly useful when evaluation using quantitative indicators is either not possible or premature. They also gauge how robustly an organisation or system can transform new challenges into improvement. These attributes are becoming ever more important as decade-scale programmes and multi-regional networks organise to address global issues and seize opportunities. However, maturity models are underrepresented in the OBPS' current holdings. In this session, we look forward to learning about how maturity models have been used in digital twinning and how the OBPS can support communities developing their own models.

Satellite and supplementary meetings / presentations

Towards an Arctic Practices System

Conveners: Stein Sandven (NERSC)
Format: Open, moderated meeting / panel

About the session

The EU Coordination and Support Action, Capacity-building in Arctic Standardisation Development (CAPARDUS; focuses on capacity-building to develop guidelines, standards and best practices related to exploitation of new technologies and utilization of data to support sustainable development in the Arctic. The project will develop a Comprehensive Framework Model for Arctic Standards and Best Practices as a collaborative effort between scientists, local communities and other stakeholder groups, including economic actors who are interested in business development in the Arctic.

As part of its mission and in consultation with Arctic communities, CAPARDUS will develop a Roadmap to create an Arctic Practices System (APS), emulating part of the Ocean Best Practices System's functionality, but tailoring it to the needs of the Arctic region and its people. In this session, CAPARDUS partners will introduce some of their consideration for the APS, and address questions such as:

  • Who should an Arctic Practice System be designed for? Different users groups will need different systems, or at least different user interfaces for using the system.

  • What should be the contents and functionality of an APS to be useful in different regions of the Arctic?

  • What should the OBPS store in its Arctic collection, which we build up in CAPRDUS as a precursor to an APS?

  • What will the CAPARDUS team suggest that systems like the OBPS can or must do to work in the Arctic region?

  • How can methodology management systems, such as the APS and OBPS, align their operations and strategy to link their holdings and communities?

  • How can we maintain (meta)data-level interoperability and help data systems in the Arctic and Ocean sustainably interact?

  • What activities and capacities are needed to support methodological exchange between community-based monitoring and citizen science initiatives in both the APS and OBPS?

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

This session speaks to a central part of the OBPS Strategic Plan and the Ocean Practices for the Decade Programme's objectives: to help communities create their own, regionally and locally relevant methodology management systems that strongly interoperate with one another. This undertaking will activate virtually all parts of the OBPS value chain, which will have counterparts in the APS. We hope to create lasting ties to systems like the proposed APS, and have great interest in the developments in CAPARDUS.

EMODnet Chemistry's marine litter data management experience: contributions to the EU data harmonisation efforts for policy and global perspectives

Contributors: Matteo Vinci (OGS), Alessandra Giorgetti, Maria Eugenia Molina Jack, Elena Partescano, Alexia Cociancich, Alessandro Altenburger, Francois Galgani, Amandine Thomas

Format: Presentation with Q&A

About the session

Since 2016, EMODnet Chemistry is working together with the EU Technical Group on Marine Litter to manage and harmonize marine litter data collected by EU Member States. Starting from beach litter and seafloor trawlings the activity has been extended to microlitter collected in water and sediment . New topics under evaluation are seafoor images and videos and floating macrolitter. These efforts have been also promoted at Global level as possible approach to define best practices in data management and standardized monitoring methods.

An update on: Bridging Ship-board Operational and Scientific Standards

Conveners: Katie Watkins-Brandt and Kristin Beem (Oregon State University)

Format: Informal update meeting (by invitation)

About the session

This informal update and alignment meeting will be focused on the status of our working groups for the development of best practice documents related to sea-going operations. The overall goal is to explore how to bridge the operational and scientific perspectives in order to develop recommendations to improve and standardize operational practices that meet the needs of both communities.

Research vessels traverse the world’s oceans conducting research primarily dedicated to fulfilling specific science missions. Often underutilized are the vessel's resident sensors and systems that provide a wealth of data available to the community, during science missions as well as during transits. The question becomes, why are we not utilizing research vessels as continuous sampling platforms and sources of high-resolution underway data? Within a ship-board setting, this may be due to issues related to the standardization of best practices for sensor maintenance, management and sea-going operations, the quality of data, and a healthy skepticism by scientists to utilize these data sets.

As it stands for most sea-going operations, marine technicians are responsible for the maintenance and management of shipboard sensor systems and resultant data quality. So, when it comes to the development of best practices related to sea-going operations, participation by the marine technician community is integral. During the last OBPS workshop, it became clear that there was a real need to connect shipboard marine technicians and OBPS communities. As a result, a working group was formed to identify sensors for which there was a community desire to develop best practices, organize working groups and leads, and work toward the development of best practice (BP) documents meant to focus on what marine technicians can do at sea with regards to maintenance and management of shipboard scientific sensors to produce high quality data.

One such example of this effort is a recently published best practice document for an underway C-Star transmissometer. This was developed by R2R (Rolling Deck to Repository), R-DESC (Regional Class Research Vessel – Datapresence and Engineering Support Center) and additional experts in the field. The document can be found here:

Alongside these best practice documents, we are also looking at developing decision trees that highlight time-based suggestions for sensor maintenance as we understand the time constraints on marine technicians and their working environment.

Active working groups include:

EK-80 Fisheries Sonar Suite, led by Kristin Beem and Rebecca Hudak

SBE-43 Oxygen, led by Gabe Matthias

ADCP, led by Jules Hummon

CTD, led by Laura Stolp and Rebecca Hudak

Additional working groups that will be starting in the near future include:

General Flowthrough Best Practices, led by Shawn Smith

SBE-45 Thermosalinograph, led by Emily Shimada

WetSTAR Fluorometer, led by Kate Kouba and Katie Watkins-Brandt

Those interested in joining active or planned working groups may contact the conveners of this session for more information. All are welcome to participate.

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

Methodological coordination between operational and scientific personnel is fundamental in ensuring all data collected during and in between project- and programme-linked ocean observing campaigns realises its full value. Engaging operational personnel - as a distinct group of stakeholders - in their own best practices development efforts will catalyse a new focal point for methodological exchange and high-quality ocean data. This update meeting will help us formulate a strategy to develop and expand OBPS communities of ship-board marine technicians, adapting activities across our value chain to better represent their capacities and interests.

Marine life in the Ocean Decade: Partnership and shared governance

Convener: Frank Muller-Karger (University of Southern Florida)
Format: Facilitated discussion with breakout groups, any presentations will be limited only to guide the discussion (by invitation)

About the session

This session will serve to establish a dialogue between the primary groups engaged in some aspect of observing life in the sea under the endorsed UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade) Programmes. This will be a first step toward broader stakeholder engagement and collaboration with other Ocean Decade Programmes.

Over 30 Ocean Decade Programmes were endorsed in June 2021, with an additional 30 or more Ocean Actions. More proposals for Programmes and other Actions will be solicited by the IOC later in 2021. The Ocean Decade requires co-development and partnerships - yet the number of activities associated with each program will be overwhelming. This session starts a dialogue that seeks synergies to streamline participation by network members, including stakeholders, early career ocean professionals, researchers, and network leads. We will seek present thoughts on strategies for collaboration, management of the programs, and identify overlapping interests and possible shared governance strategies.

Objectives & Outputs

  1. Identifying areas that may require shared or common governance practices

  2. Building networks of observers and users

  3. Improve communication between Ocean Decade Programmes through shared communication practices

  4. Provide specific guidance to the OBPS for the development of Shared Governance Practices for the Ocean Decade


Facilitated discussion with breakout groups (any presentations will be limited only to guide the discussion)

2 hours (120 min)


  1. 15 min Introduction and setting of agenda

  2. 30 min Breakout I

  3. 5 min reconvene and distribute to Breakout II

  4. 30 min Breakout II

  5. 10 min break

  6. 30 min Plenary Discussion and Wrap-up

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

This session's focus on the "how" of management, coordination, and governance is of particularly high value as dozens of global ocean observing and application initiatives are attempting to coordinate through the UN Ocean Decade. The global ocean community faces the challenge of navigating a diverse set of regional and national norms, cultures, and expected protocols for effectively governing action, and that at an unprecedented scale.

During this session, we'll be thinking about how the OBPS's own coordination structures, steering group, and work packages can attune to new collective governance norms and interface with Decade Coordination Units. Convening an OBPS task team to develop a governance and coordination template for the system will also be explored. Additionally, we'll also determine how to best archive and interlink the governance and coordination practices in the OBPS Repository, likely accompanied by technological specifications for our next round of system development.

Regional perspectives on the Ocean InfoHub and Ocean Data and Information System

Conveners: Mika Odido (IOCAFRICA), Paul Anderson (SPREP), Zulfikar Begg (SPC), Lucy Scott (UNESCO), Pier Luigi Buttigieg (HMC/GEOMAR/AWI)

Format: Facilitated discussion with breakout groups (by invitation)

About this track

This track includes contributions from the regional partners and networks linked to the Ocean InfoHub project. These partners are using the ODIS Architecture to share (meta)data about key themes identified by the International Oceanographic Data Exchange (IODE).

While OIH and ODIS are global projects, it's essential that we build a deeper understanding of regional practices for handling data and digital assets. Only then will we be able to develop best practices that work in local contexts. This first round of (by invitation) meetings will set a foundation for more open sessions next year.

Digital practices in the Pacific region: towards regional best practices

A Digital 'Talanoa' session that provides a platform for ocean data enthusiasts in the Pacific region to share their experiences and practices on data ecosystem. This session will provide an opportunity for the participants to learn about global initiatives on improving access to ocean data and information (OIH) as well as getting an update on regional perspectives on data platforms.

Participants will get an opportunity to share their perceptions as well as lessons learnt and how to progress towards development of best practices.

Steps towards revitalizing the Ocean Data and Information Network for Africa (ODINAFRICA): Global digital ecosystems for regional needs

The session will focus on the revitalization of the Ocean Data and Information Network for Africa (ODINAFRICA) to provide a framework for institutions in the region to contribute to the Ocean Data Information System (ODIS), which seeks to improve discoverability of, and access to global oceans information, data and knowledge products for management and sustainable development. Presentations will be made on (i) the objectives and achievements of the previous phases of ODINAFRICA, and (ii) the Ocean Information Hub project and the development of the Ocean Data and Information System.

Discussions will focus on:

    • What practices exist and which are needed to increase regional capacities in data management, stewardship, and integration> and

    • What practices are being used to link this data to the global ocean digital ecosystem via ODIS/OIH?

  • Participants will examine the OBPS Value Chain and identify what opportunities and challenges exist in sharing the methodologies needed to catalyse the reactivation of ODINAFRICA within the ODIS Framework.

Linking to the OBPS Value Chain: initial thoughts from the OBPS team

The OBPS now shares metadata on all of its records through the IOC Ocean Data and Information System (ODIS) architecture, so that they are discoverable in other systems like Ocean InfoHub. Understanding how regional stakeholders manage and share their data about methodology will be essential to make content and services relevant to regional priorities and cultures of practice. Insights from this track will help the OBPS re-evaluate its own approach to what kind of (meta)data we store, how we manage it, and how we share it to and through regional and global systems.