Briefing on the Census of Marine Life (2000-2010): Lessons Learned
May 19, 2011 9:00-10:30am
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
1201 New York Ave NW Fourth Floor, Washington DC 20005
Please join us on May 19, 2011 from 9:00-10:30am for a talk by Dr. David Penman on the lessons learned from the Census of Marine Life, a 10 year scientific initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans. The international Census of Marine Life culminated in 2010 after a decade of exploration and research on the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans – past, present, and future. More than 2,700 scientists in 80+ countries collaborated to study and synthesize information on marine biodiversity at an unprecedented scope and scale from microbes to whales in all ocean realms. In addition to discovering and describing more than 1,200 new species, the Census documented oceans richer in diversity, more connected through distribution and movements of animals, and more impacted by humans.
The Census proved to be a hugely successful international scientific collaboration that reported its results on time and in a highly public way – via a news conference at the Royal Institution in London – that reached an estimated 2 billion people around the world. Such an ambitious and successful undertaking as the Census of Marine Life provided a unique opportunity to examine aspects of governance, leadership, management, support systems, outreach and education, and compare some of these elements with other large international science efforts.The Census concluded in October 2010, and as part of the final evaluation process, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a primary funder of the Census, contacted Professor David Penman (formerly Chair of the Governing Board of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility) to undertake an external, independent review of the performance of the Census of Marine Life. Dr. Penman’s task was not intended to be a review of the impact of the science per se, but of how scientists can work together and the factors that help or impede such large scale collaborative efforts.
Dr. Penman will hold a briefing to present his findings about lessons learned from the Census of Marine Life as a model for design and governance of future large-scale collaborative science projects at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership offices on May 19 from 9:00-10:30am. His presentation will review what worked, what didn’t, and identify areas that could have been improved upon. Among the topics he will cover are specific recommendations for governance roles and responsibilities, the critical role of a program office, the value of data sharing and challenges of data assimilation, tools for coordination and collaboration, and the role of public awareness in a program’s overall success. The briefing on May 19 from 9:00-10:30am is open to the public, but please RSVP to email@example.com by May 13.
Update: Thanks to all who attended the briefing, either in person or over the phone. To download copies of the presentations in PDF format, please click on the links below:
Making Ocean Life Count: The Census of Marine Life and Beyond
Dr. Paul Snelgrove, Memorial University, Canada
Census of Marine Life: Review of Lessons Learned
Dr. David Penman, New Zealand
Full Report Now Available: The Census of Marine Life: Review of Lessons Learned