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Introduction and Goals

Linwood Vincent*


In 2008, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) formulated a series of strategic roadmaps for the Navy’s major research focus areas to promote planning for the next series of budget requests. In this planning process, a longer term vision for each focus area is necessary to understand how the detailed short term (2-5 year) research fits within larger strategic goals. An additional aspect of this process is the integration of the efforts of ONR with that of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).

The Physical Oceanography Program at ONR is within the Operational Environments Focus Area and has a corresponding effort at the NRL. Both organizations devised and then integrated roadmaps for oceanography in some detail out to 2015 and to a lesser degree of detail to 2025. The program managers based the roadmaps on their perception of potential progress in the science and the overarching needs of the Navy and the Marine Corps. Since in such a process it is impossible to foresee future funding trends, efforts were made to emphasize what should be possible technically. Everyone involved in the process felt unsure about reaching out to 2025 since so many unknown factors may have an influence on the path of achievement at that time.

During the same period, the Oceanographer of the Navy’s office embarked on a similar quest directed at a vision of where operational oceanography could be in 2025. This effort spanned not just oceanography, but all the major programs of the Oceanographer’s office (weather

*

Office of Naval Research



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Introduction and Goals Linwood Vincent* In 2008, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) formulated a series of strategic roadmaps for the Navy’s major research focus areas to promote planning for the next series of budget requests. In this planning process, a longer term vision for each focus area is necessary to understand how the detailed short term (2-5 year) research fits within larger strategic goals. An additional aspect of this process is the integration of the efforts of ONR with that of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). The Physical Oceanography Program at ONR is within the Opera- tional Environments Focus Area and has a corresponding effort at the NRL. Both organizations devised and then integrated roadmaps for oceanography in some detail out to 2015 and to a lesser degree of detail to 2025. The program managers based the roadmaps on their perception of potential progress in the science and the overarching needs of the Navy and the Marine Corps. Since in such a process it is impossible to foresee future funding trends, efforts were made to emphasize what should be possible technically. Everyone involved in the process felt unsure about reaching out to 2025 since so many unknown factors may have an influ- ence on the path of achievement at that time. During the same period, the Oceanographer of the Navy’s office embarked on a similar quest directed at a vision of where operational oceanography could be in 2025. This effort spanned not just oceanogra- phy, but all the major programs of the Oceanographer’s office (weather * Office of Naval Research 1

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2 OCEANOGRAPHY IN 2025 and ocean forecasting, charting, etc.). Although the emphasis was on technology and operations, an important element was to envision what scientists in various fields needed to have accomplished by the 2025 timeframe. The participants in this effort were mainly drawn from the operational commands with participation from the ONR/NRL research community. In reviewing the processes for the two Navy studies it is clear that one group that has not been formally engaged in this process are the research scientists who, to a large part, will create the new science from now until 2025. ONR asked the Ocean Studies Board to hold a workshop to address Oceanography in 2025 from the research perspective. Realizing that few people have perfect foresight about the future, the goal was to solicit the viewpoints of a wide range of scientists with the expectation that the sum of the viewpoints, unfiltered, may better span the set of possibilities than a consensus. The workshop proceedings will be useful as a comparison to the visions expressed in both the ONR roadmaps and the Oceanographer’s vision statement. Additionally, the Ocean Studies Board has been tasked by the Navy, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other members of the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (JSOST) to address two related studies: ocean research infrastructure needs out to 2030, and the evolution of the U.S. academic research fleet over the next few decades. Both of these studies inherently depend upon some vision of oceanography in 2025, and will utilize the input provided by this workshop. Finally, by making the proceedings widely available, the oceanographic community as a whole is invited to consider the research trajectory for the next 16 years.