National Ocean Exploration ForumNational Ocean Exploration Forum

Goals of the Forum

In brief, goals of the 2016 Forum included:

  • Celebrating recent discoveries by the ocean exploration community
  • Bringing together key US stakeholders to debate and set priorities for the period 2020-2025
  • Highlighting opportunities created by advancing technologies
  • Advancing the shared vision of a new style of ocean exploration "beyond the ships"
  • Creating vivid examples of campaigns embodying the new style
  • Identifying and addressing organizational challenges facing the community
  • Finally, encouraging a better matching of the supply of ocean exploration to the demand for it

Forum participants spent most of their time in six simultaneous breakout sessions designed to elicit ideas about emerging technologies and the demand for those technologies under different geographic and exploration scenarios. Each of the six groups was asked to describe a multi-year campaign of ocean exploration, consider the technologies and infrastructure necessary for its success, comment on the potential effectiveness of alternative models for campaign planning, and consider realistic expectations of funding from a range of sponsors.

A leader from each of three geographic focus areas—the U.S. Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Southeast U.S. Atlantic Bight—presented an overview of ocean exploration in the region before the breakout sessions began. Those introductory presentations and highlights of the six breakout sessions follow below, as well as several background papers prepared to help guide discussion at the Forum.