Winter 2018 – Note from the Research Board Chair
– MARCH 29, 2018
(From Winter 2018 Newsletter) Dr. Rita Colwell, University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University
The 2018 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science (GoMOSES) conference in New Orleans, Louisiana was a splendid event and provided an opportunity for me to make opening plenary remarks on behalf of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) Research Board. During the conference this year, it was clear that it has come a long way since the inaugural GoMRI meeting in 2011, that was also held in New Orleans. An important question for the GoMRI Research Board back in 2011 was how to share GoMRI science with the at-large community in an annual meeting. Government and non-governmental organizations would be needed as partners for meaningful exchange of research findings. The annual meeting quickly morphed into GoMOSES by 2013. In the five years since GoMOSES was initiated, the conference has evolved into a major forum where scientists from the academic community can interact and share ideas with industry, government, and the response and restoration communities with an interest in the science and resiliency of the Gulf. It is now clear that active and productive collaboration is occurring across sectors and research disciplines in the many workshops and side meetings. Sharing of information occurs in conference sessions and among the attendees, and these interactions make GoMOSES unique and exemplary. The GoMOSES conference provides an opportunity for our GoMRI-funded consortia and individual investigators, including graduate students, many of whom have participated in every conference since 2013, to convene and share results of their research.
GoMOSES would not be as effective and stimulating without participation of those agencies and research teams that comprise the GoMOSES Executive Committee, which includes contributing scientists, but also sponsors. The GoMRI Research Board is grateful for the contributions of the co-sponsors who make the GoMOSES conference the unparalleled success it has become.
The closing plenary of the most recent GoMOSES conference included discussion of its future, that is, when GoMRI funding ends. From that plenary, it was clear the community is convinced that GoMOSES provides a critical intersection for the scientific, response, restoration, and resource management communities. I sincerely wish GoMOSES will continue to serve as a vital forum after GoMRI concludes its work in 2020, making it one of the lasting legacies of the program.