Mark Abbott – Down to the Sea in Ships (and Satellites and Robots…)

Mark Abbott PhotoDirector’s Lecture
“Down to the Sea in Ships (and Satellites and Robots…)”

Mark Abbott, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Friday, July 29, 2016, 8 – 9pm
Lillie Auditorium
Lectures are free and open to the public.

Introduction by Huntington Willard, President and Director, Marine Biological Laboratory

Lecture Abstract:

Advances in our understanding of the ocean have been driven in large part by our ability to observe and measure its processes. Beginning with the Atlantis, the first research ship specifically designed to support oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has been a pioneer in developing and operating research vessels, such as Alvin and the latest ship, R/V Neil Armstrong. These vessels support expeditions globally and to the depths of the ocean. In addition to transporting scientists and technicians, ships deploy and retrieve a wide range of moorings, drifters, and autonomous vehicles. These devices, when coupled with digital sensors and recording systems, have opened up the time/space window in the ocean to reveal how its physical, chemical, and biological processes interact. New observing tools will allow us to measure the ocean without going out on a ship. These systems promise a significant advance in our knowledge and our ability to predict the ocean. However, these new tools also present new challenges along with new opportunities. Going to sea and experiencing its physical environment is part of the fabric of the oceanography community.

Mark Abbott took office as the tenth President and Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in October 2015. A biological oceanographer whose research focuses on the interaction of biological and physical processes in the upper ocean, Abbott joined WHOI from Oregon State University where he served as dean and professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. Abbott has served on numerous professional committees for federal science funding agencies, scientific societies and laboratories, and has advised the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation (NSF) on ocean information infrastructure. Abbott served a six-year term on the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation and provides scientific advice to the White House and to Congress.

In 2011, Abbott was the recipient of the Jim Gray eScience Award, presented by Microsoft Research and presented to a nationally recognized researcher who has made outstanding contributions to data-intensive computing. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Consortium for Ocean Leadership as well as the Board of Trustees for NEON, Inc., which is constructing the National Ecological Observatory Network for the NSF, and served as president of The Oceanography Society from 2013-2014. He also served on the Board of Trustees for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Abbott holds a B.S. in conservation of natural resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California, Davis.