Second Ocean Acidification Principal Investigators’ Meeting

October 3, 2013

A component of the US Carbon Cycle Science Program, the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) Program recently organized the second meeting of its ocean acidification principal investigators. During a special panel of federal program managers, two CCIWG members, Paula Bontempi from NASA and Libby Jewett from NOAA spoke about their respective agency's opportunities and progress in ocean acidification research (see photographs below, photo credit Gyami Shrestha). Below is a summary of the event as submitted by Sarah R. Cooley, Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Project Office, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543. Contact Sarah at

Nearly two hundred members of the ocean acidification research community attended the second ocean acidification principal investigators’ meeting, held September 18-20, 2013 at Gallaudet University’s Kellogg Conference Center in Washington, DC and organized by the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Project’s Ocean Acidification subcommittee. Scientists, science program managers, other government agency representatives, and nonprofit organization representatives convened to assess the state of ocean acidification science, identify major gaps, and discuss the way forward. Presentations and discussions also focused on ways to maximize collaboration and minimize duplication of efforts and promote effective data management and sharing.

Two major themes consistently emerged from discussions and presentations during the meeting. First, good communication is a critical piece of ocean acidification science. This is true not only when scientists are conveying information to stakeholders, but also when they are working with other researchers on interdisciplinary questions. The second theme was the intense and ongoing need for the community to grapple with questions of scale – from understanding how effects of ocean acidification on individual organisms may affect whole ecosystems, to understanding how uncertainty builds through a modeled system, to understanding how lessons can be learned even from very specific research results and applied to larger questions of governance and coastal planning.

Breakout sessions during the second and third days of the meeting discussed specific cross-disciplinary questions in depth relating to ocean acidification. These discussions were designed to help the community start synthesizing trends and themes in ocean acidification science across environments and processes, and to start exploring how enhanced interdisciplinary activity could help address some of these gaps. The detailed outcomes of each breakout session are still pending, as many sessions will be contributing a paper to a planned special issue of Oceanography magazine in 2015. More information on the meeting goals, presentations, the participant list, and more can be found at the meeting website.