The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) is hosting a two-day workshop on November 14-15, 2018 in the Washington D.C. metro area. The purpose of this workshop is to produce a plan for a series of multidisciplinary ocean exploration expeditions in the North Atlantic during a two-year period from 2019 to 2020.
The Atlantic Seafloor Partnership for Integrated Research and Exploration (ASPIRE) under the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation will include a campaign to explore and characterize physical, chemical, and biological oceanographic features and processes across a broad region of the North Atlantic, including the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, areas of interest to the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf project, and international waters, with particular interest in benthic and pelagic ecosystems and prominent geological features, such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Fig. 1). ASPIRE is also intended to inform and support NOAA’s contributions to the Blue Economy, an economy based on sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, while maintaining the health of the ocean and coastal ecosystems.
The purpose of this Call for White Papers is to solicit scientific rationales for exploration focused in subject areas and regions of the ASPIRE campaign in 2019-2020. The White Papers will be used to organize focused discussions at the workshop and should convey broad topical perspectives. Examples of White Paper topics include: exploration of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena or processes across deep-sea (deeper than 200 meters) physiographic provinces (including the water column); bathymetric mapping of unmapped or poorly mapped areas; mapping and characterization of localities with known or potential living or non-living marine resources; and exploration for sites and features that have maritime heritage significance.
NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research seeks to facilitate collaborations with international partners, including members of the European Union and Canada, as well as with partners within NOAA and other federal agencies, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and industry in support of ASPIRE. It is anticipated that NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and other platforms will be available to help meet ASPIRE’s objectives.