Ocean Experts Appointed to Federal Ocean Research Advisory Panel

A beautiful sunrise captured from the bow of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer as the crew sailed through the Gulf of Alaska during the Seascape Alaska 1: Aleutians Deepwater Mapping expedition. Credit: Sam Cuellar, NOAA Ocean Exploration

Published Aug 3, 2023 9:03 PM by The Maritime Executive

[By: NOAA]

On August 1, 2023, 18 ocean experts began their appointment as members of the Ocean Research Advisory Panel (ORAP). The 18 ORAP members include representatives from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, ocean industries, state, tribal, territorial or local governments, and academia. 

The Ocean Policy Committee (OPC) solicited nominations from the public through a Federal Register Notice and members were appointed by the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, who co-chair of the interagency OPC.

“The ocean has never been more important – it regulates our climate and provides jobs, nourishment, recreation and respite. These experts will provide the Ocean Policy Committee with the technical and policy advice to support ocean health and a strong blue economy,” said Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and co-chair of the OPC. “Their deep knowledge and diverse backgrounds will be invaluable in advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s ocean priorities.”

“Formation of the Ocean Research Advisory Panel is a major milestone for U.S. ocean science and policy, and reinforces the President’s historic commitments to tackle climate change while creating good jobs, embracing environmental justice, and basing action on science and knowledge,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., deputy director for climate and environment at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “Coming from industry, universities and civil society, the ORAP members bring depth of experience and diversity of perspectives on the ocean from across our nation. ORAP will help guide federal government efforts to tackle some of the biggest challenges and opportunities for our ocean, in conjunction with states, tribes, territories, communities, businesses and the broader marine community.”

The new ORAP members are:

  • Claudia Benitez-Nelson, National Academies’ Ocean Studies Board; University of South Carolina 
  • Derek Brockbank, Coastal States Organization
  • Jorge Corredor, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (retired)
  • Danielle Dickson, North Pacific Research Board
  • Tim Gallaudet, Ocean STL Consulting, LLC
  • Mary Glackin, National Academies’ Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
  • Eunah Hoh, San Diego State University
  • Sandra Knight, Marine Board of the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board; WaterWonks LLC
  • Tommy Moore, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
  • Christopher Ostrander, Marine Technology Society 
  • Claire B. Paris-Limouzy, Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric & Earth Science, University of Miami
  • Purnima Ratilal-Makris, Northeastern University
  • Edward Saade, Circum-Pacific Council; EJS Solutions
  • Ana Spalding, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Oregon State University
  • Amy Trice, Northeast Regional Ocean Council
  • Maria Tzortziou, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
  • Violet Sage Walker, Northern Chumash Tribal Council
  • Kawika Winter, Hawai?i Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawai'i 

“I am pleased to see the new advisory panel in place and ready to start tackling national ocean research priorities and helping improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the ocean sciences,” said Steve Thur, Ph.D., NOAA assistant administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. 

The ORAP’s responsibilities include advising the OPC on:

  • policies and procedures to implement the National Oceanographic Partnership Program
  • matters relating to national oceanographic science, engineering, facilities or resource requirements; 
  • improving diversity, equity and inclusion in the ocean sciences and related fields;
  • national ocean research priorities; and 
  • additional responsibilities that the OPC considers appropriate.

ORAP management falls under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA Research’s Office of Science Support will support the day-to-day activities of ORAP and will carry out various statutory responsibilities for administration of the panel.

Congress directed the establishment of the ORAP in Section 1055(c) of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (Pub. L. 116-283), 10 U.S.C. 8933. The ORAP advises the OPC and provides independent recommendations to the Federal Government on matters of ocean research policy.

The ORAP is governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq., which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees. 

Visit the ORAP Webpage to learn more about ORAP and to follow its activities and accomplishments.

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