Sharing Global Ocean Observation at International Conference

Apr 8, 2024

Dr. Ann-Christine Zinkann

Dr. Ann-Christine Zinkann, CPAESS scientist who works with NOAA's Global Ocean Monitoring and Observing office.

CPAESS Scientist Dr. Ann-Christine Zinkann is a Program Specialist working with NOAA’s Global Ocean Monitoring and Observing (GOMO) office. She has extensive experience working with the international ocean community and is presenting and convening numerous meetings at this week’s 2024 Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona, Spain. The conference theme is “delivering the science we need for the ocean we want" with an agenda firmly seated in a principled “solutions-oriented, transformative ocean science." It will "highlight the role of the Decade as a framework to galvanize diverse groups in inclusive and equitable co-design and co-delivery processes.” Its aim is to present “innovative and transformative science solutions, in the context of a broader mandate of showcasing initiatives and generating dialogue across the whole science-policy-society interface. It will provide a global forum for governments, leaders, maritime sectors, philanthropy, universities, private sector, NGOs and more, to meet and catalyse new partnerships and collaborations (Source).” Thus, this setting is a perfect foundation for Ann to present her research and experience. 

Dr. Zinkann shared that “GOMO has been a key driver in some key activities under the Ocean Decade…[It is] a global leader in ocean observations and continues to be actively engaged and involved in international efforts to advance and evolve its activities.” Some of these activities include GOMO Director David Legler who is the co-chair of the GOOS Ocean Observing Co-Design program and UCAR | GOMO Program Manager Ann-Christine Zinkann who is the Early Career Ocean Professional (ECOP) and co-lead of the Boundary Currents team. This program is a flagship initiative of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) that will evolve the ocean observing system so that it is co-designed with observing, modeling and key user stakeholders to be truly responsive and agile to user needs and integrated along the value chain. Additionally, Cheyenne Stienbarger, Program Manager in GOMO is the lead for the Tropical Cyclone group under the co-design program. 

During the conference, Dr. Zinkann will present on numerous occasions. Ann will lead the Technologies in Sustainable Ocean Observations presentation in the World Trade Center's rooms S9 + S10. Zinkann is co-leading the Cost Effective Technologies group that was implemented through AtlantOS as a key initiative to enable equitable access to technologies for all. The access to technologies is enabling us to observe the ocean equitably and ensure that all have key information to develop predictive tools and forecasts. The team is building a directory for end-users to access information on technologies and sampling schemes and developing ways to ensure data from these platforms are made accessible.

Ann explained “Many technology challenges exist when it comes to observing and monitoring the ocean and on average only 1% of national research budgets support ocean science (IOC-UNESCO, 2017). Societal demand for more accurate prediction and forecasting services is increasing exponentially and the current global efforts are not enough to meet demand and a step change is needed. Current critical challenges are that regions lack the required infrastructure and human capacity to sufficiently observe the ocean, community demands. For example, industry is unclear and not prioritized and existing data are not readily accessible. This event is bringing together various stakeholders to dismantle these barriers and identify opportunities towards achieving a mature and vibrant Ocean Observing Enterprise through technology accessibility.”

This event will bring three key groups together to showcase potential breakdowns of these challenges:

  • GOOS MTS Industry Dialogues are aiming to evolve the relationships between government, academia, and the businesses to enable a thriving future Ocean Enterprise.
  • Cost Effective Technologies are enabling cost-effective observation and a directory for end-users to access information on technologies and sampling schemes.
  • GEORGE Project aims to develop new technologies for ocean observations and improving data integration across European marine research infrastructures

For more information on this talk, visit the GOOS website, and view the event flyer.

On April 11th, Dr. Zinkann will lead a talk on Co-Designing Ocean observing for the tropics. Ann-Christine Zinkann is one of three co-organizers of this event including being the Early Career Ocean Professional (ECOP) on the Ocean Observing Co-Design program that is a central piece in this side event. This talk explores how building a transformative and solutions-oriented ocean observing system is critical to the success of the UN Ocean Decade. The design of such systems should follow the principles of co-design, working with stakeholders across the value chain and integrating their needs into the process. At this event, we are discussing these principles and observational needs for the tropics as critical areas that require better observational strategies to best serve society. This event involves a “speed-dating” session to allow for active engagement with focus-area leadership to discuss regional involvement and collaborations from across the value-chain.

Her partners include: WMO; South African Environmental Observation Network; École Normale Supérieur, France; DCC-OCC, China; Sun Yat-Sen University, China; IOC-UNESCO; Mercator Ocean International; Japan Meteorological Agency | Meteorological Research Institute; Ocean Frontiers Institute; CMCC, NOAA. 

Dr. Zinkann will also speak on “Building a strong scientific community in support of a sustainable Atlantic Ocean” as an invited speaker representing the AtlantOS program. AtalntOS aims to evolve the Atlantic Ocean observing systems to be co-designed with observing, modeling and key stakeholders in order to be truly responsive to user needs.

This satellite event will bring together All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance partners and the broader Atlantic Ocean community, as well as highlight initiatives such as the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation and the EU Mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030’ (with a focus on the Atlantic-Arctic Lighthouse) to discuss opportunities for cooperative, solution-based ocean science that can contribute to ensuring a healthy and sustainable Atlantic Ocean for future generations. Panel discussions about collaborative science across the Atlantic Ocean, successes and ongoing challenges will animate the session, including a geographic diversity of projects and speakers. While focusing on the AAORIA priority areas, specific Ocean Decade principles such as co-design, capacity building, and transformative partnerships will be addressed. Find more information on this talk on the AAORIA website and view the agenda.

Program Manager, Ann-Christine Zinkann was also invited to be a panelist for Session 3: Science and Solutions for a Safe and Predicted Ocean - focusing on Challenges 6, 7, and 8 – Coastal Resilience, Observations, Data and Predictions. These Ocean Decade sessions showcase a plenary session followed by parallel sessions discussing the Ocean Decade Challenge white papers that were developed ahead of the conference. Session 3 will focus on Challenges 6, 7, and 8 and draw attention to the outcomes of the draft White Papers of the Vision 2030 process. Panelists were asked to be thought-provoking and set the scene for the discussions in the following breakout sessions. Of this session, with 1,500 attendees, Ann shared that she sees co-design as "the way forward to having the ocean observing system be more inclusive, purpose driven and impactful."

CPAESS scientist Ann Zinkann at Conference.

CPAESS scientist Dr. Ann-Christine Zinkann presenting at the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

In addition to these talks, Dr. Zinkann is party to three different poster presentations which include:

  • Transforming our ocean observing system assessment and design process - Supporting the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development with Ann-Christine Zinkann (NOAA | UCAR), Jun She (Danish Meteorological Institute), Emma Heslop (IOC-UNESCO), Sabrina Speich (Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace), David Legler (NOAA), Andrea McCurdy (NASA).
  • Sustained and effective ocean observations - A Boundary Current Initiative with Tamaryn Morris (Ocean and Polar Coordinator, South African Environmental Observation Network) and Ann-Christine Zinkann (Program Manager, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration & UCAR).
  • Co-Design in the Atlantic - Realizing the Benefits of Ocean Knowledge through Co-Design. Steering Committee: Jessica Snowden (Chair, US), Gleyci Moser (Brazil) | Renellys Perez (USA) | Lucie Cocquempot (France) | Francis E. Asuquo (Nigeria) | Virginia P. Povedano (IE) | Patrick Gorringe (Sweden) | Martin Visbeck (Germany) | Brad deYoung (Canada) l Penny Holliday (United Kingdom) | Leticia Cotrim (Brazil) l Isabel S. Pinto (Portugal) l Maria Paz Chidichimo (Argentina) | Isabelle Ansorge (South Africa), Ann-Christine Zinkann (US) & Co-Design Partners, Projects &  Co-Design Team.

This conference is sponsored by the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Learn more about Ann’s work with NOAA’s GOMO Office from a recorded CPAESS Discovery Seminar.

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