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Ocean Sustainability: From Data to Decisions

Ocean Sustainability: From Data to Decisions

6 September 2016
NOAA Chief Scientist Dr. Rick Spinrad meets with Ecologic Institute and IASS

Ecologic Institute and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) co-hosted a talk with Dr. Rick Spinrad, Chief Scientist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). An internationally recognized scientist and executive with more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Spinrad was invited to Germany on behalf of the US Embassy to share insights on the topic of oceans and sustainability. The event was moderated by R. Andreas Kraemer, Founding Director of Ecologic Institute.

Dr. Spinrad met with members from Ecologic Institute's marine team and from IASS' ocean governance team at IASS head office in Potsdam, Germany on 6 September 2016. Dr. Spinrad's talk "Ocean Sustainability: From Data to Decisions" provided the basis for an exchange on Ecologic Institute and IASS activities on the topic of the marine and coastal environment. Katriona McGlade provided an insight into Ecologic Institute's marine activities, including work on the Blue Economy and the development of socio-economic indicators at European level.

Dr. Spinrad focused on the challenges and opportunities associated with data on extreme storm events, hazardous algal blooms, invasive alien species and sea level rise. Dr. Spinrad highlighted that technology and observational data alone were insufficient to reduce risks and that 'environmental intelligence' is most effective when integrated with other forms of knowledge e.g. behavioural or socio-economic perspectives. Dr. Spinrad also outlined NOAA's engagement and partnership activities with the private sector through a Big Data Project which provides a mechanism for NOAA public data resources to be developed into new business and research opportunities.