Registration Now Open for Ocean Observing Conference in Newport, OR
Program will Focus on Regional Capabilities and Collaborative Research
Registration is continuing for the upcoming Newport Ocean Observing Conference in Newport. The conference is expected to attract marine-related businesses from all over the country that will gather to learn about the growing economic opportunities presented by the burgeoning marine research activities in Newport.
Confirmed speakers will represent the Hatfield Marine Science Center, the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observing Initiative, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Operations Center, the local ports of Newport and Toledo, and businesses already located in the region that support marine research.
Newport is the fastest-growing center of marine research and education on the U.S. West Coast. This coastal town is the home of the Hatfield Marine Science Center, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Operations Center – Pacific, a major portion of the NSF-funded Ocean Observatories Initiative, and a wave energy test site for the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center. Newport also serves at the gateway to the ocean for the world-class marine research conducted by nearby Oregon State University. Approximately $1 billion has been invested in marine research infrastructure in the Newport area and the nearby ocean in recent years.
The Yaquina Bay Ocean Observing Initiative (YBOOI) is sponsoring the inaugural Newport Ocean Observing Conference April 30 and May 1. This event will provide opportunities for organizations and companies to explore mutually beneficial business development opportunities in the marine sciences on the Oregon coast. “We’ll have sessions on ocean observing, port and regional infrastructure, ocean technology, and collaborative research,” explained John Lavrakas, co-chair of YBOOI and President of Advanced Research Corporation, a technology company based in Newport.
“The opening talks will identify some of the specific ocean observing activities taking place, what regional resources they use, and what resources and services they are not getting,” Lavrakas said.
Speakers for that session will include Captain Wade Blake of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Operations Center – Pacific; Dr. Jack Barth of Oregon State University speaking about the local placement of infrastructure for the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observing Initiative; and Belinda Batten, Director of the Northwest Natural Marine Renewable Energy Center based at OSU.
The infrastructure session will describe current infrastructure that supports marine research and future plans that would benefit this field. Speakers will include Don Mann, Director of the Ports of Newport, and Bud Shoemake, Director of the nearby Port of Toledo, OR.
“A number of companies in the region are providing leadership in ocean sensing technology. The ocean technology session will describe some of the technologies being manufactured and implemented here” said Lavrakis. This session will feature speakers from a range of local and regional companies already serving the marine research sector in Oregon, including WET Labs of Philomath, OR; Advanced Research Corporation of Newport, OR; and Sexton Co. of Salem, OR.
The final session will focus on collaborative research, which is flourishing in the region. The value of collaboration among state and federal agencies, academia, and industry has long been recognized by Oregon marine science researchers as the key to garnering mutual benefit and encouraging stakeholder engagement. This session describes several of these collaborative efforts, using as an example the extensive collaborative fisheries research ongoing in Oregon.
Speakers in this session will include Dr. Gil Sylvia of Oregon State describing collaborative fisheries research, Waldo Wakefield of NOAA speaking about bycatch reduction programs, and a representative from Oregon Sea Grant, who works with stakeholder groups of fishermen to gather input on local issues.
The conference’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Rick Spinrad, Vice President of Research at Oregon State University in nearby Corvallis, OR. Spinrad is responsible for the university’s full portfolio of nearly $300M of research, as well as the school’s activities in commercialization, corporate development and research integrity.
The second day of the conference will consist of tours of a range of relevant facilities, including the Hatfield Marine Science Center and its ship operations, the NOAA Pacific fleet headquarters, local ports, and the Hinsdale Wave Research Lab at Oregon State University.
“This is an exciting time in Newport, and we want to share our success with new potential partners and entice them to investigate business opportunities on the beautiful Oregon coast,” Lavrakas said.
Registration information is available on YBOOI’s web site at www.ybooi.org. The conference will be held at the Hallmark Resort and at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Conference sponsorships and vendor display opportunities are currently available. Contact John Lavrakas at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Current sponsors of the conference are the City of Newport; the City of Toledo, OR; the Ports of Newport and Toledo; CoastCom; Charter Business; the Yaquina Bay Economic Foundation; the Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County; and Advanced Research Corporation.