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Assistant professor to co-chair next week’s Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Assistant professor Kristen Buck will co-chair the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) in Portland, Oregon, February 11th – 16th. Over 4000 attendees from a vast array of ocean-related scientific disciplines will engage in presentations, workshops, town halls, art and music sessions, film screenings, career-building events, and even a 5k Fun Run.

Begun in 1982, and held biennially, OSM is the only scientific meeting focused specifically on the ocean and aquatic sciences related to the ocean. One co-chair and one chair represent each of the three society partners of OSM: American Geophysical Union (AGU), Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), and The Oceanography Society (TOS). Dr. Buck’s service as a chemical oceanography counselor for TOS led to an invitation to become a co-chair for OSM, a position through which she will learn the ropes and gain valuable experience for the next meeting in 2020 in San Diego, where she will serve as chair.

Amid the busyness of co-organizing a large, week-long event, Dr. Buck will also give a talk on an upcoming product release of GEOTRACES data. GEOTRACES is an international effort to study the marine biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and their isotopes. She will also play a lead role in the town hall on biogeochemistry in the Gulf of Mexico.

Focusing on the role of women in science and the challenges faced, a select number of town halls, panel discussions and other activities will provide an opportunity for women to learn career and interpersonal skills. Inspiringly, all three of the lifetime achievement awards presented by the society partners will be received by women this year.

Dr. Buck’s primary responsibility for this year’s meeting is the fantastic lineup of artists, many of who will be on hand to present and discuss their work. The recognition of art and film as an effective channel to communicate important conservation messages has grown, and so has the inclusion of art within the schedule of events at this year’s OSM. Art exhibits will be spread through the conference center, and attendees should keep an eye out for a tapestry of marine organisms made by Karen Nicol, a series of curated images of plankton, and a collection of artistic representations of ocean science from the Schmidt Ocean Institute. A film called “Fragile Legacy”, which has a connection to the Blaschka exhibit made by Cornell University, relates the fragility of glass to the fragility of phytoplankton in the ecosystem.

Artists and musicians from the scientific community, as well, will showcase their hidden talents. The Tuesday night Jam Session attracts an ever-increasing number of loyal followers, and the Pecha Kucha-style session on Wednesday night beckons from the interface of art and science as presenters use timed slide-shows to creatively express their ideas on the theme of a ‘fluid ocean’.

While the broad offerings of a conference devoted to an inherently interdisciplinary science can be challenging (there are 57 town halls!), the organizers of this year’s Ocean Sciences Meeting hope to keep the week exciting for all in attendance by offering something for everyone and by making all feel welcome. Attendees will be able to engage with their peers and mentors, interact with authors who they previously knew only through the scientific literature, network with future collaborators, attend career mixers, and have fun doing it.

See below for a list of key events for students and early-career scientists as well as artistic, musical and theatrical events.

Download full schedule


Student and Early Career Workshop (see contact details in Scientific Program)


MPOWIR Town Hall, 12:45-1:45 pm, Room D137-138

Early Career Mixer, 6-7:30 pm, Oregon Ballroom Lobby

Student Mixer, 6-7:30 pm, Portland Ballroom Lobby


Career Panel, 12:45-1:45 pm, Oregon Ballroom 204 (see contact details in Scientific Program for free ticket)

Society for Women in Marine Science, 12:45-1:45 pm, B117-119; also meets Weds, same time, B110-112

Jam Session, 8-11 pm, Ringlers Pub


Pecha Kucha evening ‘Fluid Ocean’ theme, 8-10 pm, Spirit of 77


5K Run/Walk, benefits local Surfrider foundation chapter, 6-7 am, meet at Tomodachi Friendship Circle

TOS Members Meeting, 12:30-1:15 pm, F149

Movie night/artist meet and greet, 6:30-8:30 pm, Portland Ballroom

Written By: Sean Beckwith

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