The Indo-Pacific includes the Indian Ocean, the central Pacific Ocean connecting the Pacific and Indian Oceans through Indonesia, and the eastern Pacific Ocean extending from the Marshall Islands through central and southeastern Polynesia. It encompasses an oceanic region characterized by high biodiversity and productivity, as well as by high population density, rapid population growth, and heavy reliance on natural resources and essential services from the ocean.
The need for indigenous scientific expertise is increasingly critical to understanding how the ocean is changing and responding to human impact, and to informing regional institutions and governments about how best to respond. But this is also a region where ocean-going research infrastructure is severely constrained or nonexistent.
Global Oceans’ ability to operationally “unlock” existing regional pools of offshore sector vessels for mobilization as MARV science platforms for research and training can help address this constraint. The Indo-Pacific Collaborative is an initiative to develop new collaborative frameworks, and to catalyze new networks of regional ocean scientists, research institutions, educators, and government ministries in the Indo-Pacific that can leverage MARV capacity to empower a regional, stakeholder-driven scientific agenda for ocean science and technical development.
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Regional Consortia: Frameworks for Collaboration
The growth of research institutions throughout the Indo-Pacific region facilitates the potential to develop networks of scientists and administrators that can make the case within their own communities and funding agencies for supporting shared-cost MARV expeditions. Two initial frameworks for hosting collaborative research consortia and shared resources are discussed.
EPT: Online Collaborative Planning Tool
Global Oceans offers an online GIS-enabled Expedition Planning Tool (EPT) built on the Marine Science Institute's (MSI) SeaSketch platform hosted at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). With this common IT platform, project scientists from any institution can collaboratively document research planning and resource requirements on MARV expeditions.