Scientific Leadership for the NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research Program

Critical to the future success of ocean exploration and the NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research
Program is the advancement of science as underpinning all exploration activities, the dissemination of
discoveries to the world public, and the development of stakeholder partnerships. The overall goal of the
proposed effort is to establish a science consultant to the NOAA OER Program, that through this initial
position and activities description, can accomplish the aims and milestones that include: 1) providing
science visions for NOAA OER Program; 2) developing science priorities for exploration and the
implementation of exploration; 3) serving as a liaison between the broad scientific and engineering
community and the NOAA OER mission operators; 4) developing and administering a new extramural
exploration proposal and funding program; and 5) establishing a working Remotely-Operated Vehicle
sampling protocol to advance exploration discoveries into new avenues of research. In short, the
working goal of this proposed effort is to provide scientific consultation to the NOAA Ocean Exploration
and Research Program that will provide a scientific vision for ocean exploration and catalyzing scientific
and stakeholder partnership discussions that result in science priorities for exploration, it’s
implementation, and the promotion of the legacies of exploration that advance future research endeavors
and pathways. To this end, the proposed effort would support the scientific interaction of the PI (T.
Shank) with other NOAA offices; engaging NGOs; NOAA OER operations and administrative staff, and
inter-agency cooperation through the promotion and communication of exploration and scientific
achievements. In addition, the proposed consultation would establish and advance the goals of NOAA
OER through the administration of an extramural scientific exploration proposal program. All of these
efforts seek to increase the scientific strength NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research Program, ensuring
that a disciplined scientific evaluation process is integrated into identifying areas to be explored;
exploration planning, prioritization, implementation, documentation; and the development of innovative
products and outcomes. In summary, this proposed work describes a consultant role with responsibilities
and deliverables to provide expert scientific opinions and activities on how science influences the
direction of the program, the science vision for the program, integration with other agencies, and
contributing to NOAA’s strategic goals, as well as how results achieved by the program will stimulate
new scientific endeavors through the national NOAA OER Program.