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OAR Next and Sea Grant

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Craig McLean, acting assistant administrator, NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Sea Grant Week 2010

Craig McLean, acting assistant administrator, NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Sea Grant Week 2010

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  • Thank you, Gordon. It is an honor and a privilege to be here today. Although my day job is currently Acting Assistant Administrator for OAR, I hope we will soon fill the AA position and I can return to my role as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Programs and Administration, where my portfolio includes Sea Grant.

    You’ve heard from Paul and Margaret today – and some of you got to hear from Judy Gray yesterday. I will talk about where OAR is headed and how I see Sea Grant fitting into the future OAR, but what I really want to do is challenge you to think about how Sea Grant will fit into the future NOAA.

    Let’s begin with where we are today….
  • Main Message: Currently, OAR research is grouped as 3 major categories – and I will spend a moment explaining each:
    1. Weather and air quality
    2. Ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes research.
    3. Climate

    You just heard Paul talk about the National Climate Service – OAR’s climate research, including our GFDL, and 3 divisions from ESRL (spell out which divisions) and CPO will move into the new Climate Service ON CLICK: Climate fades away. This means two small line offices and an OAR where Sea Grant accounts for nearly 25% percent of the new OAR portfolio.

    At the same time, NOAA – like Sea Grant – has just completed a Next Generation Strategic Plan that realigns how we focus our resources.

    We’re also doing all of this during a time when the Nation has many bills to pay. As you all are aware from the tight state budgets and flat federal funding we are continually being asked to make each dollar go further and demonstrate our value to society.

    Segue to Next Slide: Let’s take a look at the new goals and how they may help us maximize our resources.






  • Main Message: I see Sea Grant in each and every one of the new goals and I see research as the mortar between the “bricks” of the NOAA NGSP, since all products and services in NOAA start with research.

    Although the majority of NOAA’s research resides in OAR – all of our line offices have research portfolios.

    Through the preeminent research conducted by OAR, we render knowledge and technology that drives products and services that reduce risks, ultimately preventing loss of human life and improving public health. Sea Grant is an important partner in these efforts.

    OAR works in partnership with other NOAA Line Offices, Sea Grant, Cooperative Institutes, interagency partners, international partners, academia, and the private sector.

    Segue: We are thinking strategically about Sea Grant’s role in the future of NOAA and OAR.


  • Main Message: I see Sea Grant in each and every one of the new goals and I see research as the mortar between the “bricks” of the NOAA NGSP, since all products and services in NOAA start with research.

    Although the majority of NOAA’s research resides in OAR – all of our line offices have research portfolios.

    Through the preeminent research conducted by OAR, we render knowledge and technology that drives products and services that reduce risks, ultimately preventing loss of human life and improving public health. Sea Grant is an important partner in these efforts.

    OAR works in partnership with other NOAA Line Offices, Sea Grant, Cooperative Institutes, interagency partners, international partners, academia, and the private sector.

    Segue: We are thinking strategically about Sea Grant’s role in the future of NOAA and OAR.


  • Main Message: Strengthening NOAA’s science enterprise is one of Dr. Lubchenco’s key priorities and we started a number of initiatives across the organization in support of that priority.  All of NOAA is oriented toward meeting our grand science challenge.

    Sea Grant is an important part of science at NOAA.  

    Dr. Lubchenco carefully reviewed the role and structure of OAR, and it is her firm view that OAR – and Sea Grant - are of unique importance in providing dedicated science and research enterprise within NOAA.

    SEGUE: So how do we address this grand science challenge?
  • Main Message: NOAA has identified seven major science needs. I think you’ll see yourselves in much of this and I encourage you to look for ways you can support NOAA’s science needs.

    For example, Sea Grant has long been working to integrate social and physical science to identify coastal community needs and ensure greater societal impact of research.

    NOAA is realizing the importance of this work and this element has been identified as #1 on the list of needs to address the grand challenge. It all started in Sea Grant.

    Segue: OAR is thinking strategically about how we can meet this challenge…
  • Main Message: NOAA has identified seven major science needs. I think you’ll see yourselves in much of this and I encourage you to look for ways you can support NOAA’s science needs.

    For example, Sea Grant has long been working to integrate social and physical science to identify coastal community needs and ensure greater societal impact of research.

    NOAA is realizing the importance of this work and this element has been identified as #1 on the list of needs to address the grand challenge. It all started in Sea Grant.

    Segue: OAR is thinking strategically about how we can meet this challenge…
  • Main Message: The new OAR will focus on innovation, incubation and integration.

    INNOVATE: Make the discoveries that reveal new science challenges
    INCUBATE: Conduct the long-term research and develop technology needed to serve NOAA Line Offices and mission
    INTEGRATE: Build bridges to link research activities across NOAA Line Offices and external partners

    The new OAR Assistant Administrator will have a portfolio management role for NOAA – and can use your help recruiting (if you want a copy of the vacancy announcement see Rochelle).

    Segue: With much of OAR’s climate research being moved to the climate service, Sea Grant is going to get a larger slice of the pie in terms of both dollars and focus.
  • Main Message: The new OAR will focus on innovation, incubation and integration.

    INNOVATE: Make the discoveries that reveal new science challenges
    INCUBATE: Conduct the long-term research and develop technology needed to serve NOAA Line Offices and mission
    INTEGRATE: Build bridges to link research activities across NOAA Line Offices and external partners

    The new OAR Assistant Administrator will have a portfolio management role for NOAA – and can use your help recruiting (if you want a copy of the vacancy announcement see Rochelle).

    Segue: With much of OAR’s climate research being moved to the climate service, Sea Grant is going to get a larger slice of the pie in terms of both dollars and focus.
  • Main Message: We recognize the value of Sea Grant in terms of both research and outreach. We also recognize Sea Grant’s role as a visionary.

    Innovate: Sea Grant research answers critical questions and develops technology to solve them. For Example: MIT Sea Grant’s self-propelled cage for aquaculture. Sea Grant also innovates through its business practices – for example, I met with Gordon out in Hawaii in August and heard about his innovate way of doing more with less. (faculty example)

    Incubate: As I mentioned earlier, Sea Grant has been an incubator for understanding of behavior, societal values, and economics and applying that knowledge to research. The importance of Sea Grant is on the ground in our communities sharing and explaining new discoveries and empowering communities to address critical issues. For example, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant does a great job of reaching out to local Vietnamese fisherman to provide information on new regulations that may affect their businesses, as well as relaying the concerns of this community back to agencies, organizations, and researchers.

    Integrate: Sea Grant crosses disciplines, communities and cultures to provide a strong science basis for informed decision making. For example, a partnership between Sea Grant and the National Weather Service resulted in bilingual signs warning California beachgoers about rip currents.


    Segue: Most recently, the Deepwater Horizon response efforts solidified Sea Grant’s value to NOAA and the Nation….
  • Main Message: I was so very impressed with how quickly and comprehensively the Sea Grant Programs in the Gulf and around the country responded to this horrible disaster.

    * Meeting with Dr. Lubchenco & Andy Winer who were trying to find a common denominator in NOAA to cut across constituencies including recreational and commercial fishermen, hoteliers, coastal communities and more – and I was so pleased to be able to offer Sea Grant as ideally suited to meet NOAA’s needs. I know LaDon spent countless hours working with Andy on this and I want to thank him and everyone involved for all your hard work and long hours.

    Your assets on the ground - your knowledge of local resources and needs, strong science and ability to tap into experienced experts – like those at Alaska Sea Grant – were invaluable to the response efforts. You served Gulf Coast communities and the Nation in a way no one else could including:
    Publishing the first website full of resources for affected communities
    Funding rapid response research projects to assess the impacts on commercial fisheries and shellfish, oyster reefs, salt marshes, seagrass beds, microbes and algae
    Developing a Gulf of Mexico Oil-Related Research Clearinghouse in collaboration with NOAA’s National Coastal Data Development Center
    Revising the Gulf of Mexico Research Plan (GMRP) to reflect immediate and mid- to long-term economic, environmental and social research needs.
    Organizing more than 47 meetings involving over 4,500 participants throughout the Gulf Coast States to provide science-based information to communities and facilitate communication between response personnel and the local communities and industries
    Providing legal support and advice
    Translating outreach materials
    Conducting hazmat training workshops
    Producing videos to train seafood safety personnel
    Organizing a seafood working group to provide guidance and coordination regarding seafood safety, fisheries closures and approaches to re-opening closed fisheries and engage local communities and fishing interests,
    Training peer listeners to help others in their communities deal with mental health concerns resulting from the oil spill

    There’s no end to what Sea Grant can do.

    Segue: So, what’s next…

  • Main Message: Think back to the grand science challenge and the 7 science needs to address it.

    Clearly Sea Grant provides valuable research and services to the communities you serve and the Nation as a whole. As we look toward the future, I encourage you to think big and think beyond just NOAA as a partner. I know many of your programs have partnered with other federal agencies in the past and I encourage you to continue to do so in the future (e..g NOAA pursuing Sea Grant-FEMA partnership).

    Segue to Conclusion….Where will you go next?
  • What are the next great things to come out of Sea Grant?

    How can we make sure that they align with NOAA priorities?
  • What are the next great things to come out of Sea Grant?

    How can we make sure that they align with NOAA priorities?
  • Note: I made up the numbers for projected – Took 60% of OAR’s FY10 budget and kept Sea Grant the same.
  • Transcript

    • 1. OAR Next & Sea Grant Craig McLean Acting Assistant Administrator NOAA Office of Oceanic & Atmospheric Research
    • 2. Current OAR Research Areas Weather & Air Quality Climate Ocean, Coastal, and Great Lakes
    • 3. Research is the mortar between the bricks of NOAA’s Next Generation Strategic Plan
    • 4. Sea Grant’s Alignment with NOAA’s Next Generation Strategic Plan
    • 5. NOAA’s Grand Science Challenge Develop and apply holistic, integrated Earth system approaches to understand the processes that connect changes in the atmosphere, ocean, space, land surface, and cryosphere with ecosystems, organisms and humans over different scales. *As identified at the NOAA Science Workshop (April 2010)
    • 6. 7 Major Science Needs for NOAA to Meet the Grand Challenge 1. Knowledge of human behavior, societal values, and economics 2. Interactions between atmospheric composition and climate 3. Role of the oceans in climate and the effects of climate change on the ocean and coasts 4. Role of ecosystem processes and biodiversity in sustaining ecosystem services and resilience 5. Understanding of the water cycle to improve our ability to forecast 6. Approaches to reduce environmental degradation, overfishing, and climate change 7. Atmosphere-ocean-land-biology and human observing systems, long-term data sets, and new observing technologies.
    • 7. 7 Major Science Needs for NOAA to Meet the Grand Challenge 1. Knowledge of human behavior, societal values, and economics 2. Interactions between atmospheric composition and climate 3. Role of the oceans in climate and the effects of climate change on the ocean and coasts 4. Role of ecosystem processes and biodiversity in sustaining ecosystem services and resilience 5. Understanding of the water cycle to improve our ability to forecast 6. Approaches to reduce environmental degradation, overfishing, and climate change 7. Atmosphere-ocean-land-biology and human observing systems, long-term data sets, and new observing technologies.
    • 8. OAR Next Innovate Incubate Integrate
    • 9. OAR Next . . . And Sea Grant Innovate Incubate Integrate
    • 10. Sea Grant Highlights
    • 11. Sea Grant on the Scene
    • 12. NOAA’s Grand Science Challenge Develop and apply holistic, integrated Earth system approaches to understand the processes that connect changes in the atmosphere, ocean, space, land surface, and cryosphere with ecosystems, organisms and humans over different scales.
    • 13. What Will You Do?
    • 14. What Will You Do? National Program Character Strengthen Science in NOAA Coastal Programs Performance Metrics (NIMS) Strong HQ Office Strong Alignment: HQ, SGA, SGAB PIE: Evaluation Innovation Integration
    • 15. Thank You
    • 16. OAR & Sea Grant Funding Trends $0 $50 $100 $150 $200 $250 $300 $350 $400 $450 FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 OAR Sea Grant Federal Sea Grant State In millions
    • 17. Sea Grant as a Percent of OAR 22.43% Projected Sea Grant OAR 13.46% FY10 Sea Grant OAR

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