Welcome to the SOI virtual symposium, showcasing the on-going impacts of past expeditions across the globe and highlighting future initiatives on technology, ocean research, and exploration.

DAY ONE: Welcome
Date: Feb 17, 2021
Mrs. Wendy Schmidt, Co-Founder, and Dr. Jyotika Virmani, Executive Director, of Schmidt Ocean Institute, will welcome attendees and share opening remarks.

Extreme Exploration – Science in Extreme Environments – Opening Video

Extreme Exploration – Science in Extreme Environments
Date: Feb 17, 2021
Moderator: Mark Merrifield Director – Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, UCSD – Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Keynote: Oliver Steeds Founder & Chief Executive, Nekton
• Lisa Levin Professor, UC San Diego – Scripps Institution of Oceanography
• Peter Girguis Professor, Harvard University
• Raquel Negrete-Aranda Associate Professor, CICESE
• Samantha Joye Regents’ Professor, University of Georgia

The Extreme Exploration keynote address and panel discussion will focus on new insights gained and how this shifts our exploration of extreme ocean environments, such as deep sea methane seeps, underwater volcanic settings, and hydrothermal vents. Better characterization of the microbial life and species that thrive in these extreme settings have led to fine-scale understanding of these unique environments in surprising and unprecedented ways.

The Undiscovered Territory – Seafloor Mapping
Date: Feb 17, 2021
Host: Alan Leonardi, Director, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
Keynote: Jamie McMichael-Phillips Director, Seabed2030 Project
• Rob Beaman Research Fellow, James Cook University
• Vicki Ferrini Senior Research Scientist, Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

This Undiscovered Territory keynote address followed by an intimate fireside chat will highlight the global accomplishments of the ocean science community and SOI’s contributions to the Nippon Foundation – GEBCO Seabed 2030 initiative to have the ocean seafloor entirely mapped by the year 2030. Mapping efforts have resulted in remarkable new discoveries that have led to a more detailed historic construction of ocean geology and structure.

Expanding Our Horizons – Artist-At-Sea Showcase
Date: Feb 17, 2021
Moderator: Carlie Wiener, Director of Communications and Engagement Strategy, Schmidt Ocean Institute
• David Bowen, Artist
• Kishan Munroe, Assistant Professor of Art and Art Education, University of The Bahamas
Fernanda Oyarzun, Research Associate of Coastal Social-Ecological Millennium Institute (SECOS), Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción Chile

Three artists and creators who have participated in SOI’s Artist-at-Sea program will share the impact that their experiences had on their artistic process and how it has influenced their work. This session is a series of lightning round interviews.

Aliens of the Deep – Biodiversity – Opening Video

Aliens of the Deep – Biodiversity
Date: Feb 17, 2021
Moderator: Rick Spinrad Professor, Oregon State University
Keynote: Kristen Yarincik Vice President, Research and Education, Consortium for Ocean Leadership
• Julie Huber Associate Scientist with Tenure, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
• Greg Rouse Professor, UC San Diego – Scripps Institution of Oceanography
• Les Watling Professor, University of Hawaii

The Aliens of the Deep keynote address and panel will discuss the intriguing species discovered as a result of increasingly sophisticated ocean exploration. A large number of new species records and ranges have been illuminated through recent explorations offering an opportunity for evaluation and management of the connections between diverse deep water ecosystems.

DAY TWO: Welcome Back + The UN Decade Ahead
Date: Feb 18, 2021
2021 marks the start of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which will run from 2021 – 2030. Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin will set the stage for the next decade of ocean science throughout the global community in this keynote address.

Sailing Through – Pivoting Operations during Covid-19 Pandemic
Date: Feb 18, 2021
Host: Jyotika Virmani Executive Director, Schmidt Ocean Institute
• Eric King Director of Operations, Schmidt Ocean Institute
• Peter Reynolds Captain, R/V Falkor

The past year provided a suite of new challenges for conducting scientific research in the field during a global pandemic. Marine operations has had to pivot to a more flexible model in response to rapid changes in travel restrictions, government regulations, and medical understanding. This fireside chat will discuss how operations shifted, as life on land changed, to create a safe environment that allowed international operations at sea to continue in this new world.

The Future is Here! – Technology at Sea – Opening Video

The Future is Here! – Technology at Sea
Date: Feb 18, 2021
Moderator: Ralph Rayner Professor, London School of Economics
Keynote: Brett Phaneuf Founding Board Member of ProMare and Managing Director of Mayflower Autonomous Ship, ProMare
• Ivona Cetinic Scientist, NASA
• Kakani Katija Principal Engineer, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
• Blair Thornton Professor, University of Southampton
• Chris Zappa Lamont Research Professor, Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Technology development at sea continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace. The Future is Here keynote address and panel discussion will explore advances in marine innovation and new technologies on the horizon, showcasing how these can transform the ability to gain new insights from the ocean.

Our Future Marine Scientists – Student Opportunities Showcase
Date: Feb 18, 2021
Host: Carlie Wiener Director of Communications and Engagement Strategy, Schmidt Ocean Institute
• Melissa Anderson Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
• Mardi McNeil Postdoctoral Researcher, Queensland University of Technology
• Nicholas Yoshioka Student, University of California, Los Angeles

Engaging students from around the world has been an exciting part of SOI’s mission, so that they have opportunities to see what the practice of ocean science looks like. Hear from three former Student Opportunities alumni about how this experience prepared them for their current positions. This session will feature three quick fire interviews to see where they are now.

Managing a Thriving Ocean – Marine Management – Opening Video

Managing a Thriving Ocean – Marine Management
Date: Feb 18, 2021
Moderator: Kristina Gjerde Senior High Seas Advisor, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Keynote: Haydee Rodriguez-Romero Viceminister for Freshwater and the Ocean, Ministry of Env. and Energy, Costa Rica Government
• Barbara Block Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Professor in Marine Sciences, Stanford University
• Erik Cordes Professor, Vice Chair, Temple University
• Alan Jamieson Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University
• Randi Rotjan Research Assistant, Professor of Biology, Boston University

In Managing a Thriving Ocean, sustainable practices must ensure that biodiversity, economic and cultural values are all considered, and scientific data plays a key role in learning and sharing these connections. Hear from a diverse group of marine managers, policy makers and scientists in this keynote address and panel that discusses how research data can be shared in meaningful ways that enable clearer understanding of ocean health.

The SOI Decade Ahead
Date: Feb 18, 2021
Host/Keynote: Jyotika Virmani Executive Director, Schmidt Ocean Institute

SOI executive director, Dr. Jyotika Virmani, will conclude the virtual symposium with forward looking remarks and provide an exclusive overview of new initiatives as we enter into the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences.