The 2009 legislation that formalized NOAA’s ocean exploration responsibilities requires NOAA to hold periodic national meetings to “establish an ocean exploration forum to encourage partnerships and promote communications among experts and other stakeholders in order to enhance the scientific and technical expertise and relevance of the national program.”
On March 28-30, 2022, NOAA Ocean Exploration and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (now the Center for Ocean Leadership at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) jointly organized the 2022 National Ocean Exploration Forum, titled Ocean Exploration: Blueprint 2032. Together, participants envisioned short-term and long-term actionable milestones to guide the community in identifying and addressing shared exploration priorities over the next decade. In addition to fulfilling its scientific goals, the Forum sought to promote equity and inclusivity in the scientific community and recognized the great value of diverse perspectives in completing this mission.
On November 7-10, 2018, the MIT Media Lab Open Ocean initiative hosted the sixth National Ocean Exploration Forum, "All Hands on Deck." The goal of this Forum was to convene leaders and changemakers to imagine creative new ways to make the ocean so pervasive in modern culture that everyone has a positive association with and understanding of the sea. Through panel discussions, demos, and workshops, participants considered how to connect people with the ocean and each other through play, imagination, immersion, creativity, and exploration.
Learn more about National Ocean Exploration Forum 2018: "All Hands On Deck"
On October 21-22, 2017, the University of California San Diego and NOAA hosted the fifth annual National Ocean Exploration Forum on “Ocean Exploration in a Sea of Data” at the UC San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute.
This Forum brought together the data science and ocean exploration communities to discuss how data science analysis and visualization techniques can be applied to contemporary and historical ocean exploration data, with the goal of developing recommendations for how data scientists and ocean explorers can collaborate to expand traditional concepts of ocean exploration to drive toward new discoveries, provide greater access to data, and better engage the public.
National Ocean Exploration Forum 2016: Beyond the Ships 2020-2025, held on October 20-21, 2016, at the Rockefeller University, focused on the tools and technologies needed to propel deep-sea exploration foward in the next decade.
Learn more about the National Ocean Exploration Forum 2016 on the forum website .
Forum White Papers:
Characterizing the Unknown: A National Ocean Exploration Forum 2015, held on November 19-20, 2015, at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, was the third in a series of annual symposia focused on establishing a formal, dedicated national strategy and program of ocean exploration as called for in the statute authorizing NOAA’s ocean exploration program.
Learn more about the National Ocean Exploration Forum 2015 on the forum website .
On September 14, 2014, a national forum was held at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. This “mini-forum” focused on the connections among Ocean Exploration 2020 recommendations, ocean exploration results, and NOAA mission requirements as an environmental information services agency. Forum participants also discussed themes for National Forum 2015 and helped to put National Forum 2015 planning in the context of other activities, such as priority-setting workshops and the activities of the new Ocean Exploration Advisory Board.
On July 19-21, 2013, NOAA and the Aquarium of the Pacific co-hosted Ocean Exploration 2020: A National Forum. This was the first-ever such event and was a unique opportunity to help shape national ocean exploration in the coming decade. The first two days of Ocean Exploration 2020 brought together the most important ocean exploration stakeholders to discuss what our nation’s ocean exploration program should be and a strategy for getting there. The final day of Ocean Exploration 2020 encouraged members of the public to come to the Aquarium of the Pacific for a day celebrating ocean exploration.
Learn more about Ocean Exploration 2020 on the forum website.
Download the final Ocean Exploration 2020 report (pdf, 7.0 MB)