World Association of Marine Laboratories (WAMS) – A Global Ocean Literacy (GOL) Concept - 02.06.2012
As the President of the National Association of Marine Laboratories (NAML), COSEE-TEK Director Ivar Babb attended the annual WAMS meeting, this year held in Faro, Portugal. The idea of a WAMS was launched 3 years ago and initially includes the European Network of Marine Institutes and Stations (MARS), the National Association of Marine Laboratories (NAML) in the U.S., the Japanese Association for Marine Biology (JAMBIO) and the Tropical Marine Network in Australia. The International Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations helped to further the proposal in the last two years by officially adopting the plan for WAMS by IOC-UNESCO mid 2011. WAMS is seeking to develop a global network of marine laboratories that will implement a range of activities including capacity building, sharing of facilities, training actions and exchange programs. Specific education and capacity building activities proposed at IOC-UNESCO were WAMS fellowships, WAMS visiting scientists, WAMS summer courses and WAMS international conferences.
At the Faro WAMS meeting the idea was proposed to organize a “global campus” that would include a clearing house for marine research career paths. Another goal (and action) could be to emphasize the importance of the Ocean and raise of the importance and plight of the ocean, especially after the Gulf oil disaster and tsunami in Japan. Ivar Babb, COSEE-TEK Director proposed that this activity could build upon the Ocean Science Literacy initiative in the US (http://oceanliteracy.wp2.coexploration.org/) and be developed by WAMS into a Global Ocean Literacy (GOL) program.
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