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Marine Chemistry






The questions that chemical oceanographers prioritize over the coming decades, and the methods we use to address these questions, will define our field's contribution to 21st century science. In recognition of this, the U.S. National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration galvanized a community effort (the Chemical Oceanography MEeting: A BOttom-up Approach to Research Directions, or COME ABOARD) to synthesize bottom-up perspectives on selected areas of research in Chemical Oceanography. Representing only a small subset of the community, COME ABOARD participants did not attempt to identify targeted research directions for the field. Instead, we focused on how best to foster diverse research in Chemical Oceanography, placing emphasis on the following themes: strengthening our core chemical skillset; expanding our tools through collaboration with chemists, engineers, and computer scientists; considering new roles for large programs; enhancing interface research through interdisciplinary collaboration; and expanding ocean literacy by engaging with the public. For each theme, COME ABOARD participants reflected on the present state of Chemical Oceanography, where the community hopes to go and why, and actionable pathways to get there. A unifying concept among the discussions was that dissimilar funding structures and metrics of success may be required to accommodate the various levels of readiness and stages of knowledge development found throughout our community. In addition to the science, participants of the concurrent Dissertations Symposium in Chemical Oceanography (DISCO) XXV, a meeting of recent and forthcoming Ph.D. graduates in Chemical Oceanography, provided perspectives on how our field could show leadership in addressing long-standing diversity and early-career challenges that are pervasive throughout science. Here we summarize the COME ABOARD Meeting discussions, providing a synthesis of reflections and perspectives on the field.


This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.


Old Dominion University participant of COME ABOARD: David Burdige.

Original Publication Citation

Fassbender, A. J., Palevsky, H. I., Martz, T. R., Ingalls, A. E., Gledhill, M., Fawcett, S. E., . . . Aluwihare, L. I. (2017). Perspectives on chemical oceanography in the 21st century: Participants of the COME ABOARD meeting examine aspects of the field in the context of 40 years of DISCO. Marine Chemistry, 196, 181-190. doi: 10.1016/j.marchem.2017.09.002


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