Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 22 Issue 04

View Issue TOC
Volume 22, No. 4
Pages 232 - 241


Taking Ocean Research Results to Applications: Examples and Lessons from US GLOBEC

Elizabeth Turner Dale B. Haidvogel
Article Abstract

Researchers and funding agencies justify much oceanographic research by characterizing it as useful for better understanding ocean issues of interest to society at large. However, the direct transfer of ocean science to applications in the policy and management context remains a challenge. This paper explores how one large ocean science program, US Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (US GLOBEC), has begun to take research results to applications in fisheries management, ocean observation systems, and applied ocean modeling. We review selected examples of this transition, and examine some characteristics of the program that have facilitated them. We also provide advice for future large oceanographic programs seeking to maximize the utility of their results.


Turner, E., and D.B. Haidvogel. 2009. Taking ocean research results to applications: Examples and lessons from US GLOBEC. Oceanography 22(4):232–241, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.111.


Branscomb, L.M. 1990. From science policy to research policy. Pp. 112–139 in Investing in Innovation: Creating a Research and Innovation Policy That Works. L.M. Branscomb and J.H. Keller, eds, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 

Briscoe, M., and D. Evans. 1993. The application of marine sciences in the coming decades. Oceanography 6(3):138–140. Available online at: http://tos.org/oceanography/issues/issue_archive/6_3.html (accessed September 18, 2009).

Brodeur, R.D., E.A. Daly, R.A. Schabetsberger, and K.L. Mier. 2007. Interannual and interdecadal variability in juvenile coho salmon diets in relation to environmental changes in the northern California Current. Fisheries Oceanography 16:395–408.

Burnett, W., J. Harding, and G. Heburn. 2002. Overview of operational ocean forecasting in the US Navy: Past, present and future. Oceanography 15(1):4­–12. Available online at: http://tos.org/oceanography/issues/issue_archive/15_1.html (accessed September 19, 2009). 

Bush, V. 1945. Science the Endless Frontier: Report to the President on a Program for Postwar Scientific Research by Vannevar Bush, Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC. Available online at: http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/nsf50/vbush1945.htm (accessed September 19, 2009).

Cheong, S.M. 2008. A new direction in coastal management. Marine Policy 32:1,090–1,093.

Clark, J.S., S.R. Carpenter, M. Barber, S. Collins, A. Dobson, J.A. Foley, D.M. Lodge, M. Pascual, R. Pielke Jr., W. Pizer, and others. 2001. Ecological forecasting: An emerging imperative. Science 293:657–660.

Fogarty, M.J., and L.W. Botsford. 2007. Population connectivity and spatial management of marine fisheries. Oceanography 20(3):112–123. Available online at: http://tos.org/oceanography/issues/issue_archive/20_3.html (accessed September 19, 2009).

Fogarty, M.J., and T.M. Powell. 2002. An overview of the US GLOBEC program. Oceanography 15(2):4–12. Available online at: http://tos.org/oceanography/issues/issue_archive/15_2.html (accessed September 19, 2009).

Greene, C.H., and A.J. Pershing. 2004. Climate and the conservation biology of the North Atlantic right whales: The right whale at the wrong time? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2:29–34. 

Groman, R.C., C.L. Chandler, M.D. Allison, P.H. Wiebe, and D.M. Glover. 2008. Discovery, Access, Interoperability, and Visualization Features of a Web Interface to Oceanographic Data. ICES CM 2008/R:02, 8 pp.

Holton, G., and G. Sonnert. 1999. A vision of Jeffersonian science. Issues in Science and Technology 16(1):61–65.

King, J.R., ed. 2005. Report of the study group on the fisheries and ecosystem responses to recent regime shifts. PICES Science Report No. 28, 162 pp.

Mantua, N., D. Haidvogel, Y. Kushnir, and N. Bond. 2002. Making the climate connections: Bridging scales of space and time in the US GLOBEC program. Oceanography 15(2):75–86. Available online at: http://tos.org/oceanography/issues/issue_archive/15_2.html (accessed September 19, 2009).

Miller, C.B., D.R. Lynch, F. Carlotti, W. Gentleman, and C. Lewis. 1998. Coupling of individual-based population dynamical models for stocks of Calanus finmarchicus with numerical models of flow in the region of Georges Bank. Fisheries Oceanography 7(3/4):219–234.

Munk, W. 2008. Glimpses of oceanography in the postwar period. Oceanography 21(3):14–21. Available online at: http://tos.org/oceanography/issues/issue_archive/21_3.html (accessed September 19, 2009).

Murawski, S.A., and G.C. Matlock, eds. 2006. Ecosystem Science Capabilities Required to Support NOAA’s Mission in the Year 2020. NOAA Technical Memorandum, NMFS-F/SPO-74, 97 pp.

Naimie, C.E. 1996. Georges Bank residual circulation during weak and strong stratification periods: Prognostic numerical model results. Journal of Geophysical Research 101(C3):6,469–6,486.

National Research Council. 1995. Science Policy, and the Coast: Improving Decisionmaking. Ocean Studies Board, National Academy Press. 85 pp.

NSTC. 2007. Charting the Course for Ocean Science in the United States for the Next Decade: An Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy. National Science and Technology Council Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology, 84 pp. Available online at: http://ocean.ceq.gov/about/sup_jsost_prioritiesplan.html (accessed September 19, 2009). 

ORRAP. 2007. Best Practices for Increasing the Impact of Research Investments. Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel, Research to Applications Task Force, 19 pp. 

Orsi, J.A., E.A. Fergusson, M.V. Sturdevant, B.L. Wing, A.C. Wertheimer, and W.R. Heard. 2006. Annual Survey of Juvenile Salmon and Ecologically Related Species and Environmental Factors in the Marine Waters of Southeastern Alaska, May–August 2005. NPAFC Doc. 955, Auke Bay Laboratory, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, US Department of Commerce, Juneau, AK, 108 pp.

Orsi, J.A., M.V. Sturdevant, J.M. Murphy, D.G. Mortenson, and B.L. Wing. 2000. Seasonal habitat use and early marine ecology of juvenile Pacific salmon in Southeastern Alaska. North Pacific Anadromous Fish Committee Bulletin 2:111–122.

PICES (Pacific International Council for the Exploration of the Seas [North Pacific Marine Science Organization]). 2004. Marine Ecosystems of the North Pacific. PICES Special Publication 1, 280 pp.

Perry, I.R., and R.E. Ommer. 2003. Scale issues in marine ecosystems and human interactions. Fisheries Oceanography 12(4–5):513–522.

Peterson, W.T., and J.E. Keister. 2003. Interannual variability in copepod community composition at a coastal station in the northern California Current: A multivariate analysis. Deep-Sea Research Part II 50:2,499–2,517.

Powell, T.M. 2008. The rise of interdisciplinary oceanography. Oceanography 21(3):55–57. Available online at: http://tos.org/oceanography/issues/issue_archive/21_3.html (accessed September 19, 2009).

Smith, H.D. 2002. The role of the social sciences in capacity building in ocean and coastal management. Ocean & Coastal Management 45:573–582.

Stokes, D.E. 1997. Pasteur’s Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation. Brookings Institution Press, Washington, DC, 173 pp.

Tremblay, M.J., J.W. Loder, F.E. Werner, C.E. Naimie, F.H. Page, and M.M. Sinclair. 1994. Drift of sea scallop larvae Placopecten magellanicus on Georges Bank: A model study of the roles of mean advection, larval behaviour and larval origin. Deep-Sea Research Part II 41(1):7–49.

US GLOBEC. 1994. US GLOBEC Data Policy. US GLOBEC Report #10. Available online at: http://www.usglobec.org/reports/datapol/datapol.contents.html (accessed September 17, 2009).

US GLOBEC. 2007. Strategies for Pan-Regional Synthesis in US GLOBEC. US GLOBEC Report #21. Available online at: http://www.usglobec.org/reports/pdf/rep21.pdf (accessed September 17, 2009).

Valette-Silver, N.J., and D. Scavia. 2003. Ecological Forecasting: New Tools for Coastal and Ecosystem Management. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 1, 116 pp.

Copyright & Usage

This is an open access article made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format as long as users cite the materials appropriately, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate the changes that were made to the original content. Images, animations, videos, or other third-party material used in articles are included in the Creative Commons license unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If the material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission directly from the license holder to reproduce the material.