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The 2 nd International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2): Motivating New Exploration in a Poorly Understood Basin

Article (PDF Available) inLimnology and Oceanography Bulletin 25(4):117-124 · November 2016
DOI: 10.1002/lob.10149
Edward Robert Urban at University of Delaware
  • 21.65
  • University of Delaware
Eric J. Raes at The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
  • 19.7
  • The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
117
article
november 2016
© 2016 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography
The 2nd International Indian
Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2):
Motivating New Exploration
in a Poorly Understood Basin
Raleigh R. Hood, Edward R. Urban, Michael J. McPhaden, Danielle Su, and Eric Raes
Overview
e Indian Ocean remains one of the most
poorly sampled and overlooked regions of the
world ocean. Today, more than 25% of the
world’s population lives in the Indian Ocean
region and the population of most Indian
Ocean rim nations is increasing rapidly. ese
increases in population are giving rise to mul-
tiple stressors in both coastal and open ocean
environments. Combined with warming and
acidification due to global climate change, these
regional stressors are resulting in loss of biodi-
versity in the Indian Ocean and also changes in
the phenology and biogeography of many spe-
cies. ese pressures have given rise to an urgent
need to understand and predict changes in the
Indian Ocean, but the measurements that are
needed to do this are still lacking. In response,
SCOR, IOC, and IOGOOS have stimulated a
second International Indian Ocean Expedition
(IIOE-2). An international Science Plan and
an Implementation Strategy for IIOE-2 have
been developed, the formulation of national
plans is well underway in several countries, and
new research initiatives are being motivated.
An Early-Career Scientist Network for Indian
Ocean Research has self-organized to support
the Expedition. e success of IIOE-2 will be
gauged not just by how much it advances our
understanding of the complex and dynamic
Indian Ocean system, but also by how it con-
tributes to sustainable development of marine
resources, environmental stewardship, ocean
and climate forecasting, and training of the next
generation of ocean scientists. We encourage
ASLO members to get involved.
IIOE and the Dawn of Modern Indian
Oceanography
e Scientific Committee on Ocean Research
(SCOR) and the Intergovernmental Oceano-
graphic Commission (IOC) identified more
than 50 yr ago that the Indian Ocean was one
of the least studied ocean basins. To address
this gap in knowledge, SCOR and IOC moti-
vated one of the greatest oceanographic expe-
ditions of all time, the International Indian
Ocean Expedition (IIOE). e IIOE was a
6-yr endeavor (1960–1965) that stimulated
new activities by about a dozen nations, in
which all areas of oceanography and meteor-
ology were studied across the basin (Fig. 1).
At the first meeting of the Special Commit-
tee on Oceanic Research (renamed “Scientific
Committee on Oceanic Research” some years
later) in 1957, participants recognized that the
International Geophysical Year (then in pro-
gress) was showing the benefits of an inten-
sive multinational focus on geoscience for a
limited time period. At the same time, SCOR
meeting participants identified that the Indian
Ocean, largely because of its remoteness from
most major oceanographic institutions, had
not been much studied and would benefit
most from a concerted international research
effort (Deacon 1957). In addition to the fun-
damental knowledge in science that could be
gained, it was recognized that human socie-
ties in the region would benefit from a better
understanding of how the annual monsoon
cycle worked and how it affected Indian Ocean
fisheries and weather in the region.
Planning for the IIOE began in 1957 and
the project officially continued through 1965,
118 november 2016
with 46 research vessels participating under 14
different national flags (e.g., Fig. 1). e IIOE
project office, located in New York City from
1959 through mid-1962, was funded by NSF
through the U.S. National Academy of Sci-
ences (NAS) and was overseen by the NAS
Committee on Oceanography (one of the pre-
decessors of the current Ocean Studies Board
of the National Research Council). IIOE
became the first project of the IOC, which
assumed management responsibilities for the
project in mid-1962. Berhman (1981) provides
a good summary of the outcomes of the IIOE.
e IIOE provided much of the scientific
foundation for our modern understanding of
the Indian Ocean. Six hundred fifty-six peer-
reviewed publications are recorded in the
8-volume compilation of peer-reviewed pub-
lications from the IIOE (see http://scor-int.
org/IIOE-1/Reprints.htm). Besides the crea-
tion of peer-reviewed research papers, atlases,
and various books (e.g., Zeitzchel 1971) were
produced to document the outcomes of the
project. e IIOE led to the publication of the
first oceanographic atlas of the basin (Wyrtki
et al. 1971) and a detailed map of the Indian
Ocean bathymetry (Heezen and arp 1966).
It also revealed the existence of a transient
equatorial undercurrent in the Indian Ocean
analogous to the permanent undercurrents in
the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Knauss and
Taft 1964), and it contributed to the realiza-
tion that old, grid-like traverses of the ocean
need to be complimented with phenomena-
based experiment design (Stommel 1963).
e planners of the IIOE recognized the
importance of standardization and inter-
calibration: an Indian Ocean Standard Net
(IOSN) was adopted for plankton hauls
(Currie 1963) and intercalibration exercises
were carried out for biological and chemical
parameters (see http://scor-int.org/IIOE-1/
Intercalibration.htm). e Indian Ocean
Biological Centre was established at Cochin,
India to process the biological samples col-
lected with the IOSN. e United States
invested substantial resources in studying the
biology of the Indian Ocean. In addition to
collecting samples with the IOSN from U.S.
vessels, the United States formed the U.S.
Program for Biology during the IIOE, which
was mostly carried out by the Anton Bruun
(see http://scor-int.org/IIOE-1/Cruise_
Reports.htm for cruise reports and http://
scilib.ucsd.edu/sio/archives/collections/
moving/caljsioa_mov0050278.mp4 for a film
about the work of the Anton Bruun). In addi-
tion, Stanford University sent the Te Vega with
a scientific crew of graduate students to study
the deep scattering layers of the Indian Ocean
(Pearse et al. 2016). Finally, marine biology
was the focus of the two land-based camps
that were part of the IIOE, at Nosy Bé in
Madagascar and Mandapam Camp in India.
Subsequent research over the last 50 yr that
has built on work of the IIOE include, for exam-
ple, the Indian Ocean Experiment (INDEX
1979), which investigated the physical response
of the Somali Current in the Arabian Sea to the
summer monsoon, and the Deep Sea Drilling
Project (1968–1983), which crossed the entire
Indian Ocean to collect information on mineral
resources of the continental shelves and the
deep ocean floor. e next cycle of coordinated
investigations began with India’s National Insti-
tute of Oceanography studies of the dynamics
of the northern Indian Ocean coastal currents
(1987–1994, supported by India’s Council
for Scientific and Industrial Research), which
overlapped with the Netherlands Indian Ocean
Program (NIOP, 1992–1993). e NIOP
formed part of the international Joint Global
Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) Arabian Sea
Expedition (See Deep-Sea Research II, vol-
umes 45–49). ese investigations during the
1990s focused on the biogeochemical dynam-
ics of the central and eastern Arabian Sea and
also included paleoceanographic research. At
the same time, the World Ocean Circulation
Experiment (WOCE; Siedler et al. 2001)
had a much wider geographical coverage, with
zonal and meridional sections criss-crossing
the entire Indian Ocean basin. e Tropical
Ocean-Global Atmosphere (TOGA) program,
spanning 1985–1994, established the rudi-
ments of a sustained ocean observing system
for climate in the Indian Ocean (McPhaden
et al. 1998) and together with WOCE, laid
the groundwork for the ongoing International
Climate and Ocean: Variability, Predictability
and Change (CLIVAR) program that began in
1998 (http://www.clivar.org).
Scientific Advances of the 21st
Century and Challenges in the
Indian Ocean
Ocean science has changed in many ways since
the completion of the IIOE. e first satellite
(Sputnik) was launched the same year that
SCOR began developing the idea of the IIOE.
Today, a broad suite of oceanographic and
meteorological sensors are deployed on Earth-
observing satellites to observe ocean color, sea
surface temperature, salinity, height, and wind.
ese satellite observations have dramatically
FIG. 1. Top Left: Logo and field instrument case from the IIOE (courtesy of MBLWHOI library). Top right: Map of
the Indian Ocean showing the cruise tracks of research vessels during the International Indian Ocean Expedi-
tion (from Behrman 1981). Bottom: Three oceanographic research vessels that participated in the IIOE, from
Germany (Meteor II, left), the United States (Atlantis II, middle, Photo by Jan Hahn©Woods Hole Oceano-
graphic Institution) and the UK (Discovery, right, from http://www.oceanswormley.org/index.html).
119
november 2016
improved the characterization of the physical
and biological variability of the ocean surface,
and the atmospheric forcing of that variability.
In addition to observations from space, a global
ocean observing system has been deployed.
Especially important components in the Indian
Ocean have been Argo floats, repeat hydrogra-
phy (currently through GO-SHIP; http://
www.go-ship.org/), and the Research Moored
Array for African-Asian-Australian Monsoon
Analysis and Prediction (RAMA, Fig. 2), and
the tsunami detection network. Ocean mod-
eling and improvements in computing and
communication technology have made it pos-
sible to analyze and share data quickly and use
it for predictions from seasonal to decadal time
scales. e new measurement technologies and
the field programs and observing systems using
this technology provide the capacity for a much
more integrated picture of the Indian Ocean
variability. We can now study how the ocean
changes across a wide range of space and time
scales, and how these fluctuations are coupled
to the atmosphere.
However, despite all these advances,
the Indian Ocean remains one of the most
poorly sampled and overlooked regions of
the world ocean, with significant gaps in the
observing system for this basin. As a result,
many important scientific questions have not
been answered (see IIOE-2 Science below).
In addition, many pressing questions have
emerged since the IIOE that are societally
relevant. Today, more than 25% of the world’s
population lives in the Indian Ocean region
(Alexander et al. 2012) and the population of
most Indian Ocean rim nations is increasing
rapidly. ese increases in population are giv-
ing rise to multiple stressors in both coastal
and open ocean environments, which include
eutrophication, depletion of fresh groundwa-
ter, deoxygenation, atmospheric and plastic
pollution, and overfishing. Combined with
warming and acidification due to global cli-
mate change, these regional stressors are
resulting in loss of biodiversity in the Indian
Ocean and also changes in the phenology and
biogeography of many species.
In addition, the impacts of climate change are
a growing concern in the Indian Ocean. Rising
sea level threatens to inundate the world’s most
heavily populated, low-lying areas in the Bay of
Bengal (Fig. 3). e very existence of some island
nations and coastal deltas is threatened in the
Indian Ocean. e severity of extreme events in
the Indian Ocean is projected to increase, which
includes increases in droughts and flooding, and
the intensity of tropical cyclones and their asso-
ciated rainfall. ese projections, along with the
high exposure and vulnerability of many popula-
tions, suggest that negative human impacts from
extreme events will dramatically increase for
nations in and around the Indian Ocean in the
coming decades.
ere are also increasing concerns about
food security and fisheries, and direct anthro-
pogenic impacts on Indian Ocean coastal
environments. Of particular concern is the
declining state of both artisanal and industrial
fisheries in Indian Ocean rim nations, which
represent some of the world’s least developed
countries where inhabitants are dependent
on fisheries for food and employment. Direct
anthropogenic impacts on coastal environ-
ments, which include coastal erosion, loss of
mangroves, and degradation of coral reefs,
have led to a pressing need for ecosystem pres-
ervation in the Indian Ocean to protect both
fisheries and tourism.
ese increased human-environmental
pressures and global climate change have
given rise to an urgent need to understand and
predict changes in the Indian Ocean, but the
measurements that are needed to do this are
FIG. 2. The integrated observing system, with basin-scale observations by moorings, Argo floats, XBT lines,
surfacedrifters and tide-gauges; as well as boundary arrays to observe boundary currents off Africa, in the Ara-
bian Sea (ASEA) and Bay of Bengal (BOB), the Indonesian Throughflow (ITF), off Australia and deep equatorial
currents. Also included are past and ongoing research programs like the Monsoon Onset Monitoring and Its
Social & Ecosystem Impacts (MOMSEI) program and the Cooperative Indian Ocean Experiment on Intraseasonal
Variability (CINDY/DYNAMO); as well as long term regional programs and observing systems such as the Indo-
nesian GOOS (InaGOOS), Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), the Coastal Oceans Research
and Development – Indian Ocean (CORDIO) program, the Indian-Atlantic Exchange in present and past climate
(INATEX) program, the Agulhas Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystem (ASCLME) program, the Bay of Bengal
Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) program (not shown) and the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Program (ACEP).
Figure provided by Yukio Matsumoto, Univ. of Tokyo.
120 november 2016
still lacking. Hence, there is a need for a sec-
ond International Indian Ocean Expedition.
In response, SCOR, IOC and the Indian
Ocean Global Ocean Observing System
(IOGOOS) have stimulated a new phase of
coordinated international research focused on
the Indian Ocean for a 5-yr period that began
in late 2015 and will continue through 2020 and
perhaps beyond. e goal is to organize ongoing
research and stimulate new initiatives as part of
a larger expedition in this time frame. Interna-
tional programs that have ongoing or planned
research in the Indian Ocean during this time
include the Sustained Indian Ocean Biogeo-
chemistry and Ecosystem Research (SIBER)
program of the Integrated Marine Biogeochem-
istry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) project,
the CLIVAR project, the Indian Ocean compo-
nent of the Global Ocean Observing System
(IOGOOS), GEOTRACES (a global survey
of trace elements and isotopes in the ocean),
the Global Ocean Ship-Based Hydrographic
Investigations Program (GO-SHIP), the Inter-
national Ocean Discovery Program (IODP),
and others. Many countries, including Aus-
tralia, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan,
Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United
States, are planning cruises and other activities
in this time frame, and new regional research
programs in the Indian Ocean are under devel-
opment. ese national cruises and programs
are serving as a foundation for this new Indian
Ocean research focus: the IIOE-2.
IIOE-2 Science
A Science Plan for IIOE-2 (Hood et al. 2015)
was developed with the sponsorship of SCOR.
e plan was completed in May 2015 and it
was formally adopted by IOC as the essential
underpinning science framework for IIOE-2
at the IOC General Assembly in June 2015
(available at: http://www.iioe-2.incois.gov.in).
e plan builds upon concepts and strat-
egies formulated and discussed at four IOC-
sponsored planning meetings (in Hyderabad,
India; Qingdao, China; Mauritius; and Bang-
kok, ailand), a SCOR-sponsored work-
shop in Bremen, Germany, and also national
planning efforts in India, Australia, Germany,
the United States, and the United Kingdom.
ese meetings included scientists from Indian
Ocean rim nations, eastern Asia, Europe, and
North America.
e overarching goal of IIOE-2 is to
advance our understanding of interactions
between geologic, oceanic, and atmospheric
processes that give rise to the complex physi-
cal dynamics of the Indian Ocean region,
and determine how those dynamics affect cli-
mate, extreme events, marine biogeochemical
cycles, ecosystems, and human populations.
is understanding is required to predict
the impacts of climate change, pollution, and
increased fish harvesting on the Indian Ocean
and its surrounding nations, as well as the
influence of the Indian Ocean on other compo-
nents of the Earth System. New understanding
is also fundamental to policy makers for the
development of sustainable coastal zone, eco-
system, and fisheries management strategies
for the Indian Ocean. Other goals of IIOE-2
FIG. 3. (top) Flooded villages and fields around a river in Bangladesh the day after the 1991 Bangladesh
cyclone had struck the country. Image from the Defense Visual Information Center, ID number DFST9206136
(Author: Staff Sergeant Val Gempis (USAF), https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki File:Flooding_after_1991_cy-
clone.jpg (Bottom) Bangladesh: Population Density and Low Elevation Coastal Zones, created by McGranahan,
G., Balk, D. and Anderson, B. This work is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5
License. https://www.flickr.com/photos/54545503@N04/5457306385
121
november 2016
include helping to build research capacity
and improving availability and accessibility of
oceanographic data from the region.
e IIOE-2 Science Plan is structured
around six scientific themes (see Table 1).
Each of these include a set of questions that
need to be addressed in order to improve our
understanding of the physical forcing that
drives variability in marine biogeochemical
cycles, ecosystems and fisheries in the Indian
Ocean, and to develop the capacity to predict
how this variability will impact human popu-
lations in the future. It is also important to
emphasize that most of these questions are
relevant to open-ocean, coastal, and marginal
sea environments.
e IIOE-2 Science Plan is very broad. It
includes geologic, atmospheric, and oceano-
graphic research that extends from coastal
environments to the deep ocean and trophic
levels ranging from bacteria and phytoplank-
ton to top predators and humans. e IIOE-2
Science Plan articulates many important sci-
entific questions that should be considered as
potential research foci for national and inter-
national studies in the Indian Ocean, while
also acknowledging that many Indian Ocean
rim countries that want to pursue research
as part of IIOE-2 are primarily concerned
with their own coastal and regional interests.
e plan anticipates that national science and
implementation plans will focus on specific
aspects of the international plan. Indeed, the
development of national plans is well under-
way in India, the United States and Australia,
and Germany’s national plan has been com-
pleted (Bange et al. 2016).
IIOE-2 Research Initiatives
In addition to coordinating ongoing research
and motivating international participation,
the IIOE-2 is working to initiate new research
projects and programs that are designed to
address the core IIOE-2 research themes. For
example, international planning is underway
to initiate upwelling-focused research initia-
tives in both the eastern and western Indian
Ocean: the Eastern Indian Ocean Upwelling
Research Initiative (EIOURI, see Yu et
al. 2015) and the Western Indian Ocean
Upwelling Research Initiative (WIOURI).
ese new initiatives are aligned with CLI-
VAR’s interdisciplinary upwelling research
theme and they are focused on understand-
ing the forces that drive upwelling variability
in the Indian Ocean and the resulting biogeo-
chemical and ecological responses.
IIOE-2 Implementation
An Implementation Strategy for IIOE-2
(IPC 2015) was developed with the sponsor-
ship of IOC. e Strategy was completed in
November 2015 in response to a request from
that year’s IOC Assembly meeting, and pre-
sented to the IOC Executive Council in June
2016 as the essential underpinning imple-
mentation framework for IIOE-2 (available
at: http://www.iioe-2.incois.gov.in).
e implementation strategy was devel-
oped by an Interim Planning Committee”
that was established by IOC in September
2014. It builds upon 4 yrs of consultations,
planning, and institutional advocacy that
were undertaken for the IIOE-2, which
includes a vast amount of material derived
from the previously mentioned IOC and
SCOR planning workshops and also joint
IOGOOS, SIBER, and CLIVAR/GOOS
Indian Ocean Panel (IOP) meetings (avail-
able at www.iocperth.org).
is document is designed to provide a
guiding strategy rather than a detailed opera-
tional procedure for IIOE-2. Full operational
details are being developed by a Steering
Committee that has been established to guide
the Expedition. is Implementation Strategy
TABLE 1. IIOE-2 research themes.
eme 1: Human impacts How are human-induced ocean stressors impacting the biogeochemistry and ecology of the Indian Ocean?
How, in turn, are these impacts affecting human populations?
eme 2: Boundary current
dynamics, upwelling variabil-
ity, and ecosystem impacts
How are marine biogeochemical cycles, ecosystem processes, and fisheries in the Indian Ocean influenced
by boundary currents, eddies, and upwelling? How does the interaction between local and remote forcing
influence these currents and upwelling variability in the Indian Ocean? How have these processes and their
influence on local weather and climate changed in the past and how will they change in the future?
eme 3: Monsoon variability
and ecosystem response
What factors control present, past, and future monsoon variability? How does this variability impact ocean
physics, chemistry, and biogeochemistry in the Indian Ocean? What are the effects on ecosystems, fisheries,
and human populations?
eme 4: Circulation, climate
variability, and change
How has the atmospheric and oceanic circulation of the Indian Ocean changed in the past and how will it
change in the future? How do these changes relate to topography and connectivity with the Pacific, Atlantic,
and Southern oceans? What impact does this have on biological productivity and fisheries?
eme 5: Extreme events and
their impacts on ecosystems
and human populations
How do extreme events in the Indian Ocean impact coastal and open-ocean ecosystems? How will cli-
mate change impact the frequency and/or severity of extreme weather and oceanic events, such as tropical
cyclones and tsunamis in the Indian Ocean? What are the threats of extreme weather events, volcanic erup-
tions, tsunamis, combined with sea level rise, to human populations in low-lying coastal zones and small
island nations of the Indian Ocean region?
eme 6: Unique geologi-
cal, physical, biogeochemical,
and ecological features of the
Indian Ocean
What processes control the present, past, and future carbon and oxygen dynamics of the Indian Ocean and
how do they impact biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem dynamics? How do the physical characteristics
of the southern Indian Ocean gyre system influence the biogeochemistry and ecology of the Indian Ocean?
How do the complex tectonic and geologic processes, and topography of the Indian Ocean influence circula-
tion, mixing and chemistry and therefore also biogeochemical and ecological processes?
122 november 2016
therefore focuses on providing motivations
and related objectives with associated recom-
mended actions in response to the major ele-
ments of the IIOE-2 Science Plan. e major
sections of the Implementation Strategy cover
governance and the structure of the IIOE-2
Steering Committee, which is currently being
formed, and also the formation of a Joint Pro-
ject Office, which has already been established
with nodes in Australia and India.
e Implementation Strategy places a
strong emphasis on ensuring that the IIOE-2 is
efficiently administered and resourced. Priority
is also given to ensuring proper data and infor-
mation management. Another key aspiration is
to leave a lasting legacy throughout the Indian
Ocean region, as did the original IIOE. is
will be accomplished by establishing the basis
for improved scientific knowledge transfer to
wider segments of society and regional govern-
ments, and through the creation of educational
and capacity development opportunities that
target regional and early career scientists.
Because the funding for IIOE-2 research
and societal applications is being generated
within each participating country, the pre-
ferred model is for each country to have an
IIOE-2 national committee with a chair-
person who is the point of contact for the
IIOE-2 Steering Committee and the IPO
framework. In most countries national com-
mittees already exist for SCOR and for IOC.
National IIOE-2 committees have already
been established in India, Australia, Germany,
and the United States. ese committees are
self-sustaining, but also adhere to principles
set by the sponsors of the IIOE-2 (IOC,
SCOR, and IOGOOS).
The Goa 50th Anniversary Symposium
and Official Launch of IIOE-2
An International Symposium was convened
at NIO from 30 November to 04 December
2015 to celebrate the 50-yr anniversary of the
completion of the IIOE and also the Golden
Jubilee of India’s National Institute of Ocean-
ography (NIO), (Fig. 4). e symposium,
co-sponsored by NIO, SCOR, and IOC,
provided a forum for scientists from around
the world to present results from their latest
research in the Indian Ocean and plan IIOE-2
research to address outstanding issues identi-
fied in the IIOE-2 Science Plan. e Sympo-
sium consisted of keynote addresses, along
with invited and contributed talks on all
aspects of Indian Ocean oceanography and
related climate science.
e Symposium also officially launched the
IIOE-2. e first cruise of IIOE-2 departed
from the port of Goa, India on 05 December
2015 on board ORV Sagar Nidhi after the
concluding session of the Symposium. e
primary objective of this expedition (which
was sponsored by India’s Earth System Science
Organization, the Ministry of Earth Sciences,
and the Government of India) was to sample
a hydrographic section along 67°E that was
occupied during IIOE (Fig. 5). e cruise con-
cluded at Port Louis, Mauritius on 24 Decem-
ber 2015.
Engagement of Early Career Scientists
A workshop was also convened at the Goa
Symposium that provided an opportunity
for early-career scientists to put forward their
ideas about important research topics that
IIOE-2 should consider, and also strategies
for developing research expertise and capacity,
especially in Indian Ocean rim nations (Fig. 6).
Around 50 early career scientists from around
FIG. 4. Photo from the concluding ceremonies of the International Symposium that was convened at the Na-
tional Institute of Oceanography in Goa, India, from 30 November 2015 to 04 December 2015. This Symposium
was also the official launch celebration for the IIOE-2.
FIG. 5. The first expedition of IIOE-2 departed from the port of Goa, India on 05 December 2015 on board
ORV Sagar Nidhi (left panel) after the concluding session of the Symposium. The primary objective of this
expedition was to sample a hydrographic section along 67°E (right panel). The photo of the Sagar Nidhi was
contributed by R. Hood and the map of the cruise track was provided by S. Prakash and S. Shenoi.
123
november 2016
the world participated. eir discussions led
to the formulation of a set of core research
areas, which were deemed of particular inter-
est to the group. ese included anthropo-
genic stressors, biology/biogeochemistry
(including corals, plankton, fisheries, and the
benthos), physical oceanography and marine
geology and geophysics.
is diverse group of young scientists have
subsequently self-organized into an Early-
Career Scientist Network for Indian Ocean
Research (IIOE-2 ECSN) whose aims are to
communicate recommendations for priority
research in the Indian Ocean to the IIOE-2
leadership and further establish and strengthen
new collaborations within the group. It was
also agreed that these recommendations for
priority research should be compiled and pub-
lished in the form of a formal report, plan or
paper (see Ansari et al. 2016).
Since the Goa symposium, ECSN mem-
bers have established and maintained an active
and enthusiastic communication network with
young leaders emerging to continue the devel-
opment of research priorities for each of the
aforementioned core areas. ese individuals
have been tasked to coordinate and compile
recommendations from their respective group
members. Based upon these efforts, the IIOE-2
ECSN has drafted a set of recommendations
to IIOE-2 which stress, among other things,
the need for integrated ocean process studies
that include modeling to address issues like
deoxygenation, apparent increases in jellyfish
blooms, transport, accumulation and impacts
of marine debris, and the need for the develop-
ment of an IIOE-2 data portal.
e next stage of development for the
IIOE-2 ECSN is the creation of a dedicated
website to feature ongoing research activities
by members in the Indian Ocean research
community as well as a discussion forum.
Legacy
e IIOE-2 Science Plan and Implementa-
tion Strategy set forth ambitious goals for
the project with an emphasis on creating a
lasting legacy: “e motivation, coordination
and integration of Indian Ocean research
through IIOE-2 will advance knowledge,
increase scientific capacity, and enable inter-
national collaboration in an under-sampled,
poorly understood, yet important region.
IIOE-2 will promote awareness of the signif-
icance of Indian Ocean processes and enable
a major contribution to their understanding,
including the impact of Indian Ocean vari-
ability and change on regional ecosystems,
human populations, and global climate. e
legacy of IIOE-2 will be to establish a firmer
foundation of knowledge on which future
research can build and on which policy mak-
ers can make better-informed decisions for
sustainable management of Indian Ocean
ecosystems and mitigation of risk to Indian
Ocean rim populations. IIOE-2 will leverage
and strengthen SCOR, IOC, and IOGOOS
by promoting coordinated international,
multidisciplinary research among both
developed and developing nations, hence
increasing scientific capacity and infrastruc-
ture within the Indian Ocean rim and neigh-
boring nations.
e success of IIOE-2 will be gauged not
just by how much it advances our under-
standing of the complex and dynamic Indian
Ocean system, but also by how it contrib-
utes to sustainable development of marine
resources, environmental stewardship, ocean
and climate forecasting, and training of the
next generation of ocean scientists from the
region. If this vision of success is realized,
IIOE-2 will leave a legacy at least as rich as
the original expedition.
We encourage ASLO members to get
involved in IIOE-2 to ensure that the major
questions related to biological oceanography
in the Indian Ocean that are articulated in the
Science Plan are addressed.
Acknowledgments
e development of this article was supported
by SCOR through the IMBER project and its
regional program SIBER (NSF Grant OCE-
1243377 to SCOR). e authors would
like to acknowledge the contributions of
N. D’Adamo and the IOC (through its
regional office in Perth, Western Australia) to
the IIOE-2 planning process.
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