Dr John Field awarded IOC-UNESCO medal
© UNESCO/Laisa Oliveira Lopes Dr. John Field receives the IOC N.K. Panikkar Memorial Medal for his lecture “From the Indian Ocean to the World Ocean and back in 50 years”.
Dr John Field, Emeritus Professor and Deputy Director of the Marine Research Institute (Ma-Re) at the University of Cape Town, has been awarded the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s (IOC-UNESCO) N.K. Panikkar Memorial Medal.
Dr Field delivered his memorial lecture on 17 June at the Ocean Science Day. Recent developments in ocean science were presented to the IOCs 147 Member States, networks and partners. The overall objective was to improve decision makers’ understanding and awareness of current challenges and emerging issues around ocean science and governance through lectures and panel discussions with eminent experts.
Presentations and debates focused on the linkages between ocean health and human wellbeing, the potential of the latest advancements in monitoring technology, current scientific challenges in the Artic and the legacy of the International India Ocean Expedition (IIOC) as well as the need to develop new ocean knowledge and technologies for the benefit of society.
Dr Field shared his experience on board cruise 7 of RV Anton Bruun during the first International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE) in the 1960s. The IIOE was one of the greatest international, interdisciplinary oceanographic research efforts. It was carried out from 1962 to 1965, with over 40 oceanographic research vessels participating under 14 different flags. It was a remarkable success, and began to illuminate the Indian Ocean’s far-reaching influences on surrounding regions and the globe in general through tele-connected ocean/climate processes.
Now, 50 years later, IOC-UNESCO is planning the second IIOE in partnership with the Scientific Committee for Oceanic Research (SCOR) and the Indian Ocean GOOS (IOGOOS), to take place from 2016 to 2020.
Dr. Field provided insights on the legacy of the first IIOE, and the fundamental changes that have revolutionized our understanding of the global ocean in the 50 years since then and exploring the potential of IIOE-2 in light of new technological advances.