Message from the Executive Director - Feb 2023

Message from the Executive Director

Dear MTS Members,

Happy new year from the MTS headquarters team! This year has started off with a flurry of energy in the MTS community. There is a buzz around the MTS ecosystem that is making itself apparent in growing ways, and I'm delighted to share with you a few ways I've noticed this excitement materializing recently.

At top of mind is the palpable energy on the floor of Oceanology International Americas in San Diego earlier this month. MTS was called upon to spearhead the curation of a robust technical program woven throughout the week. Justin Manley, MTS President, and I were both honored to convene and moderate a collection of session tracks featuring panelists from Ocean Visions, NOAA, Shell and more; spanning topics from naval oceanography to offshore renewable energy. Oi Americas boasted a strong display of new technologies, creative partnerships, and product launches - a truly fun way to connect and catch up with many of our corporate partners and individual members.

Of particular interest in MTS's growing momentum in international spheres. Between Floating Wind Solutions in Houston last month and Oi Americas, MTS has engaged in new and fruitful conversations with representatives from Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and other global markets. Adding to MTS's international impact, I'll note our newly-chartered Halifax Section (with other Canada-based Sections closely on their heels - stay tuned!). You'll also read in this month's Currents about a celebratory visit to MTS's highly regarded India Section by MTS Immediate Past President, Zdenka Willis. It is exciting to see the MTS community being sought after - and called upon - as a pacesetter in new and far-reaching ways across the globe.

As we continue to move forward, it is important to step back and appreciate where we have been; holding reverence for what we have collectively accomplished. In last month's Message from the President, you heard from Justin about Dr. Alfredo Giron-Nava's leadership as the first-ever MTS VP of Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs). I'd like to echo Justin's sentiments of recognition and gratitude for Alfredo's leadership in this role. Be sure to catch Alfredo's message in this month's Currents.

Building on the momentum ignited by Alfredo's vision, there is much more on the horizon. MTS will forge ahead with its burgeoning ECOP presence, inviting and seeking out more early career (and new-to-this-career) voices to the table. To guide the way, we are fortunate to be well equipped with: innovative insights from newly-appointed VP of ECOPs, Katharine Weathers; engagement of MTS's ECOPs Section, led by Joshua Baghdady; and a highly successful inaugural year of the EMERGE Program under our belt. In the coming months, you'll see an expansion of MTS programmatic offerings to our ECOP and student communities, including Career Accelerator initiatives to identify, cultivate, and empower the up-and-coming difference-makers in our field.

As the ocean exploration, coastal observing, and offshore energy sectors continue to seek skilled and passionate team members, the need to prepare the next generation(s) of champions - around the globe - is mission critical. In the worlds of MTS and MATE, we are striving to address this need in creative and collaborative ways - and I always welcome your ideas on how we can continue to do so; widening the circle as we go.

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