Nobel Conference 48Our Global Ocean
Oct. 2 & 3, 2012

The oceans have long been a source of fascination, from the tales of Sinbad to the popular Blue Planet documentary. The marine world provides us with necessities like seafood and medicines, fertilizers and petroleum. But the oceans are also associated with danger, from the devastating hurricanes we face each year to the under-reported facts of the oceans’ roles in climate change. Nobel Conference 48 examines “Our Global Ocean” as a source of inspiration, danger, and knowledge.

Today, we know less about our own oceans than we do about the surfaces of other planets hundreds of millions of miles away. It’s time to take a new look at our oceans by gathering some of the top researchers in biogeochemistry, oceanography, deep-sea biology, molecular genetics, and coral ecology to speak about their research and our roles regarding the ocean. Through the lectures of these leading marine scientists, we hope to ignite thought and conversation about the interconnected bodies of water that play a crucial role in the development of human life and culture.

Since the dawn of civilization on Earth, humans have relied on the shallow ocean for food, transportation, and recreation—and as a place to dump our waste. The deep ocean has long been a world of mystery and fear, but recent discoveries from the depths have also kindled wonder and amazement. How do the deep and shallow regions of the ocean interact? How does the ocean as a whole interact with the atmosphere, and how will changes in these two major parts of the planetary system affect us and future generations? Just how interconnected is life in the terrestrial realm with life in the ocean, and how have these relationships evolved? We will explore both the intricate complexity and the unifying mechanisms in the oceans to identify paths for future exploration.

We invite you to visit these Web pages for periodic updates, schedules, speaker biographies, and informative links. In person or electronically, we hope that you can join in the conversation at Nobel Conference 48, “Our Global Ocean.”


Barbara Block, Ph.D.
Charles & Elizabeth Prothro Professor in Marine Sciences and co-director, Tuna Research and Conservation Center, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, Calif.
David Gallo, Ph.D.
Director of special projects, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Mass.
Kathleen Dean Moore, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and founding director, Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word, Oregon State University, Corvallis
Carl Safina, Ph.D.
President, Blue Ocean Institute, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.
William Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut, Groton
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Ph.D.
Professor of marine studies and director, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, St. Lucia Campus, Brisbane, Australia
Christopher Sabine, Ph.D.
Director, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, Wash., and senior fellow at the University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean
Maya Tolstoy, Ph.D.
Associate professor, marine geology and geophysics, and research scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, N.Y.