This year’s hot topics in ocean sciences are coral reefs and ocean acidification on the biological side, and sea level and ice shelves on the physics side, in the opinion of Stephen Griffies, new editor for Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems. Credit: USFWS/Jerry Reid (CC BY 2.0)

More than 4,000 attendees are expected in Portland, Oregon, for the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting, being held from Sunday 11 to Friday 16 February. Our AGU journals editors agree that the scientific program is packed with exciting sessions. Here are their top picks, grouped by primary topic. Each recommendation includes the session code (with a link to the details in the scientific program), the day, time and room. All rooms are located within the Oregon Convention Center. For more information see the full online program.

Air-Sea Interactions

  • Ocean Salinity and Its Role in Ocean Dynamics and the Water Cycle  (Meghan Cronin, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters) – Session I (AI11A) Monday 08:00-10:00,  Session II (AI12A) Monday 10:30-12:30, Session III (AI13A) Monday 14:00-16:00, all in Room B116; Posters (AI14A) Monday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall
  • Advances in Understanding Ocean Eddies and Their Interactions with the Atmosphere – (Meghan Cronin, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters) – Session (AI33A) Wednesday 14:00-16:00, Room B116; Posters (AI34A) Wednesday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall

Coastal Dynamics

  • The Inner Shelf: Opening the Black Box Connecting the Coastal Ocean and the Surf Zone – The inner part of the continental shelf that connects the wave-dominated surfzone to the larger scale coastal ocean is a complex place. This session focusses on the interaction and relative importance of the range of physical processes that drive inner shelf dynamics. (Ryan Mulligan, Associate Editor, JGR: Oceans) – Session I (CD11A) Monday, 08:00-10:00 and Session II (CD12A) Monday, 10:30-12:30, both in Oregon Ballroom 202; Posters (CD14C) Monday, 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall


  • Climate Impacts on Marine Fish, Fisheries, and Protected Species – (Stephen Griffies, Editor, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems) – Session I (F11A) Monday 08:00-10:00 and Session II (F12A) Monday 10:30-12:30, both in Room E141-E142; Posters (F14A) Monday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall

High Latitude Environments

I can recommend several high latitude sessions with very interesting topics that affect the biogeochemistry and ecology polar oceans that are undergoing remarkable changes (Miguel Goni, Editor-in-Chief, JGR: Biogeosciences)

  • Melting of Glaciers, Icebergs, Ice Shelves, and Coastal Permafrost and Impacts on Physical Properties and Biogeochemistry of the Ocean – Session I (HE11A) Monday 08:00-10:00 and Session II (HE12A) Monday 10:30-12:30, both in Room C123-C124; Posters (HE14B) Monday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall
  • The Distributed Biological Observatory: An Expanding Change Detection Array in the Marine Arctic – Session (HE12B) Monday 10:30-12:30, Room B110-B112; Posters (HE14C) Monday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall
  • Carbon Cycling in Arctic Ocean and Adjacent Marginal Seas Under a Changing Climate – Session (HE13A) Monday 14:00-16:00, Room C123-C124; Posters (HE14A) Monday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall
  • Toward Sustained Arctic and Antarctic Marine Observing Systems: High-Latitude in Situ Measurements and Sampling, Autonomous Platforms, Observing System Design, and Implementation – Poster Lightening (HE34C) Wednesday 16:00-16:15 Poster Hall Lightening Area; Posters (HE34C) Wednesday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall
  • The Role of Small-Scale Processes in the Dynamics of the Changing Arctic Ocean  Session I (HE31A) Wednesday 08:00-10:00 and Session II (HE33A) Wednesday 14:00-16:00, both in Room C123-C124; Posters (HE34B) Wednesday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall
  • Ice-Ocean Interactions and Circulation Around the Antarctic Margins – Posters (HE34A) Wednesday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall; Session II (HE41A) Thursday 08:00-10:00, Session III (HE42A) Thursday 10:30-12:30, Session IV (HE43A) Thursday 14:00-16:00, all in Room C123-C124
  • Linkages Between Environmental Drivers and Structure of Arctic Ecosystems – Posters (HE44A) Thursday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall; Session II (HE51A) Friday 08:00-10:00 and Session III (HE52A) Friday 10:30-12:30, both in Room C123-C124

Ocean Change: Acidification and Hypoxia

  • The Ocean Carbon Cycle Across Timescales – The ocean carbon cycle is a hot topic. Research presented in this session and the posters will present some of the important progress made in this field. (Toste Tanhua, Associate Editor, Geophysical Research Letters) – Session (OC23A) Tuesday 14:00-16:00, Oregon Ballroom 203; Posters (OC24B) Tuesday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall

Ocean Modeling

  • Ensemble Modeling Approaches in Physical and Biogeochemical Oceanography – This session will focus on large ensemble approaches that are now becoming standard tools to study natural variability of the climate system and the carbon cycle. Detection of natural versus anthropogenic variations has societal and political relevance. (Tatiana Ilyina, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters) – Session (OM42A) Thursday 10:30-12:30, Room B110-B112; Posters (OM44A) Thursday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall

Past, Present, and Future Climate

  • Causes of Contemporary Sea Level Variability and Change from Global to Coastal Scales – (Stephen Griffies, Editor, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems) – Session (PC13A) Monday 14:00-16:00, Oregon Ballroom 204; Posters (PC14A) Monday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall
  • The Ocean as a Mediator of Climate and Climate Change – (Kristopher Karnauskas, Editor, JGR: Oceans) – Session (PC23A) Tuesday 14:00-16:00, Oregon Ballroom 204; Posters (PC24B) Tuesday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall
  • El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Diversity, Predictability, and Impacts – (Kristopher Karnauskas, Editor, JGR: Oceans) – Session I (PC41A), Thursday 08:00-10:00, Session II (PC42A) Thursday 10:30-12:30, Session III (PC43A) Thursday 14:00-16:00, all in Oregon Ballroom 204; Posters (PC44B) Thursday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall

Physical Oceanography: Mesoscale and Larger

  • Multiscale Variability of Boundary Currents and Their Role in Climate and Ecosystems – The focus is on papers that discuss observational (in situ and remote) analysis, theoretical and model simulations that emphasize achievements in sustained boundary current monitoring, and so provide guidance for the development of a future effective and efficient monitoring networks. (Janet Sprintall, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters) – Posters (PL34B) Wednesday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall; Session II (PL42A) Thursday 10:30-12:30 and Session III (PL43A) Thursday 14:00-16:00, both in Room B117-B119
  • Western Pacific and Indonesian Sea Circulation and Its Environmental and Climatic Impacts – Western boundary currents in the Pacific are complex structures but play a vital role in distributing heat from the tropics toward the poles, influencing the climate in adjacent nations, as well as facilitating inter-basin exchanges via the Indonesian seas. Recent modelling and observational studies suggest significant changes have occurred in these systems that could have profound implications for this distribution of heat, freshwater and nutrients. (Janet Sprintall, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters) – Posters (PL44E) Thursday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall; Session (PL51A) Friday 08:00-10:00, Room B117-B119
  • Transient Eddies, Stationary Meanders, and Southern Ocean Circulation and Tracer Transport – No doubt we will all be running out of energy by Friday afternoon, but I recommend saving some resources for this session. The role of eddies and jets in controlling circulation in the Southern Ocean is a rapidly evolving field, and one where our capacity to model these flows are revealing the true complexity of the ocean system. This session promises to help us to rationalize some of this complexity. (Andy Hogg, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters and Meghan Cronin, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters) – Posters (PL44D) Thursday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall; Session (PL53C) Friday 14:00-16:00, Room B110-B112

Physical Oceanography: Mesoscale and Smaller

  • Recent Advancements in Stratified Turbulent Mixing – I plan to spend much of Tuesday learning about the latest in stratified turbulent mixing. At the last Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans there were a number of new and exciting talks questioning previously held assumptions about the constancy of turbulent mixing efficiency. This session has an outstanding list of presenters who will continue this theme, arguing for both sides of the debate. The question is unlikely to be resolved by the end of the conference but may lead to approaches that help us to answer this important question over the next few years. (Andy Hogg, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters) – Session I (PS21A) Tuesday 08:00-10:00 and Session II (PS23A) Tuesday 14:00-16:00, both in Room A107-A109; Posters (PS24A) Tuesday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall

Regional Studies

  • The Red Sea: A Laboratory for Ocean Processes in a Changing World – (Kristopher Karnauskas, Editor, JGR: Oceans) – Session I (RS21A) Tuesday 08:00-10:00, Room B117-B119; Posters (RS24A) Tuesday 16:00-18:00, Poster Hall

Author and Reviewer Workshops

  • Tips for a Successful Manuscript Submission – Learn how to successfully and efficiently get from the manuscript writing process to a published article in a peer-reviewed journal. Led by Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems (JAMES) Editor-in-Chief Robert Pincus and Limnology and Oceanography Letters Editor-in-Chief Patricia Soranno – Free workshop, Tuesday 12:45-13:45PM, Room B116
  • How to Write Effective Reviews (and Improve Your Own Manuscript) – Learning how to write effective reviews not only helps you as a peer reviewer, it can also help you understand how to improve your own manuscript and respond to reviewer comments. Join JGR: Biogeosciences Editor-in-Chief Miguel Goni and Limnology and Oceanography Deputy Editor-in-Chief Maggie Xenopoulos as they discuss what it takes to be a reviewer – Free workshop, Thursday 12:45-13:45PM, Room B116

—Jenny Lunn, Director of Publications, AGU; email:


Lunn, J. (2018), AGU editor picks for 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Eos, 99, Published on 06 February 2018.

Text © 2018. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Except where otherwise noted, images are subject to copyright. Any reuse without express permission from the copyright owner is prohibited.