Ireland-SIDS Fellows Programme Applications are Now Open

Ireland’s Strategy for Partnership with Small Island Developing States (SIDS) makes the commitment to establish an annual number of awards to SIDS professionals for postgraduate study in Irish higher education institutions in courses relevant to addressing climate change and its associated challenges.

Ireland is offering three new Fellowships to Small Island Developing States in each of the Pacific and Caribbean regions, for Masters level studies in Ireland in the academic year 2020/2021

Applications close January 31, 2020. Apply here!

Countries include:

Caribbean Region: Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname.

Pacific Region: Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

In addition, applications will open for the following African SIDS in Spring 2020: Cabo Verde, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives, Mauritius, Sao Tomé and Príncipe.

The aims of the Programme are to nurture future SIDS leaders, women and men; to develop in-country capacity to address climate change and its associated challenges; and to build positive relationships between Ireland and SIDS. On return home, graduates are expected to bring their acquired skills to contribute to capacity building in their home countries.  It is also envisaged that they will contribute to building enduring positive personal and professional relationships with Ireland, promoting institutional linkages.

The Programme enables early to mid-career professional women and men, with leadership potential, to benefit from a prestigious, world-class, quality education contributing to capacity building. It offers selected students the opportunity to undertake a fully-funded one-year Masters level programme at a higher education institution (HEI) in Ireland. The award covers course fees, flights, accommodation and living costs. Eligible Masters level courses in Ireland commence in August or September each year and, depending on the course, will run for between 10 and 16 months. The Programme promotes equal opportunity and welcomes diversity.


Learn more about Ireland’s Fellowship Programme here

New logo for GEO Blue Planet!

GEO Blue Planet worked with the GEO Secretariat to make a new logo for our organization. We’re excited to unveil it here! For an image file to replace and prior logos, please see in our basecamp folder.

Plastics Data Challenge Applications Open!

The Plastics Data Challenge is a global innovation challenge that will source, support, and scale innovative solutions that address the leakage of plastic waste into the environment.

The challenge invites all innovators worldwide (including academic institutions, startups, companies, and data scientists) to submit their innovative data solutions that advance plastic waste management and the circular economy in South and Southeast Asia. Participants have the chance to win up to $10,000 USD, a trip to Singapore for a one-week Innovation Summit, technical support and the opportunity to pilot their innovation in the region! Applications close 13 March 2020.


Learn More and Apply Here


Save the Date for “Our Coastal Futures” Conference 2020

We are very excited to invite you to save the date for Our Coastal Futures – the next Future Earth Coasts Open Science Conference, which will take place 19-22 October 2020 (with provisions for workshops until October 24) at Southern Cross University, Gold Coast, Australia.

The conference is organised around interdisciplinary themes and seeks contributions from sciences, arts and humanities, policy and governance and has a strong emphasis on the contribution of Indigenous Knowledge.

Our Coastal Futures will be a transdisciplinary, multi-format international conference to share and generate knowledge and enable effective action.


Call for contributions is now open. We are seeking expressions of interest from diverse fields, geographies and people for the following presentation formats:

  • Workshops
  • Panels
  • Virtual Engagement
  • Artistic Expressions
  • Youth Event
  • Yarning (Talking) Circle
  • Other Contributions

Please visit the website for further information on the formats and the submission form.  Contributions close on the 6th January 2020. 

Abstract submissions for oral presentations and posters will open on the 3rd February 2020.  Further information will be released at the time of opening


This event is hosted by Future Earth Coasts, Future Earth Australia, Australian Academy of Sciences and Southern Cross University and supported by the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Copernicus Marine Service Training Workshop for the European North-West Shelf Seas.

The workshop help in Galway, Ireland, on December 12-13 2019 aims at training current and potential users of the Copernicus Marine Services ocean products for the European North West shelf. We anticipate users from various fields including aquaculture, fisheries and marine energy.

By the end of this training event you will be able to:

  • Describe the potential value of using Copernicus marine products
  • Identify relevant Copernicus marine products that would be appropriate for you to use.
  • Navigate the Copernicus marine product catalogue.
  • Confidently use appropriate tools and products from the catalogue.
  • Input into the future design and development of Copernicus marine service tools and products


Registration and additional information can be found at this link!



Marine Debris Indicators: What’s Next?

Register for the free workshop here! 

IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society is hosting a workshop in Brest, France this upcoming 16-18 December, 2019! This workshop is a follow-up of last year Brest meeting on “Technologies for observing and monitoring plastics in the oceans” and the theme for this year will be dedicated to “Marine Debris Indicators: What’s Next?”

The objective for this conference is to assess the potential observation and monitoring platforms for marine debris and plastics. The conference will propose a refined road map and recommendations to major institutions and funding agencies for future technology initiatives. 

Click here to find more information on the meeting as well as the program!

The organizing committee:

René Garello (IEEE OES / IMT Atlantique)
Hans-Peter Plag (IEEE OES / ODU)
Christophe Maes (LOPS/IRD/IUEM)
Anouck Hubert (ALLOHa, IMT Atlantique)
Jay Pearlman (IEEE OES / FourBridges)

‘Ocean Observing for Societal Benefit’ supplemental issue published!

GEO Blue Planet is excited to announce the Journal of Operational Oceanography Supplemental Issue titled “Ocean Observing for Societal Benefit” has been published!

The article “An introduction to the ‘Ocean and Society: Blue Planet initiative,” is featured in the issue and co-authored by a number of GEO Blue Planet Members: Emily A. Smail, Paul M. DiGiacomo, Sophie Seeyave, Samy Djavidnia, Louis Celliers, Pierre-Yves Le Traon, Jeremy Gault, Elva Escobar-Briones, Hans-Peter Plag, Christine Pequignet, Lenore Bajona, Li Zhang, Jay Pearlman, Andy Steven, Jonathan Hodge, Marie-Fanny Racault, Curt Storlazzi, William Skirving, Ron Hoeke, John Marra, Ap van Dongeren, Frank Muller-Karger, Douglas Cripe & Daniel Takaki.


Workshop on Coastal Climate and Earth Observation Services for Small Island States

As a part of the ERA4CS funded INNOVA Project, the workshop will be held on 13-15 November 2019 in Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, French West-Indies at the Memorial ACTe Museum. 


The primary objectives of this workshop are:

  • Have the climate and observation service developers focusing on the unique challenges faced by the small islands.
  • Co-identify the gaps and needs for coastal climate and observation services for small island states.
  • Co-develop strategies in response to the needs of coastal climate and observation services for adaptation of small island communities.
  • Co-establish a platform or networks for the development and sharing of coastal climate and observation services for small island states.

For more information about co-sponsors of the event and expected outcomes, see the attached flyer.

Interested in participating? Please Contact Dr. Louis Celliers (

Call for a host for the 5th GEO Blue Planet Symposium!

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Blue Planet Initiative invites government agencies, research institutions and NGOs to submit an expression of interest to host the 5th GEO Blue Planet Symposium.

Submission Deadline: November 1, 2019

About GEO Blue Planet

We live on a blue planet, and Earth’s waters benefit many sectors of society. The future of our Blue Planet is increasingly reliant on the services delivered by marine, coastal and inland waters and on the advancement of effective, evidence- based decisions on sustainable development. GEO Blue Planet is a network of ocean and coastal-observers, social scientists and end-user representatives from a variety of stakeholder groups, including international and regional organizations, NGOs, national institutes, universities and government agencies. GEO Blue Planet aims to ensure the sustained development and use of ocean and coastal observations for the benefit of society.

GEO Blue Planet’s mission is to:

  • advance and exploit synergies among the many observational programmes devoted to ocean and coastal waters;
  • improve engagement with a variety of stakeholders for enhancing the timeliness, quality and range of services delivered; and
  • raise awareness of the societal benefits of ocean observations at the public and policy levels.

About GEO Blue Planet Symposiums

GEO Blue Planet hosts symposia every one to two years in different regions for the purpose of increasing regional linkages, promoting linkages between stakeholders and the observing community and gathering community feedback on the focus of GEO Blue Planet activities.

4th GEO Blue Planet Symposium – Toulouse, France, 2018

The 4th GEO Blue Planet Symposium was held from July 4 – 6, 2018 in Toulouse, France. The symposium was hosted by Mercator Ocean, member of the GEO Blue Planet Initiative and entrusted by the European Commission to operate the EU Copernicus Marine Service. This was the largest symposium to date with attendance of 300 delegates from international organisations and networks, research scientists, government agencies, various industries, ocean science communicators and graduate students. For additional information, see the symposium report.

3rd GEO Blue Planet Symposium – College Park, MD, USA, 2017

The 3rd Blue Planet Symposium was held in College Park, Maryland, USA from 31 May to 2 June 2017. The symposium was co-hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Maryland and the University System of Maryland Foundation.

2nd GEO Blue Planet Symposium – Cairns, Australia, 2015

The second Blue Planet symposium for the GEO marine Task SB-01 “Oceans and Society: the Blue Planet” was held in Cairns, Australia from 27 to 29 May 2015. The symposium was co-organised by CSIRO and POGO.

Kick-off Symposium - Ilhabela, Brazil, 2012

A kick-off symposium for the new GEO marine Task SB-01 “Oceans and Society: the Blue Planet” was held in Ilhabela, São Paulo State, Brazil, from November 19 to 21, 2012. The symposium was co-sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), GEO, Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and POGO and took place just prior to the GEO-IX Plenary, held in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (November 22 and 23, 2012).

Symposium Host Responsibilities

  • Coordinate with the GEO Blue Planet Secretariat on development of the program
  • Provide local organizing support
  • Support linkages with local stakeholders

Selection Criteria

  • Geographic location (Africa or Asia preferred)
  • Capacity to provide local organizing staff support.
  • Ability to provide funds for the venue, logistics and speaker travel or to seek and manage funding from financial sponsors.

Expressions of interest should be sent to by November 1, 2019.

OceanObs’19 UN SDG Breakout Session Pre-Conference Survey

Please take a moment to fill out the survey here!

In 2015, the United Nations established the 2030 Agenda with a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to ensure present development meets current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The 2030 Agenda is an Integrated Plan of Action structured in four main parts: a) Vision and principles for transforming our world as set out in the Declaration; b) Results framework of 17 SDGs and 169 targets; c) Means of implementation through governments, society and global partnership, and; d) Follow-up and review framework of global indicators.

SDG 14 is specific to the ocean and is to ‘conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’. There are 10 targets for SDG 14, each with indicators to help countries, regions and the United Nations General Assembly to measure progress made in meeting the targets. Ocean observation, including in-situ measurements and remote sensing are particularly important to monitor eutrophication and plastic pollution (target 14.1) and ocean acidification (target 14.3). 

This session will focus on the role of ocean observations and research in the implementation, monitoring, and reporting in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular SDG 14 and how new science and technologies generated throughout the course of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development are expected to support these initiatives.

The planning committee for the OceanObs’19 Breakout Session on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Ocean Observing has put together a survey for the community to share their views on what role(s) ocean observations and the ocean observing community can play in the next decade in relation to the SDGs and to share what they would like covered during the side event.