Who is running the programme?
The Programme is a cooperative, it is run by its members and any researcher can become a member (see ‘how can I get involved’ below). The blueprint for the programme was developed by members of the DOSI Decade working group, which has a fully open membership, the SCOR Decade working group, which has a closed membership that was selected according to SCOR working group rules on submission of the working group proposal to SCOR; and the Challenger Society’s Deep Sea Special Interest working group, which has an open membership but is essentially a UK focused working group. Moving forward the programme will be administered through DOSI as DOSI is a well-established international network whose aims align well with the aims of the UN Ocean Decade. The existing working group structure and membership also provide a useful means by which to support objective 4. You do not have to be a DOSI member to participate in the programme. Developing and running a programme of this magnitude requires dedicated persons who are willing to help make it happen. If you think you can help and can see the value of a dedicated global deep-sea biology programme, then please join in.
An outcrop of rock makes a perfect home for many different cold water coral species. Image courtesy of the NERC funded Deep Links Project (University of Plymouth, Oxford University, JNCC, BGS).
Why should I join in?
The ‘business-as-usual’ model of disconnected deep-sea research effort has resulted in: 1) a biased view of the deep sea (data are overwhelmingly drawn from the North Atlantic and Pacific, and the EEZ of economically developed nations), 2) a poorly diversified and geographically biased work force, 3) an inability to address the questions we have about the deep sea at the scale necessary to answer them, and 4) poor integration of research into decision-making. Challenger 150 is an effort to move beyond business-as-usual to a coordinated global programme that works within the constraints of existing available funding mechanisms. It is a research jigsaw puzzle that the global community work on together, each team or project putting a piece in place such that at the end of the decade we have built our complete picture, or in this case vision of what we are trying to achieve. To participate means to be part of something bigger, to help make a change, to support others to join in, and to be supported in your own endeavours.
A close-up image of a bamboo coral called Acanella arbuscula taken from 1000m deep. Image courtesy of the NERC funded Deep Links Project (University of Plymouth, Oxford University, JNCC, BGS).
How can I get involved?
Anyone can get involved in Challenger 150 and the level of involvement is up to you. We ask all those who wish to engage to agree to some basic principles. If you can agree to those then we ask that you sign up to the DOSI Decade working group email list in order to receive information on the programme, participate in its running, and benefit from support offered. The programme itself is still evolving, and will continue to do so as more people join and help shape it.