ASU School of Ocean Futures is the world's newest home for learning, research focused on the planet's ocean ecosystems
A new school dedicated to the study of the ocean and its ecosystems, and it is based in the desert?
Something so improbable and dynamic could only happen at Arizona State University and the ever-forward-looking Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory.
The laboratory's College of Global Futures announces the launch of its fourth school, which advances learning, discovery and partnerships that shape a thriving global future: the School of Ocean Futures.
“We live on a water planet, with 70% of Earth’s surface covered by water and its largest biome residing in the world's oceans, thus it is imperative to include the oceans in a holistic view of the world we strive to live on,” said Peter Schlosser, vice president and vice provost of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory.
“The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory’s mission is to explore pathways into a future that offers opportunities for the coming generations on a healthy planet. The School of Ocean Futures will be the Global Futures Laboratory’s home for providing students the opportunity to study the present and imagine the future of our oceans, preparing them for careers dedicated to asking the critical decisions required to keep our world in balance,” he said.
The School of Ocean Futures will be the planet’s newest academic home for studying, teaching and developing innovative solutions about the current and future states of the ocean, and will address challenges our oceans face due to increasing pressure from human activities.
It joins three other pioneering schools in ASU’s College of Global Futures: the School for the Future of Innovation in Society; the School of Sustainability; and the School of Complex Adaptive Systems.
This unprecedented college equips its students and faculty with the training and tools to develop their lifelong career pursuits, while shaping a thriving global future for all of Earth’s inhabitants and systems.
Scientists and scholars in the School of Ocean Futures will serve local and global communities through exploration, discovery, knowledge development at the intersections of our oceans and society.
“We are at the cusp of a new era of ocean exploration and are truly excited about the opportunities that the new School of Ocean Futures brings,” said Susanne Neuer, founding director and professor at the School of Ocean Futures and a senior Global Futures scientist. “This new school brings together ocean scientists and teachers from across the globe to train and guide our students in making unique contributions to our understanding of the present and future roles of the oceans in our global ecosystems and climate.
"A new generation of students from ASU and from across the globe will thus be able to include the oceans in their understanding of the world around them and will be able to find the solutions necessary to survive on our rapidly changing planet.”
Oceans are not just the world’s largest ecosystems, they are also one of the leading indicators of our planetary health and wellness. From the condition of coastal ecosystems to the robustness of marine populations, from fluctuations of sea temperatures that drive weather systems and sea levels to the sustenance of human populations that live along and depend on the seas, oceans have long been keepers and mysteries of solutions, according to ecologist and exploratory researcher Greg Asner, one of the school’s first appointed faculty.
“Whether you live along a coast or far inland, each of us is inextricably tied to oceans that provide us with enormous cultural, ecological and economic benefits,” said Asner, who is also director of the ASU Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science. “Our oceans are changing faster and challenging us more than ever before, so the solutions our new school will pursue cannot come too soon.”