CIMAS Director Peter Ortner New Chair-Elect of UNOLS

Peter Ortner

MIAMI — November 10, 2010 — University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) announced today that Dr. Peter Ortner, University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science research professor of Marine Biology and Fisheries is the new chair-elect of its governing Council.  UNOLS is a consortium of 61 academic institutions and national laboratories involved in oceanographic research. Originally created in 1971, this organization facilitates and coordinates access to research vessels and other major shared use facilities that support U.S. research and education programs. UNOLS fosters federal and other support for academic oceanography, thereby continuing and enhancing the excellence of the nation’s oceanographic enterprise.

One of the primary functions of UNOLS is to ensure the efficient scheduling of scientific cruises aboard the fleet of 21 general purpose research vessels based at 16 operating member UNOLS institutions. Six global ships are able to work worldwide in ice-free waters and an ice-capable vessel is currently under construction. Three regional and four regional/coastal class ships, including the University of Miami’s R/V F.G. Walton Smith are designed for operations in the shelf and coastal environments of the U.S.  Local class ships are the smallest in size, but nonetheless play an important role in supporting education and research in the waters surrounding their homeports.

UNOLS also works with NOAA in cooperatively scheduling the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown and the USCG in scheduling the icebreaker research fleet.  Standing UNOLS subcommittees work closely with the primary supporting agencies (NSF, NOAA, ONR and USCG) with respect to marine technical support, safety, fleet improvements/replacements and other aspects of marine operations. Standing UNOLS subcommittees are also responsible for the oversight and coordination of other major shared use facilities like research aircraft, deep submergence vehicles, the national oceanographic seismic facility and most recently the ocean observatories.

Ortner holds a J.D. degree in Environmental Law from the University of Miami, a Ph.D. degree in Biological Oceanography from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a B.A. from Yale College. He has been the chair of the RSMAS Ship Operations Subcommittee for the past decade and served as a member of the UNOLS Council from 2003 to 2009.  He is also the director of the Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) which is a regional partnership between NOAA and nine major public and private research universities in Florida and the U.S. Caribbean.

Media Contacts:

Barbra Gonzalez
UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
Marie Guma-Diaz
UM Media Relations Office

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