Ocean Specialists Inc. (OSI) attended the OCEANS Conference and Exposition in Charleston this past October and we wanted to offer a few thoughts on the opportunities present at the IEEE/MTS conference. The conference was well attended and dominated by the big players, especially the US Navy and their contractors. In spite of the dominant presence of larger corporations, there were still new opportunities for smaller businesses and individuals. In particular, the U.S. Navy Task Force Ocean could be of interest.
Task Force Ocean is an effort by the U.S. Navy to re-engage with universities, researchers and ocean scientists and will include funding for graduate and post-doc positions as well as small business opportunities. More information can be found at www.onr.navy.mil/en/task-force-ocean.
Aside from the business elements of the conference, Charleston provided an opportunity for socializing. We were also treated to a private tour of the Hunley restoration exhibit, thanks to Leonard Whitlock, who played a key role in her salvage many years ago. The Hunley submarine was built by the Confederacy during the U.S. Civil war and is credited as being the first submarine to sink an enemy warship. The Hunley and all of her crew were lost in the mission. The location of the Hunley remained hidden until 1995. In 2000, the Hunley was raised and the crew laid to rest in 2004. Conservation efforts on this historically important artifact continue to this day; presently the Hunley sits in a solution of sodium hydroxide to remove the built-up chlorine from the cast iron hull, a process that could take as long as seven years. You can find much more information on the Hunley here www.hunley.org. We strongly recommend visiting this historically significant exhibit if you are visiting South Carolina.