Global Oceans Conference: More Education, Involvement Needed

Office of Communications | May 24, 2012
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus

Hundreds Attend First Global Conference on Oceans, Climate, and Security at UMass Boston

Attendees at the first Global Conference on Oceans, Climate and Security (GC '12) say more education about climate change is needed, the private sector needs to be involved in the conversation, and lessons could be learned from the military.

The three-day conference, hosted by UMass Boston’s Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and Security, looked at the conditions that are likely to be produced by climate change, how these conditions will affect coastal and ocean ecosystems and communities, and how they may affect human and national security interests.

Mark Spaulding, president of the Ocean Foundation and a member of the CIOCS advisory board, said at the closing session that the mindset on security needs to include food security and community security from natural disasters.

“Most of us find climate change an overwhelming problem to deal with. I think we have to figure out how to condition the public view. People are not prepared for this conversation,” Spaulding said.

CIOCS will develop a paper that identifies specific opportunities for collaborators to work on coastal adaption issues. They will also work with government officials to help define contributions that CIOCS can make to the continued global discussion on climate change and security. Center and conference director Robbin Peach said there is the potential for the conference to become a recurring event.

CIOCS is a public-private “think tank” located at UMass Boston that aims to work with key influencers and decision makers to strengthen the understanding of the human and national security implications of changing oceans and climates, and to inform policy decisions through the application of sound scientific research and technology demonstrated through place-based pilot projects.

About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex urban issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s eight colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit

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