NANO – Not as small as you might think

September 16, 2014

The NF-POGO Alumni Network for Oceans, or ‘NANO’, is a global network of past and present Nippon Foundation–Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans scholars. The members of the network have a common commitment to ocean science and undertake research to further their understanding and observation of the ocean, for the benefit of society.

NANO comprises over 180 members from 44 countries, many of them developing and emerging countries. Since the first NF-POGO Visiting Professorship programme in 2005, membership has continued to grow, as each year, recipients of training and education programmes supported by NF-POGO join the network. Current training programmes include a 10 month training programme at the Centre of Excellence in Observational Oceanography hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Science as well as a shorter Regional Training Programme focusing on specific aspects of observational oceanography.

The vision for NANO is ‘Integrated Observations of a Changing Ocean’ and, by keeping the communication flowing between members post-training, they are able to share opportunities, exchange information and data, keep one another informed of their research activities and keep the network updated with their career progression. Through NANO, a network of young ocean scientists is being mobilised with the aim of enhancing regional and global-scale collaborations. Communications are facilitated by media such as the website, social media and a biannual newsletter written and edited by the members themselves.

Four regional research projects are being conducted in Latin America, North and West Africa, South East Asia and the Indian Sub-continent, as well as a new public outreach project launched this year. Since the first NANO meeting in 2010, annual coordination meetings have been organised to enable members to come together to provide progress updates on the projects and to plan for the following year. Through these regional projects, NANO encourages and supports those in the early stages of their careers to become project leaders and acquire experience in proposal writing, budget management, and international collaboration. It is the Nippon Foundation’s and POGO’s firm belief that NANO represents the next generation of leaders in marine research.

With continued and invaluable support from the Nippon Foundation, and oversight and coordination by POGO, and providing the members are willing to work together to the best of their capability with whatever resources they have access to, the Network promises a bright future.

An illustrated timeline summarising what has been achieved since NANO’s inception:

Trevor Platt, Executive Director for the Partnership for the Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO)