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Call for Bids to Organize & Host the ‘4th Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World’

The symposium will maintain its focus on ocean acidification and associated impacts on marine organisms, ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles. It will consider acidification in the context of other global changes such as warming and deoxygenation, particularly the combined actions of these multiple stressors. Furthermore, it will cover socioeconomic consequences of ocean acidification, including policy and management.The first three symposia (held in Paris in 2004, Monaco in 2008, and Monterey in 2012) were landmark events for the international community of researchers studying ocean acidification. To facilitate its continued success and longevity, the organizers of the first three symposia (The Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), and The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO)) prefer to move towards a new organizational model, where the local organizer not only hosts the symposium but also leads the scientific organization and the effort to find financial sponsors. The same model is already used to organize other scientific symposia, such as the International Carbon Dioxide Conference, also held every 4 years.

A Transition Committee including SCOR, IGBP, and IOC-UNESCO and led by the Solas/IMBER Working Group on Ocean Acidification (SIOA) is now tasked with identifying the local host and organizer and helping in the transition, if requested. Here this group asks for proposals from those who wish to host the next Ocean in a High-CO2 World symposium over 4 days, sometime between September and December 2016. It is preferred that the 4th symposium be held outside of Europe and North America, where it was held previously. Bids should be submitted by October 1, 2014 and should include the following:

  • Scientists and organisations who will serve as local hosts, including the expertise of local planning committee members.
  • Scientists who will be invited to chair and to be members of the international scientific planning committee.
  • Suitability of location to attract leading scientists, provide outreach opportunities, and link with policymakers.
  • The likely cost of air travel for individual participants from various parts of the world and availability of environmentally friendly transport options (such as minimising connections).
  • Availability of accommodations in a range of costs, including the number of rooms, distance from the meeting venue, and costs of sleeping rooms for high and low season.
  • Distance of meeting and lodging facilities from major airport(s) or rail links and cost of transportation between airport and meeting and lodging facilities.
  • Expected cost of meals per day.
  • Description of the meeting venue and capacity of the meeting space available for the duration of the meeting. Requirements include reception area, 1 large plenary room and 6 medium-sized rooms for parallel sessions, poster-exhibition area, and additional smaller meeting rooms. Expected participation is between 400 and 1000 people.
  • Ability to provide meeting space, audio-visual equipment, and staff support at little or no cost to meeting participants.
  • Expected costs for (1) the conference facility, (2) catering (coffee breaks, poster sessions, icebreaker, conference dinner), and (3) the registration fee.
  • Expected level of local, national, and international funding for the symposium.
  • Dates when the conference facility is available in 2016.
  • Local entertainment and tourism possibilities.
  • Plans to minimize environmental effects of the symposium.

Enquiries and bids should be sent to James Orr (, the SIOA Chair. Early expression of interest is desirable. Bids must be submitted before 1 October 2014 and limited to 10 pages. Shortly afterwards the Transition Committee will select the local host and notify bidders. The same committee remains committed to supporting the hosts, if requested, e.g., by IOC-UNESCO and Future Earth providing their services for communication and outreach.