Oceanites is a U.S.-based, §501(c)(3) nonprofit, science and education foundation. Our mission is “truth-telling” — using the lives of penguins and the results of our long-running Antarctic Site Inventory project to explain our changing, warming planet to the public-at-large, and to suggest useful conservation steps everyone can take to make a difference.
Significantly, Oceanites’ Antarctic Site Inventory (ASI) is the only nongovernmental, publicly supported, scientific research project working in Antarctica. Everywhere, including the frozen Seventh Continent, assessment and monitoring are the lynchpins of long-term environmental conservation.
Implementing the Antarctic Treaty. With the advent of the Antarctic Environmental Protocol, which was signed in 1991, the ASI was born. The Protocol required environmental impact assessments about human activities and, to that point, no project had begun compiling site-specific data and information about the numerous places being visited in Antarctica. Oceanites addressed this need, with ASI fieldwork beginning in November 1994.
In 18 seasons through February 2012, the ASI has made 1,227 site visits and collected census and descriptive data at 169 Antarctic Peninsula locations, building a comprehensive database that implements the Protocol and which everyone uses. Results are published regularly and reported annually at Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings. Beginning in 2006, Antarctic Treaty Parties began adopting site-specific management guidelines that rely substantially upon biological data and descriptive information in the ASI database. The 3rd edition of Oceanites’ Antarctic Peninsula Compendium was published in 2011 and describes all of the sites the ASI is monitoring.
Publicly supported conservation of Antarctica. The ASI is primarily sustained by public support and private foundation grants, with occasional financial support from Antarctic Treaty governments.
Education and information on the web. Data and information about the ASI are available on the Oceanites website — www.oceanites.org — and the news/content Oceanites Feed site — http://oceanitesfeed.wordpress.com/, as well as the Oceanites iPhone App, which is freely downloadable from Appleʼs iTunes Store. Oceanites began SKYPE Virtual Classroom sessions in 2010.
On the cutting edge of science. Oceanites collaborates with the Conservation Biology Lab of Dr. William Fagan at the University of Maryland and The Lynch Lab of Dr. Heather Lynch at the State University of New York at Stony Brook to examine the ASI database in concert with other long-term, biological and physical data sets from Antarctica. Utilizing hierarchical Bayesian modeling, satellite photodocumentation, and other innovative statistical and global information system (GIS) techniques, these comprehensive spatial and temporal analyses enable a more precise understanding of how Antarctic biological and physical processes may connect. The goal is to identify environmental changes that are occurring, precisely where they are occurring, and, hopefully, why they are occurring.
Discerning how Antarctic species are changing in abundance and relative abundance, and more importantly, identifying the factors driving these long-term changes, are key steps toward an improved understanding of the Antarctic ecosystem and are essential for effective stewardship of Antarctica.
For further information, please contact:
Ron Naveen / Oceanites, Inc.
P. O. Box 15259
Chevy Chase, MD USA 20825
phone / fax 202.237.6262