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Guiding global ocean mapping efforts: Call for nominations for the GEBCO Guiding Committee

Date: 9 December 2021

How deep is the ocean? How tall are the so-called “seafloor mountains”? What lies in the ocean’s depths?

These are just a few of the fundamental questions about the ocean and its little explored depths that the General Bathymetric Chart of the Ocean (GEBCO) seeks to answer, aiming to provide the most authoritative publicly-available bathymetry of the global ocean.

Knowing the depth and shape of the seafloor is fundamental for understanding ocean circulation, tides, tsunami forecasting, fishing resources, sediment transport, environmental change, underwater geo-hazards, infrastructure construction and maintenance, cable and pipeline routing and much more.

Under the auspices of International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, GEBCO operates through largely voluntary contributions of an enthusiastic international team of geoscientists and hydrographers, and its work is directed by a Guiding Committee.

The Guiding Committee includes five members appointed by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and five members appointed by the IOC for a five-year term, renewable once.

One IOC-appointed seat will become vacant in 2022 and a call for nominations is therefore underway to fill that seat.

The criteria for the selection of GGC Members include:

  • Significant knowledge in bathymetry, especially in state-of-the-art ocean surveying and mapping;
  • Experience in undersea topographic terrain analysis;
  • Basic awareness of the marine or Earth science disciplines;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the role of bathymetric and other marine data as a part of the ocean science value chain;
  • Knowledge of the needs of various ocean stakeholders including end-users of ocean mapping products and services;
  • Capacity to positively influence global ocean mapping efforts in the international arena through strategic inputs; and
  • Analytical and communication skills
  • Experts from both public and private sectors are welcomed.

Do you have the profile and wish to be nominated as an expert to the GEBCO Guiding Committee? Are you affiliated to an IOC Member State and would like to submit a nomination?

Kindly contact Mr Toshihiko Chiba (t.chiba@unesco.org) for more information and next steps.

Deadline to submit nominations: 11 January 2022.

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About GEBCO

The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) operates under the joint auspices of the IOC and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). It involves a group of international experts in seafloor mapping who are working together to develop a range of bathymetric data sets and data products for scientists and resource managers.

About IOC-UNESCO

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO promotes international cooperation in marine sciences to improve management of the ocean, coasts and marine resources. The IOC enables its 150 Member States to work together by coordinating programmes in capacity development, ocean observations and services, ocean science and tsunami warning. The work of the IOC contributes to the mission of UNESCO to promote the advancement of science and its applications to develop knowledge and capacity, key to economic and social progress, the basis of peace and sustainable development.