The ROV Jason rises from the deep after diving in the International District Hydrothermal Field. Credit: University of Washington.

As the end of a most tumultuous year, we are grateful to our OOI friends and colleagues for their dedication and continued participation. In spite of the many COVID-related restrictions, 2020 turned out to be a productive year.

The OOI team successfully completed five operation and maintenance cruises to ensure the continued smooth operations of the arrays. In response to community suggestions, the team has implemented a new data tool, the Data Explorer, which is making OOI data easier to access, use, visualize, and share.

During the past year, researchers continued to publish using OOI data, bringing the number of OOI-related publications to 171, with 152 lead authors, representing 84 institutions from 19 countries. The National Science Foundation continued to support OOI research, with an investment of more than $51 million in grants to 61 distinct principal investigators at 24 academic institutions in the U.S. The program has received and filled on average 19 million data requests each month, or the equivalent of about 6.8 terabytes. We are more than pleased to see how OOI data are helping to advance understanding of our changing ocean.

While the virtual realm is not ideal, we appreciate the continuing engagement of the community with the OOI.  At the recent AGU Fall meeting, more than 200 of our colleagues participated in our online events. While we all missed the human contact and coffee, it was gratifying to connect with many of you virtually.

2021 holds great promise for new beginnings and resumption of normal lives.  We wish you all the best for the new year.  May it be healthy, happy, productive, and may we be able to see each other in person.

John Trowbridge

Peggy Brennan-Tonetta

Ed Dever

Deb Kelley

Anthony Koppers

Al Plueddemann