Call for White Papers to Plan a 2019-2020 North Atlantic Ocean Exploration Campaign

In the News

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) is hosting a two-day workshop on November 14-15, 2018 in the Washington D.C. metro area. The purpose of this workshop is to produce a plan for a series of multidisciplinary ocean exploration expeditions in the North Atlantic during a two-year period from 2019 to 2020.

The Atlantic Seafloor Partnership for Integrated Research and Exploration (ASPIRE) under the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation will include a campaign to explore and characterize physical, chemical, and biological oceanographic features and processes across a broad region of the North Atlantic, including the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, areas of interest to the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf project, and international waters, with particular interest in benthic and pelagic ecosystems and prominent geological features, such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Fig. 1). ASPIRE is also intended to inform and support NOAA's contributions to the Blue Economy, an economy based on sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, while maintaining the health of the ocean and coastal ecosystems. 

The purpose of this Call for White Papers is to solicit scientific rationales for exploration focused in subject areas and regions of the ASPIRE campaign in 2019-2020. The White Papers will be used to organize focused discussions at the workshop and should convey broad topical perspectives. Examples of White Paper topics include: exploration of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena or processes across deep-sea (deeper than 200 meters) physiographic provinces (including the water column); bathymetric mapping of unmapped or poorly mapped areas; mapping and characterization of localities with known or potential living or non-living marine resources; and exploration for sites and features that have maritime heritage significance.

NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research seeks to facilitate collaborations with international partners, including members of the European Union and Canada, as well as with partners within NOAA and other federal agencies, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and industry in support of ASPIRE. It is anticipated that NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and other platforms will be available to help meet ASPIRE's objectives.


White Papers are to be written with the intent of representing community perspectives and priorities.


Papers may be no longer than two pages (including figures, tables, etc.) using minimum 11-point font, and must be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format. White Papers must also conform to the format of the 2018 ASPIRE White Paper Submissions Template (see below).


Submissions are due no later than August 20, 2018. Please submit additional questions to ASPIRE.WhitePapers2018 [at]


Subject to availability of funding, some individuals who submit White Papers may be invited to help organize and/or personally participate in the workshop.

Fig 1. Geographic scope of collaborative exploration interests within the Northern Atlantic Ocean; scope extends from the Equator to the Arctic Circle, excluding areas within the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Baltic Seas.


White Papers will solicit scientific rationales for deep-sea exploration (below 200 meters) focusing on expanding knowledge in the subject areas and regions of the ASPIRE Initiative. These papers are not funding proposals; rather, they will be used as background materials to direct focused discussions at the workshop.


White Papers must include the following headings (unless otherwise noted).


Contact Information
Primary Contact
Email Address
Home Institution
Office Phone

Willing to Attend Workshop?


Target Name(s)
Main Feature(s)/Area(s) of Interest


Geographic Area(s) of Interest within the North Atlantic Ocean (Indicate all that apply)
North Central
South Central


Relevant Subject Area(s) (Indicate all that apply)
Physical Oceanography
Marine Archaeology


Description of Topic or Region Recommended for Exploration

Brief Overview of Area or Feature
Brief Summary of Current State of Knowledge
Rationale for Future Exploration

Relevant Partnerships (If Applicable)
(e.g. SponGES, ATLAS, Canada Healthy Oceans Network, etc.)

Download supplementary PDF: