Merrick Haller

3. Your affiliation
Oregon State University

4. Your discipline
Coastal Engineering

5. Across all ocean science disciplines, please list 3 important scientific questions that you believe will drive ocean research over the decade.
How will coastal storm activity be affected by climate change?

What are the limitations on forecasting natural hazards and potential hazard damage?

What are the best mitigation strategies for environmental damage and ecological changes induced by human activities?
6. Within your own discipline, please list 3 important scientific questions that you believe will drive ocean research over the next decade.
How do we improve the forecast accuracy of nearshore storm impact and inundation?

How do we improve our ability to collect, ingest, and assimilate observations into forecasting models? Significant efforts are being made to build our ocean observing infrastructure (through NSF and NOAA observatories), these investments would be better leveraged with simultaneous efforts to improve our observing tools and our ability to assimilate data into models. 

How do we de-compartmentalize our models? For example, wave models are divvied up by whether they are deep water or shallow water, linear or nonlinear, spectral or phase-resolving. Having to couple different model-types and to nest different regions of the ocean are some of the biggest hurdles in wave forecasting. Developing models that more effectively span these domains would yield significant improvements in our forecasting ability.

7. Please list 3 ideas for programs, technology, infrastructure, or facilities that you believe will play a major role in addressing the above questions over the next decade. Please consider both existing and new technology/facilities/infrastructure/programs that could be deployed in this timeframe. What mechanisms might be identified to best leverage these investments (interagency collaborations, international partnerships, etc.)?
Presently, it seems that agencies suffer from compartmentalization (just like models, as mentioned above). Intra-agency and inter-agency de-compartmentalization would better allow diverse scientists to collaborate (e.g. modelers and observationalists) and would better allow more comprehensive science questions to be addressed (e.g. questions that cross the traditional ocean boundaries like nearshore to deep water).
8. Other comments pertinent to the committee’s charge.