Big wave in ocean

Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020

16-21 February 2020 in San Diego, Calif.

About the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020

The Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) is the flagship conference for the ocean sciences and the larger ocean-connected community.  As we approach the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, beginning in 2021, it is increasingly important to gather as a scientific community to raise awareness of the truly global dimension of the ocean, address environmental challenges, and set forth on a path towards a resilient planet. 

The Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020 is co-sponsored by AGU, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), and The Oceanography Society (TOS).  Through the combined power of these three organizations, along with the broader conservation-focused community, this meeting provides attendees the opportunity to bridge disciplines, connect communities, and make lasting partnerships. 

Submit a proposal

Proposals for 2019 sessions and tutorial talks are closed. Stay tuned for abstract submissions opening in the summer.

See Submissions

For a Resilient Planet

This year’s theme, For a Resilient Planet, centers around the concept that scientists, in partnership with governments and communities, have the power to affect change in fostering healthier and more resilient oceans, a safer and sustainable food supply, and to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Ocean with rocky cliffs

Plenary speakers

Headshot of Ocean Sciences Meeting speaker Nainoa ThompsonNainoa Thompson

Sunday, 21 February 2020
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location TBD

Nainoa Thompson is the first Native Hawaiian in 600 years to practice the ancient Polynesian art of navigation: long-distance open-ocean voyaging on a traditional double-hulled canoe without the aid of modern instruments. His work has led to a renewed understanding and revival of traditional voyaging arts lost for centuries due to the disappearance of such travel methods and the colonization and Westernization of the Polynesian archipelagoes. As the president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), a non-profit research and educational organization, Thompson recently completed a four-year voyage around the world on the Hōkūleʻa, a traditional, double-hulled voyaging canoe. Through these travels, Thompson and his crew engaged with thousands of people, including world leaders to highlight the importance of ocean resources, cultural legacies, and protection of these critical places in the future. Read Nainoa Thompson’s full bio.

Headshot for Ocean Sciences Meeting keynote speaker Heidi Sosik

Heidi Sosik and Erik van Sebille

Tuesday, 23 February 2020
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location TBD

Heidi Sosik is a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and currently holds the Stanley W. Watson Chair for Excellence in Oceanography. A biological oceanographer and inventor, Sosik and her co-workers have developed automated underwater analyzers that dramatically enhance scientists’ and resource managers’ ability to study microscopic organisms that fuel ocean food chains, interact with Earth’s climate, and sometimes produce harmful algal blooms that threaten ecosystem and human health. View Heidi Sosik’s full bio

Headshot for Ocean Sciences Meeting keynote speaker Erik van Sebille

Erik van Sebille is a physical oceanographer at Utrecht University. He studies the pathways and timescales on which ocean currents transport water, nutrients, planktonic organisms and pollution such as plastic. Van Sebille is the lead of the European Research Council-funded Tracking of Plastic in our Seas (TOPIOS) project with the goal to create a 3D map of marine plastic pollution and track it back to its sources. He has a passion for science communication, having done more than 300 interviews about plastic pollution and advised UK Parliament and the European Commission on the problem’s scale. View Erik van Sebille’s full bio.





Important dates

22 May 2019: Session and tutorial proposal deadlines. Note: We may need to get in touch with session chairs in mid-late June. We ask that at least one session chair be available.

10 July 2019: Abstract submissions open.  

August 2019: Housing opens.

11 September 2019: Abstract submissions close. In late September through early October, we may need to get in touch with session chairs about scheduling. We ask that at least one session chair be available.

Early November 2019: Abstract acceptance letters are sent and the final scientific program is available online.

Aurora borealis over the lake in the evening

housing rates

Housing will open in early August. Check back for information how to book through our official housing company, SPARGO.

U.S. government per diem rates, which require valid U.S. government identification, are offered by the hotels marked with an asterisk, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.The nightly rates are for single and double rooms, however, most hotels offer larger room rates available during reservation.

Hotel Address Nightly rates Distance from Convention Center
Bristol Hotel* 1055 First Avenue $245 0.7 miles away
Embassy Suites* 601 Pacific Highway $274 0.7 miles away
Hard Rock Hotel* 207 Fifth Avenue $279 0.5 miles away
Hilton San Diego Bayfront One Park Boulevard $299 0.5 miles away
Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter* 401 K Street $269 0.4 miles away
Horton Grand Hotel* 311 Island Avenue $199 0.4 miles away
Manchester Grand Hyatt* 1 Market Place $285 0.4 miles away
Omni San Diego 675 L Street $289 0.6 miles away
Porto Vista Hotel & Suites* 1835 Columbia Street $162 1.4 miles away
San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter* 660 K Street $279 0.5 miles away
San Diego Marriott Marquis* 333 W. Harbor Drive $289 0.2 miles away
Sofia Hotel 150 West Broadway $218 0.7 miles away
Westin Gaslamp Quarter 910 Broadway Circle $229 0.6 miles away
Wyndham San Diego Bayside* 1355 N. Harbor Drive $199 1.2 miles away

Special notice: Housing companies 

AGU does not sell your information. If you are contacted by any company other than SPARGO offering housing in San Diego, please note that these companies are not authorized to represent AGU, ASLO, or TOS. They do not have access to officially contracted Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020 room blocks or rates in San Diego.

These unauthorized companies often don’t deliver on promises to customers. When customers arrive, reservations are non-existent, or the hotels are not conveniently located. Sometimes, the rooms have been cancelled and hefty cancellation fees have been placed on the customer’s credit card.

We encourage you to book through SPARGO, our official housing vendor. 

Anemone aquarium aquatic under water

Getting to and around San Diego

San Diego is served by the San Diego International Airport which offers multiple U.S. and international flights daily, a train station, and local transportation options including a trolley and bus system. Explore the available transportation methods.
  • 1
    By air: San Diego International Airport is just three miles from the San Diego Convention Center. The airport is accessible to downtown San Diego via train, bus, and trolley. Taxis, ride shares, and rental cars are also available.
  • 2
    By train: Amtrak offers train service to the Santa Fe Depot Station located in downtown San Diego. The station is conveniently located within walking distance of the convention center.
  • 3
    By public transportation: San Diego has a robust public transportation system which includes the city bus and trolley, which serve many popular locations throughout the city. Day passes are available for unlimited rides at a low cost.
  • 4
    By car: San Diego offers many popular ride-share services as well as taxis for traveling around the city. If you choose to drive to or around San Diego, parking is available at the Convention Center.
Dark blue water with wave currents

Travel discounts 

We are pleased to partner with United Airlines for air travel to the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020. To receive the discount, visit the United Airlines website and enter ZH2A515963 in the Offer Code box. You may also call the United Meeting Reservation Desk at +1 800.426.1122. International customers should contact their local United Reservation Desk. U.S. hours are:

  • Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Eastern time
  • Saturday – Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Eastern time

Booking fees are waived for meeting reservations.

Ocean Coast with beach and mountains
Aurora borealis over the lake in the evening

Visa and international travel information

We strongly recommend that international participants apply for visas at least three months prior to the meeting. Some consulates may have delays in scheduling visa interviews. We encourage you to first contact the consulate to determine the wait time for an interview. If you require a letter of invitation before submitting an abstract, you must request one via email. After submitting an abstract, you can automatically generate a letter of invitation through the abstract submission system.

U.S. Government requirement for Visa Waiver Program

Effective 20 January 2011, citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries will be unable to enter the United States without Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval from the U.S. Government. VWP travelers who have not obtained approval through ESTA will be denied boarding on any air carrier destined for the United States.


Membership discounts

Members of the Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) partner societies receive discounted registration rates to attend the meeting. To receive the discount, your membership must be active during registration.

Additionally, active members are eligible to submit session proposals, tutorials, and abstracts. Contact the societies to join or renew your membership. 

Oceans and partners

Discover San Diego

San Diego is known for its mild and sunny weather, as well as its Spanish and Mexican heritage. Popular landmarks and neighborhoods include the San Diego Zoo, USS Midway Museum, Balboa Park, the Gaslamp Quarter, Old Town, and Coronado. We look forward to welcoming you to this diverse, coastal oasis. 

Calm ocean at night overlooking the lights of the San Diego skyline.