Southern Ocean Decade & Polar Data Forum Week 2021

Online, 20 - 24 September 2021 An Ocean Of Opportunities

The Final Frontier - Mapping the Southern Ocean

Jamie McMichael-Philips

Oceans are the last unexplored frontier of our planet. Covering 3/4 of Earth’s surface, surprisingly we know little about the shape of the seabed with only a fifth fully mapped to date. Yet it is a key component in a whole host of ocean processes fundamental to addressing ocean health, climate change, and in predicting/monitoring aspects such as sea level rise, tsunami wave propagation, biodiversity and ecosystems. Often that message is lost on those not closely involved in science, or the Blue Economy. Now in its 5th year, and endorsed as a UN Decade Action, the Seabed 2030 Project has a mission to inspire 100% sea floor mapping by 2030 to deliver a freely available bathymetric framework that will contribute to improving ocean literacy; and from which policy decisions, sustainable actions and scientific research can be informed.


Jamie McMichael-Phillips is the Director of The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project. A chartered surveyor, hydrographer and former Royal Navy officer, Jamie has worked in a range of roles from running marine data gathering missions to directing defence geospatial strategy and plans for the UK. He has managed government to government relationships and has also led on outreach and capacity building of fledgling organisations in marine data collection, assessment and cartography. For over 9 years Jamie chaired an intergovernmental group responsible for monitoring the global footprint of electronic charts required for safe navigation at sea.