Virginia Sea Grant Strategic Plan 2018-2021
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Virginia Sea Grant Strategic Plan 2018-2021

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    Sea Grant celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2016. The National Sea Grant College and Program Amendments Act of 2008, originally passed in 1966, states Sea Grant’s objectives are to increase the understanding, assessment, development, utilization, and conservation of the Nation’s ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources by providing assistance to promote a strong educational base, responsive research and training activities, broad and prompt dissemination of knowledge and techniques, and multidisciplinary approaches to environmental problems. A focus on education, research and training, knowledge transfer, and a multidisciplinary (even inter- and transdisciplinary) perspective remains relevant and needed to address today’s coastal, estuarine and marine challenges. However, our educational, research, outreach, and disciplinary landscape has changed dramatically in 50 years, and what Sea Grant does, and needs to do, has changed too. This presents opportunities. We need ever more innovative answers to increasingly complex coupled social, economic, ecological, technological, and cultural challenges in Virginia’s coastal zone. The Commonwealth, region and nation needs Virginia Sea Grant more than ever to produce new knowledge, tomorrow’s workforce and businesses, novel solutions that transcend disciplines, sectors and job functions, and to facilitate greater engagement and integration to tackle these challenges. Virginia Sea Grant will rise to the occasion, develop bold, innovative strategies that are transformative, shape an exciting future, and lead. VASG will be at the forefront of what is possible for a Sea Grant program. We will do this through the forward thinking goals, objectives and strategies laid out in this plan. We will be the most innovative and integrated Sea Grant program in the nation, through the proactive leveraging, orchestrating, and nurturing of a diverse, Commonwealth-wide, university-based organizational network. Diversity of expertise, knowledge, and perspectives is the essential ingredient to innovation. To enable hunches and ideas to collide and produce innovation, VASG will invest in people, their ideas, skills and capabilities. VASG is proud of the impact, and difference our past investments in people have made in the world, and we will continue to be honored by contributions made by future investments. We will do all of this together, with our partners. Together, we do more for coastal Virginia. VASG envisions a future where people live, work, and play along our coasts in harmony with the natural resources that attract and sustain them. VASG’s mission is to provide transformative, integrated education, research, communication, extension, legal and policy programs, to create the coastal, estuarine and marine innovation workforce and novel solutions to challenges in coastal communities. VASG aims to nurture sustainable, resilient communities through knowledge-informed personal, business, policy, and management decisions. Science and engineering alone cannot solve the multifaceted challenges Virginia faces in coastal, estuarine and marine communities, particularly when science is not adequately engaged with decision-making processes, and the citizenry is unaware of the value of science and engineering in their decisions. Further, individual disciplines, and even today’s multidisciplinary scientific initiatives are at times insufficient, and do not always provide effective and feasible solutions given the breadth and complexity of coastal, estuarine and marine challenges. Tomorrow’s science will be cross-disciplinary team science that integrates knowledge from multiple perspectives to create novel conceptual frameworks, hypotheses, and methods, and transcends disciplines and sectors. Tomorrow’s sustainable, resilient solutions will be highly integrated, collaborative, and transcend jurisdictions, organizations, sectors, and individual occupations. Tomorrow’s Sea Grant programs will need to thrive in this environment, to prepare the future workforce to innovate in this environment, and to achieve greater levels of integration across education, research, communication, outreach and extension than ever before. VASG’s strategic plan aligns with and complements the National Sea Grant College Program Strategic Plan, Charting the course for the future: 2018 – 2021.
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