HackerNest speaks on Capitol Hill at Ocean Week DC

Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) is the United States’ premier annual conference examining current marine, coastal, and Great Lakes policy issues produced by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. CHOW includes three signature events: the CHOW Conference, the Ocean Awards Gala, and CHOW Hill Day.

On the heels of Fishackathon that HackerNest had produced for the US State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships, we were asked to speak at the annual Capitol Hill Ocean Week conference to shed light on innovation, hackathons, technology and what they mean for marine sustainability and conservation.


This ended up being full description of what Shaharris spoke about:

 Open Innovation? Disruptive Thinking? Hackathons? Artificial Intelligence? You’ve heard the terms but what do they mean for marine and Great Lakes conservation?

Scientists, technologists, resource managers, and businesses are looking for new tools and transformative ideas to accelerate conservation outcomes. In this session, we explore how open innovation tools like mass collaboration, prizes and hackathons are drawing in leaders from across industries to help solve some of the ocean’s toughest challenges, leading to new public-private partnerships for ocean and Great Lakes conservation and management.


 From CHOW:


We are excited to announce the events for Capitol Hill Ocean Week, June 5-7 2018 in Washington, DC! CHOW offers an unforgettable opportunity to interact with marine policy leaders from around the world as you discuss important issues that affect our oceans and Great Lakes. You’ll join over 700 scholars, scientists, businesses and conservation leaders — all focused on ensuring that our stunning ocean and wildlife will be stunning generations to come with their beauty. 

“We are proud to offer the biggest and best Capitol Hill Ocean Week yet with new opportunities for attendees to engage in ocean and Great Lakes policy,” said Kris Sarri, President and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. “We look forward to bringing together thought leaders in ocean and Great Lakes conservation and policy for substantive discussions of real-world solutions to key issues facing our aquatic environments today.”


Photos of Shaharris chatting with Jason Goldberg of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (L) and the intermezzo during the final Gala Dinner with scientist Andrew Thaler, Ph.D and marine scientist at Blackbeard Biologic and Tanya Berger-Wolf, Ph.D. & Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago  (R):


This year, topics were split into tracks and included:


Track: Visions for our Ocean and Great Lakes: Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2018 featured a series of plenaries with leaders and luminaries in their fields to share their vision for the future of our ocean and Great Lakes.  These plenary sessions highlight NOAA’s vision for the future; the meaning of Congressional leadership on ocean and Great Lakes policy; and the innovation and changing vision of emerging ocean leaders.


Track: Working Together for Sustainable Waters: The private sector relies on a healthy ocean and Great Lakes to support commerce, recreation, food production, and much, much more.  Corporations, foundations, and nonprofits are taking active leadership roles in promoting partners and changing market incentives to sustainably use natural resources while protecting biodiversity and conserving habitat.  What lessons are there for our ocean and Great Lakes? This track explores how public-private partnerships and market incentives can support conservation and sustainable use for the livelihoods of the communities, industries, and species that depend on a healthy planet.  


Track: Restoration of Marine and Great Lakes Ecosystems: Habitat conservation and environmental restoration has many benefits, from supporting a robust economy, clean water and coastal resilience to providing opportunities for community engagement and environmental success stories. Restoration requires strategic implementation, appropriate monitoring and evaluation, and adaptive management. This track explores when human intervention is appropriate, how we define success, the use of technology, and different approaches to restoration in geographies.


Track: Our Changing Ocean: Climate change is affecting our ocean and Great Lakes.  In our ocean, waters are warming and becoming more acidic, affecting ecosystems, ocean chemistry and marine life.  Increased severe weather events threaten coastal communities. In the Great Lakes, climate change is decreasing ice cover, lowering water levels and increasing precipitation.  Understanding the effects of a changing climate on our ocean and Great Lakes is imperative to assessing risk to communities and ecosystems and adapting to the changing environment. This track dives into the ways marine and Great Lakes environments are changing.