The Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) is an international initiative of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) with the mission to facilitate the sustained collection and delivery of essential observations of the Southern Ocean to all global stakeholders, through the design, advocacy, and implementation of cost-effective observing and data delivery systems. SOOS has been operating since 2011 and has built a vast network of stakeholders and contributors, all working together to facilitate and enhance global Southern Ocean observations.

SOOS has also brought the community together through:

Enhancing collaboration and observational capabilities

  • Delivered 23 international networks (> 1,100 members from 48 nations)
  • Strong early career researcher (ECR) engagement in SOOS (36% of members)
  • Engaged with 85% of nations with SCAR defined Developing Antarctic Programs (DAPs)

Aligning, advocating and supporting scientific and observational priorities

  • Delivered 69 peer-reviewed scientific publications (2,209 citations);
  • Held 120 international SOOS workshops and meetings and presented at over 220 international meetings;
  • Endorsed 40 successfully funded research programs;

Sharing knowledge within the Southern Ocean community and beyond

  • Delivered into 22 policy documents;
  • Provided data and knowledge for the Intergovernmental Whaling Commission;
  • Contributed to UN Sustainable Development Goals 13 & 14;
  • Coordinated development of the Southern Ocean contribution to the UN Decade for Ocean Sciences


The SOOS Symposium 2023, “Southern Ocean in a Changing World” is the inaugural SOOS Symposium being held between 14–18th August 2023 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. This Symposium aims to engage across the whole Southern Ocean community to enhance coordination and collaboration between nations and Southern Ocean regions, international and national observing initiatives, disciplines, and key stakeholders across all steps in the observational pathway (e.g., technological, logistical, scientific, data management and policy stakeholders).

This symposium will gather 200-300 leading researchers and data managers from Australian and international institutions, programs and initiatives with an interest in Southern Ocean observations. Through the Symposium attendees will discuss the current observing system, the status of this system, its gaps, and the next steps and opportunities needed for addressing these gaps. It will provide opportunities to learn, share and network across a series of plenary presentations, panel discussions, forums, parallel sessions and workshops including opportunities for the training of early career researchers and researchers from developing programs.

Overall, the Symposium will further the SOOS mission to create a comprehensive, integrated and cohesive observing system that is readily accessible to provide a foundation for enabling the international scientific community to advance our understanding of the Southern Ocean and for policy and decision makers to address critical societal challenges.

Impact to SOOS Symposium 2023 sponsors and exhibitors will be linked directly to these international, interdisciplinary attendees at the Symposium, providing exposure and impact. Through this exposure new opportunities for collaborations, partnerships and sales can be gained.

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