Scientia Marina, Vol 76, No S1 (2012)

Crucial times for Spanish physical oceanography

Josep L. Pelegrí
Departament d’Oceanografia Física, Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC - l’Observatori Català de l’Oceà, l’OCEÀ , Spain

Enrique Álvarez-Fanjul
Puertos del Estado , Spain

Manuel Espino
l’Observatori Català de l’Oceà, l’OCEÀ - Laboratori d’Enginyeria Marítima, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya , Spain

Jordi Font
Departament d’Oceanografia Física, Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC - l’Observatori Català de l’Oceà, l’OCEÀ , Spain

Gregorio Parrilla
Instituto Español de Oceanografía , Spain

Agustín Sánchez-Arcilla
l’Observatori Català de l’Oceà, l’OCEÀ - Laboratori d’Enginyeria Marítima, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya , Spain


The field of physical oceanography has undergone exponential growth in Spain during the last few decades. From a handful of self-taught researchers in the late 1960s there are now several hundred physical oceanographers distributed in some 20 Spanish institutions, and many more working overseas. The First Spanish Physical Oceanography Meeting (EOF1), held in Barcelona in October 2010, was a good example of the high quality and large variety of this research. The facilities and human resources are excellent but the alarming decrease in public investment in science due to the economic crisis must lead the Spanish physical oceanography community to define its current priorities. In this introductory paper to EOF1 we revise our history and where we are now, and suggest that progress in the near future will rely on our intelligence to sustain and enhance human capital, partnership and society-oriented research.


physical oceanography; Spain; history; human capital; partnership; society-oriented research

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