Australia’s integrated marine observing system in 2020 – planning for impact

Dr Indi Hodgson-Johnston1, Dr Michelle Heupel1

1Integrated Marine Observing System, Hobart, Australia


Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System is a national marine research infrastructure which has been collecting sustained ocean observations across Australia’s vast maritime jurisdiction since 2006. Being a government-funded infrastructure, it is critical that the datasets collected ultimately deliver societal benefit. IMOS has a strategic approach to ensure that the ocean observations it invests in have a ‘pathway to impact’.

The strategic approach has included developing a systematic approach to surveying the social and cultural, economic, legal, political and policy environments; ensuring that national research partnerships, modelling communities, and operational partnerships are engaged in the process of investment and activity planning; that the broad and multi-disciplinary IMOS community are enabled to drive the use and impact of the datasets; and that the impact of the research derived from IMOS data are communicated across various platforms.

This talk will address the methods used, challenges faced, outcomes achieved, and reflections upon the strategic approach to planning for research-based environmental, societal and cultural, and economic impact. IMOS will welcome the views of the Coast to Coast community as to how the approaches to planning for the greatest impact of ocean observations can be achieved, improved and/or enriched for the benefit of Australia’s research-based marine observing infrastructures in a coastal context.


Indi Hodgson-Johnston is the Deputy Director at the Integrated Marine Observing System. Indi has an background in Antarctic and oceans law and policy, and works to ensure Australia’s marine observation system delivers societal benefit.