Year in review: 2018

by OHI Team

The end of the year is always a time for reflection as well as forward thinking. Here are some of our top highlights from 2018 and what’s to come in 2019.

Top 5 read 2018 blogs

This year, we revamped our blog series to include more data science and technical focused posts. They turned out to be some of our most popular reads!

7th annual global assessment

2018 marked release of our 7th annual global assessment of the ocean health for 220 coastal nations and territories.

The average 2018 global score was 70 out of 100. This score is unchanged from 2016 – 2017, but a one point decrease from 2012 – 2015, highlighting that while ocean health is remaining relatively stable, improvements are still needed to achieve a sustainable future. This year, 109 countries experienced an increase in ocean health, up 27 from 2017.

There are multiple opportunities to explore the 2018 scores:

OHI Fellows program

This year our global assessment was conducted by the inaugural cohort of OHI Fellows. Through the Fellows program, the OHI team trained graduate students from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management in OHI methods and open data science tools, enabling the team to test the ease of use of their workflow and training materials.

Over the summer, the Fellows then led this year’s global assessment, successfully calculating global OHI scores for 2018 while learning important skills that are valuable to the OHI community and beyond. Read more about the program here.

Thanks Ellie Campbell, Iwen Su, and Camila Vargas for all your hard work!

OHI+ assessment releases

In addition to our global assessments, OHI has other ways to engage with the OHI framework through our OHI Go and OHI+ programs. OHI Go is designed to understand your country’s OHI score. By performing an in-depth data exploration, OHI Go allows you to understand the data underlying OHI scores for your country and identify better local data based on data gaps. This year, Samoa was the first country to conduct an OHI Go and you can read more about their process of localizing OHI here.

OHI+ allows for customization by stakeholders to meet their local management needs. This year, Hawaii, Bali, and the Arctic all completed OHI+ assessments, with Kenya and Tanzania to soon be completed. Through these assessments, the OHI+ teams learned how valuable the engagement process is in defining how their region values ocean health, selecting targets for the ocean health goals, and identifying data to represent these indicators.

What’s to come in 2019

With 2018 coming to a close, there are many new and exciting projects we are looking forward to in the new year. In 2019, we will welcome our second cohort of OHI Fellows, further expanding our OHI community and training program. We look forward to implementing a couple of changes to last year’s program (identified in this blog) and continuing to learn more each year from the Fellows.

OHI+ assessments in British Colombia and the US Northeast will be finishing up, with Norway, Cornwall, and the Baltic starting up. We look forward to hearing more about their progress throughout the year. The Baltic study will be our first OHI+ repeat assessment with Ellie Campbell, one of this year’s OHI Fellows, as the lead analyst. Congrats to Ellie on this new position!