Enhancing the Value and Sustainability of Field Stations and Marine Laboratories in the 21st Century
Aquarium of the Pacific President and CEO Jerry Schubel chaired a study committee for the National Science Foundation. The committee assessed the value and role of field stations, marine laboratories, and nature reserves.
The report outlines these facilities’ contributions to science and society, their role in education and outreach, strategies for sustainability and infrastructures, and metrics for demonstrating impact.
Conclusions: Field stations are a critical asset to the scientific enterprise, but demonstrating their value is difficult due to the lack of aggregated, empirical data. Articulating the value proposition allows to build a more financially sustainable future for field stations. Field station leaders need to acquire the business skills to articulate the value proposition and business plan and develop the metrics to document performance.