Outer Continental Shelf Scientific Committee

The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Scientific Committee (Committee) is chartered to advise the Secretary of the Interior, through the Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on the scientific quality and value for decisionmaking of the OCS Environmental Studies Program. The Environmental Studies Program, which was authorized by the OCS Land Act as amended (Section 20), is administered by BOEM and covers a wide range of field and laboratory studies in biology, chemistry, and physical oceanography, as well as studies of the social and economic impacts of OCS energy and marine minerals development.

Members are appointed by the Secretary based on technical skills and geographic representation. Members must meet the following criteria: scientific competence, reputation within their field of expertise, and ability to address important elements of BOEM’s research and science activities. BOEM's research and science activities span a diverse spectrum of environmental and socioeconomic disciplines pertinent to decision making of the OCS energy and minerals management programs. This responsibility requires a broad spectrum of expertise both in terms of scientific specialty and geographic range. Members are selected such that their expertise does not overlap. The Committee is also evenly divided into three sections covering the areas of physical, biological, and social sciences. Recommendations for appointment are based on the specific expertise of the appointee and the existing balance of the Committee.

Official Committee Records: Past meeting proceedings and other Committee documentation are available for public review and access here.

The most recent Committee meeting was held on May 13-15, 2014, at the Sheraton Reston Hotel, 11810 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, Virginia. The Chief Environmental Officer for BOEM addressed the Committee on issues and challenges BOEM is facing and presented recent accomplishments. BOEM Headquarters and Regional Environmental Studies Programs Studies Chiefs updated the Committee regarding pertinent OCS activities, discussed proposed studies plans for fiscal years 2015 -2017, and addressed the Bureau’s most pressing scientific information needs. The agenda and meeting records for this meeting are being finalized and will be posted on the link below.