On September 12, the National Oceanographic Committee (CONA) celebrated its 45th anniversary in the premises of the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy. The ceremony was marked by emotion, and recognition of the work of two noted members of CONA. The activity was chaired by the Deputy Chief of Joint Staff, Vice Admiral Don Rodrigo Alvarez Aguirre.
Naval Authorities; Committee members and representatives of the academic and scientific world were part of the occasion. The Director of SHOA and also President of CONA, talked about the oceanographic activities that preceded the creation of the Committe and that somehow showed the need for an agency that would coordinate and channel all the efforts of the Chilean institutions that were developing marine-scientific research along the country.
In this way, and after its creation in 1971, as a way of materializing activities according to the specificity of the subjects, various working groups with their respective objectives and action areas were created. These included pollution of aquatic environment; marine geology; dynamics of the ocean and the atmosphere, among others.
Moreover, Admiral Carrasco talked about the Research Cruise Program in Remote Areas – CIMAR, which through twenty campaigns executed until 2015 has called generations of researchers from the marine-cientific community. For this year, the CIMAR 22 "Islas Ocenicas" has been planned which for the first time will explore and study seamounts from the Nazca-Desventuradas area. CIMAR 22 is set to sail in October this year.
This experience, unique in our country for its multidisciplinary nature, has provided research opportunities that, so far, no other national program has been able to provide. Also, with the obtained results an oceanographic database of remote areas has been created, significantly increasing the knowledge of the southern area and oceanic islands, virtually unknown to science for so long. All these process has resulted in a strengthening of CONA and a growing interest of institutions and researchers to participate.
Then, the Executive Secretary of CONA, Rear Admiral Mr. Victor Zanelli Suffo, recognized Professor Jorge Balbontín Cavada, in recognition for his outstanding career in research and teaching in marine sciences, and its ongoing contribution to the functions done by the Committee.
Subsequently, a tribute In Memoriam was made to Dr. Julio Gomez Lamilla (RIP), a leading researcher and professor at the Universidad Austral de Chile, who died on March 31. The ceremony was attended by his widow, Mrs. Karina Obando Ojeda and their children Katherina and Claudio Lamilla Obando.