Building from the foundation of C-DEBI, a new NSF-funded network-of-networks called COBRA – the Crustal Ocean Biosphere Research Accelerator– is spinning up this fall to bring together diverse stakeholders to accelerate research on the structure, function, resilience, and ecosystem services of the crustal ocean biosphere to inform decision making. The goal is to generate new knowledge and inform decision-making relating to emergent industrial uses of the deep ocean, such as deep-sea mining and subseafloor carbon sequestration, and decrease the likelihood of serious harm to the environment while maintaining the broad benefits that society currently enjoys. COBRA will help to close knowledge gaps by facilitating coordination of expedition and observatory efforts and dissemination of white papers generated through virtual workshops. In collaboration with international partners and leveraged expeditions of COBRA participants, COBRA will support an international early career researcher virtual expedition leadership training program, helping to build the community of experts engaged in deep-sea exploration, science, and policy. COBRA will also support international research exchanges for early career researchers wanting to engage in crustal ocean biosphere research to inform policy. All training efforts will be designed to promote team science collaboration, diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

COBRA will be led by C-DEBI Senior Scientists Beth Orcutt, Julie Huber, Andy Fisher, and Geoff Wheat along with Jim McManus and Randi Rotjan and managed by C-DEBI Managing Director Rosalynn Sylvan. As a global community of experts in deep sea and subseafloor deep biosphere science, the C-DEBI community is uniquely poised to make great contributions to COBRA efforts. COBRA officially launches October 1. Stay tuned for more details about how to get involved and find out more here!