Richard Rikoski is the CEO and Chief Scientist of a stealth mode startup anchoring the Marine Technology Cluster in Oakland, CA. Prior to that he was a researcher at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Panama City, FL where he received 10 patents for various marine robotic systems. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and economics from Carnegie Mellon University, a master’s degree in ocean engineering from MIT, and received the first doctorate in marine robotics from MIT. As a member of the OEAB, he intends to focus on partnerships, data, technology, and budget.
In his view, priorities for a national ocean exploration program include mapping the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, rapidly assessing the water column on basin scales, and global genome mapping. Dr. Rikoski believes there is a need for paths that lead to goal achievement, development of enabling technologies, appropriate partnerships, and allocation of sufficient budgets. He describes the need this way: “It is very difficult to explore a 12 million square kilometer Exclusive Economic Zone, and another 5.5 million square kilometers of treaty obligations; this is simply too much territory to adequately explore with so little. As the nation with the largest Exclusive Economic Zone, the U.S. must make ocean exploration a responsibility and a priority.” Dr. Rikoski believes international partnerships are critical to advance global exploration priorities and notes that technology will drive the ability to pursue such goals. He encourages use of public and private sector partners, the identification of global partners who can exchange data to prevent duplications of effort, and data partners who can ensure data is properly documented and distributed.
Dr. Richard Rikoski will serve an initial three year term.