John Delaney has been a passionate and tenacious advocate for launching next-generation ocean science and educational capabilities for decades. New approaches will be made possible by distributed robot-sensor networks in the oceanic environment. These systems will enable adaptive, real-time interactive research on energetic and episodic natural processes operating throughout the world’s oceans. Since 1997, Delaney has directed development of the cabled network in the northeast Pacific Ocean that has evolved into the Regional Scale Nodes program within the Ocean Observatories Initiative. Delaney is a Professor of Oceanography at the University of Washington and is the first holder of the Jerome M. Paros Endowed Chair in Sensor Networks.