The Eyes on the Ocean™ Bi-weekly is an informal way of keeping you up-to-date on US IOOS® activities.

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From the Director:

Hello IOOS Community,

It gives me great pleasure to share with you that our beloved friend and GCOOS colleague, Dr. Matthew K. Howard, now has an underwater feature named in his honor. GCOOS has officially received word that their request to designate “Howard Trough” in Flower Garden Banks has been approved. Flower Garden Banks is one of 14 underwater areas protected by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and the sole site in the Gulf of Mexico—a site as singular and inspiring as Dr. Howard himself. Howard Trough is a roughly 15m deep feature in the northern area of West Flower Garden Bank, right about here.

From the application: Dr. Matthew K. Howard was a Texas A&M University oceanographer who dedicated his career to studying and facilitating integrated studies of the ocean in general, and Gulf of Mexico, in particular. Much of his work with the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group at TAMU and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System was in the Flower Garden Banks area where he worked on projects ranging from water quality and hypoxia to oil spill mitigation. His biggest contributions were made in developing technologies enabling the acquisition and sharing of big data. He was a tireless leader whose ingenuity has been embraced by academia, industry, NGOs and state and federal government. It is fitting for him to be honored with a named underwater feature in the place where he exponentially advanced the science that supports management within Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

Best Wishes,

From the U.S. IOOS Office:

  • IOOS Advisory Committee - Public Call - August 21: A public call of the IOOS Advisory Committee will be held on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. EST. Please see the website ( for more details or contact Becca Derex,
  • Marking 20 Years of IOOS! We will celebrate 20 years of IOOS in conjunction with the upcoming OceanObs’19 meeting in September in Honolulu, HI. In preparation for this celebration, we want to hear your memories of IOOS.  Has IOOS helped you, were you a part of building the System, or do you have photos, videos, or documents of the last 20 years that you can share with us? Please contact us at to share your memories or ask for more details on how to share information.

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • ACT Open Calls for New Technology Evaluations: The Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT) currently has two open calls for new technology evaluations. 
    • 1. Accepting preliminary applications from developers and manufacturers of commercially available Total Residual Oxidant (TRO) instruments used to monitor TRO in shipboard ballast water treatment applications.
    • 2. Call for applications from individuals or teams of researchers, and/or sensor developers and manufacturers to participate in a technology demonstration aimed at improving data processing and algorithm development of hyperspectral imagery for research and management applications within shallow freshwater and marine aquatic ecosystems. 
    • Applications for both calls are due by August 31, 2019.
    • For further details please see:
  • Surface Current Mapping: (IOOS PO POC, Derrick Snowden,  
    • No update.
    • Robots probe ocean depths in mission to fine-tune hurricane forecasts: Four ocean gliders are set off to sea last week to bring back data scientists hope will improve the accuracy of hurricane forecast models.  “Representing the ocean accurately in forecast models is critical,” said LCDR Benjamin LaCour, glider program manager for NOAA's Integrated Ocean Observing System. “The gliders help us do that because they’re giving us high-volume, information-rich data in areas that are challenging for the models to get right.” The robotic, unmanned gliders are equipped with sensors to measure the salt content (salinity) and temperature as they move through the ocean at different depths. The gliders, which can operate in hurricane conditions, collect data during dives down to a half mile below the sea surface, and transmit the data to satellites when they surface. Read the full story here:
  • Animal Telemetry Network (ATN) (National Coordinator Bill Woodward,
    • News from Canada’s Ocean Tracking Network (OTN):
      • OTN Scientific Director Chosen as Role Model for New Career Barbie: Ocean Tracking Network Scientific Director and Dalhousie University Biology Professor, Dr. Sara Iverson, has been recognized as an influential Canadian scientist and role model for Barbie’s 60th Anniversary campaign. Earlier this year, Mattel Inc. announced a new global licensing agreement with National Geographic to launch a line of five career dolls and playsets with a focus on research, science and exploration—fields where women have historically been underrepresented— to send the message that You Can Be Anything. Read more here:

Data Management and Communications (DMAC) Subsystem and Tools Built on IOOS data (DMAC listserv – contact Micah Wengren, DMAC System Architect,

  • QARTOD (National Coordinator Mark Bushnell,
    • Currents manual update: Version 2.1 of the Manual for Real-Time Quality Control of In-Situ Current Observations: A Guide to Quality Control and Quality Assurance of Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler Observations has been completed. In addition to routine tasks such as assuring that web links work and adding definitions, we’ve included additional material about compass issues and improved the descriptions of two of the tests. We thank all who provided suggestions and comments for this incremental update.
    • Ocean Best Practice System update: At the recent Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Assembly (Paris, June 26- July 4th) it was agreed to accept the OBPS as an IOC project sponsored jointly by IODE and GOOS. Details of this decision can be found on page 13 of the Adopted Decisions and Resolutions report at now provides an operational capability which will be expanded through grants and other resources. The OBPS working group thanks Peter Pissierssens and Pauline Simpson of IODE and Albert Fischer and Emma Heslop of GOOS for their leadership and significant efforts in achieving this milestone.


Modeling and Analysis Subsystem (IOOS PO and IOOS Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed (COMT) POC –Tiffany Vance,   

  • COMT Annual Meeting: The COMT Annual Meeting will be held October 22-34rd in Silver Spring, MD. More details coming soon.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) (IOOS PO POC Gabrielle Canonico,
    • Send us your news for this section!

  • OceanObs’19 Updates and Planning:
    • OceanObs’19: Registration Is Open! For more information on fees, deadlines, posters, and event registration, visit here 
    • Register for Breaking Waves, Breaking Barriers at OceanObs'19: Celebrating Women's Instrumental Role in Ocean Science, Leadership, and Mentorship: This event will bring together ocean scientists from across the globe to discuss the important role women have served in shaping oceanography. As part of the OceanObs'19 conference week, this event will include a discussion and reception as we pay tribute to great women scientists and inspire the future generations for a more inclusive, robust, and forward-leaning discipline. Learn more and register here. 
  • Save the date: Ocean Obs RCN Annual Meeting - February 16, 2020, San Diego, CA: The Ocean Obs Research Coordination Network (RCN) will host an OceanObs’19 Conference follow-up meeting on February 16, 2020, in San Diego, CA, immediately preceding the AGU/TOS Ocean Sciences Meeting ( The OceanObs’19 Conference (Hawaii 16-21 September, 2019; will be the third conference of this series, held once every ten years. The Ocean Obs RCN annual meeting on 16 February 2020 will be dedicated to the synthesis of threads and recommendations emerging from the OceanObs’19 Conference. Of particular interest will be focusing the community on the planning for the implementation of initiatives emerging from OceanObs’19. The meeting will advance links between observation networks and operational users to facilitate the delivery of critical information to stakeholders, and to address critical policy issues that require multidisciplinary ocean observing systems.
  • NOAA Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) Meeting - August 27-29, 2019, New Orleans, LA: The next NOAA HSRP public meeting will be held in New Orleans, LA August 27-29. For more information and to see a draft agenda, please see: 
  • July 2019: Hurricane Barry - National Geodetic Survey damage assessment imagery available online: From July 16-19, 2019, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) collected aerial damage assessment images in the aftermath of Hurricane Barry. Imagery was collected in specific areas identified by NOAA in coordination with FEMA and other state and federal partners. Collected images are available to view online via the NGS aerial imagery viewer. NOAA's aerial imagery aids safe navigation and captures damage to coastal areas caused by a storm. Aerial imagery is a crucial tool to determine the extent of the damage inflicted by flooding, and to compare baseline coastal areas to assess the damage to major ports and waterways, coastlines, critical infrastructure, and coastal communities. This imagery provides a cost-effective way to better understand the damage sustained to both property and the environment.
  • NOAA releases new navigational chart viewers: On July 20, 2019, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey unveiled two new GIS viewers — NOAA ENC® viewer and NOAA RNC® viewer — allowing users to seamlessly interact with NOAA’s various chart products. In 2013, Coast Survey originally released NOAA ENC Online, a continuous viewer for NOAA’s electronic navigational charts (NOAA ENC®). This gave users the ability to click on the web map and zoom to selected features or locations, to see the information contained in more than a thousand electronic charts of NOAA-charted waters. As the user zoomed in and out, ENC features became visible or invisible allowing for a seamless look at up-to-date chart data. The new NOAA ENC viewer utilizes the NOAA ENC Online REST service, part of Esri’s ArcGIS for Maritime, which allows users to not only interact with the ENC data in this viewer, but also use the REST end point in their own web viewers and applications. Read more here:
  • NGS Pacific Advisor Addresses U.N. Sponsored Workshop: The NGS Pacific Region Geodetic Advisor, Ed Carlson presented this agency’s plans and procedures for modernizing the U.S. National Spatial Reference System at the Workshop on the Applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems in Suva, Fiji, sponsored by the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG). The workshop focused on using Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) for sustainable social and economic benefits, in particular for developing countries. The NGS advisor also explained how NGS conducts a GPS network project, from planning the project to analyzing the results. NGS is coordinating with other nations in the Asia-Pacific Region as an integral part of defining and developing the Pacific Terrestrial Reference Frame 2022. The ICG, established under the umbrella of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, promotes cooperation on civil-satellite-based positioning, navigation, timing, and value-added services, and contributes to sustainable development throughout the world. For more information, contact, 808-725-5255
  • 2018 State of High Tide Flooding and 2019 Outlook: Coastal communities across the U.S. continued to see increased high tide flooding last year, forcing their residents and visitors to deal with flooded shorelines, streets and basements — a trend that is expected to continue this year. Read the report here:
  • Grants & Funding Opportunities
    • DARPA BAA: This new BAA invites proposers to submit innovative basic or applied research concepts in the following technical domains: Frontiers in Math, Computation & Design; Limits of Sensing & Sensors; Complex Social Systems; Anticipating Surprise. The research topics of interest within each domain are described in the BAA.

Delivering the Benefits:

  • Expanding underwater glider observations in the NE Caribbean: Last week, CARICOOS launched gliders in the Caribbean with sensors to record temperature and salinity as part of an ongoing effort to better understand hurricane intensification and improve forecasts.  Read all about it here
  • Managing water safety in the Gulf of Mexico: A massive influx of freshwater sent down the Mississippi River earlier this month due to heavy rains throughout the basin is wreaking havoc on coastal communities in Louisiana and in Mississippi — where the state has closed all beaches to swimming.  A new study led by NOAA and GCOOS and published in the peer-review journal PLoS ONE shows that citizen science volunteers using a relatively low-cost tool can help increase the size and accuracy of a red tide monitoring network to better protect public health from the impacts of toxic algae in the Gulf of Mexico.  Read more and link to the journal article here
  • UW-Milwaukee researchers inform L. Michigan management with help of a GLOS buoy: How much phosphorus should flow into Lake Michigan? This question means millions for the economy around the lake and has huge implications for its underwater ecosystem. And researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee led by Professor Harvey Bootsma are working to help answer that question with the help of a GLOS buoy.  Read more here
  • SalishSeaCast forecasts nitrate values:  Output from the University of British Columbia SalishSeaCast ocean circulation model has been available on NVS since January 2018, thanks to a collaboration with UBC project lead Prof. Susan Allen. Since then, the model has undergone improvements, including to the biology model and the computational infrastructure. The model's output on NVS now includes nitrate concentration, the first biogeochemical variable from SalishSeaCast, benefiting from the recent improvements. The UBC team is working on adding dissolved oxygen, inorganic carbon and alkalinity, and those will be integrated into NVS when ready. We truly appreciate this collaboration and the availability of multiple models on NVS.
  • Users drive a new NVS Boater App update!:  In response to user requests, NANOOS is proud to release an important update to the NVS Boaters app, which now includes the ability to query multiple variables (e.g. primary and secondary waves and periods, wave direction, wind and ocean related data), for any given location and now defined for many different overlays. This capability was originally released in May 2018 as part of the NVS Seacast app for a limited suite of variables and is now being expanded to include more overlays and within more of our NVS web apps. This is a powerful capability that allows users to gain a better understanding of site specific oceanographic or climate conditions, which may be used to make informed decisions about marine conditions. NANOOS services continue to improve from our users.


  • No update.


Upcoming Meetings with IOOS Participation:

  • NANOOS Annual Meeting, August 1-2, 2019, Vancouver, WA: The NANOOS Governing Council, Members, and PI meeting will be held August 1st at the University of Washington - Vancouver. The agenda will include program coordination talks, committee reports, and a roundtable discussion on priorities over the next 5 years. IOOS Deputy Director, Krisa Arzayus will attend on behalf of the IOOS Program Office. For more info, contact Paul Rudell 
  • OceanObs’19, 16–20 September 2019, Honolulu, HI: The OceanObs19 conference planning is well underway! The conference will take place September 16-20 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Check out the conference website for more details: 
  • MTS/IEEE OCEANS 2019 - Seattle, WA - Oct 27-31, 2019: OCEANS is the bi-annual event for global marine technologists, engineers, students, government officials, lawyers, and advocates. These industry thought leaders gather for four days to highlight relevant topics and current trends, while creating a community of learners and influencers who consistently advance research, practices, and policies for the marine field. The Marine Technology Society and the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society partner to present OCEANS, and this prestigious conference and exhibition draws an audience of more than 2,000 attendees. For more info:
  • OCEANS 2019 Seattle - Marine Debris Town Hall - Tuesday, October 29, 6-8 pm: Panel session from 6 to 7 p.m. focused on: information needs for marine plastics and other debris: SDG 14.1 indicators; current knowledge of plastic debris in the oceans (water column, seabed, washed/deposited on shorelines); challenges to monitoring plastics in the oceans: coupling observation technologies and circulation models; and bringing the knowledge to society: existing and developing global platforms.  The panel session will be followed by a breakout session from 7 to 8 p.m. where the audience will be able to participate in a more detailed discussion of the issues and next steps for one of the 4 points above. These discussions will be followed by a brief summary of the discussions by each of the breakout session leads and the session will end with a wrap-up by the moderator presenting a plan for action and future progress meetings.
  • Save the Date! NERACOOS Annual Meeting - 6 December 2019, Portsmouth, NH: More information coming soon. 
  • AGU Fall Meeting, 9-13 Dec, San Francisco: Please consider submitting an abstract to the following sessions:
    • Session description: Standards can help to ensure the F.A.I.R.ness of data, reduce the barriers to adoption of new technologies within local and regional cultures, and help close the digital divide between less economically developed countries and advanced societies. But the development of de jure standards takes time and effort, and adoption of the end product is not guaranteed. The codification and promotion of community or recommended practices (aka “best practices”) is a less formal avenue for achieving many of these same goals. This session consists of presentations highlighting the practical aspects, including sociological factors, involved in development and adoption of standards and best practices. Presentations describing specific use cases and outcomes involving standardization efforts are also being solicited.
    • Session Description: Many different types of projects collect track data, which describes the time and location where Earth science measurements were made along the path traversed by a ship, airplane, drone, vehicle, or hiker. The users and managers of this data tend to be associated with particular domains (such as ocean sciences, terrestrial ecology, or atmospheric sciences), which can limit the exchange of ideas and methods for working with this type of data.  This session is an opportunity to explore and share approaches for storing, discovering, visualizing, and analyzing track data, in an effort to identify recommended practices and opportunities for further collaboration across science domains.
    • "Standards for the Benefit of Science and Society" (Session IN043). With the introductions of FAIR and the need for improved interoperability, standards and best practices are playing an ever-increasing role in our research. Your submission in this area is an important contribution to the community dialogue. The deadline for submission is July 31, 2019, and the link to submit is:
    • “Tracks Across the Ocean, Sky, and Land” (Session IN047). Call for Abstracts: AGU Track Data Session. On behalf of the organizers, we welcome your submissions to a session looking at how we manage, use, and visualize "track" data, such as that collected by sensors on airplanes, drones, ships, and vehicles. Abstract Submission Deadline: 31 July, 11:59 P.M. ET

Other Upcoming Meetings:

  • 2019 NOAA Environmental Data Management Workshop, September 4-5, 2019

Seattle, WA:  The NOAA Environmental Data Management Committee (EDMC) is pleased to announce the 9th annual NOAA Environmental Data Management Workshop (EDMW) that will be held September 4-5, 2019 in Seattle, WA. The theme for this year’s workshop is “Unleashing NOAA's Data as a Strategic Asset for Science, Service, Stewardship and Innovation.” The workshop will be hosted at the Motif Hotel in downtown Seattle. Please forward this announcement to NOAA colleagues that may be interested in attending or presenting. The 2019 NOAA EDM Workshop will include presentations and working sessions that focus on efforts to improve the collection, stewardship, interpretation, and delivery of NOAA data that enable the agency to carry out its mission and programs effectively. Attendees are primarily NOAA personnel, but we expect to have a few slots for external people. The formal approval process including the NOAA Group Travel Request will begin soon, as will other workshop planning activities including calls for sessions, papers, and registration. To receive future announcements on the 2019 EDM Workshop, please sign up for the 2019 EDMW Mailing List.

  • Abstract submission deadline July 31st for EPOC 2019: Eastern Pacific Ocean Conference will be held September 29 - October 2, 2019 at Stanford Sierra Center. Fallen Leaf Lake, California. Full session descriptions are available at the Scientific Sessions link on the EPOC website, and include contact information for the session co-chairs, should you have questions about a particular session.
  • Pecora 21 & ISRSE 38, October 2019, Baltimore, MD: A joint symposium of the 21st William T. Pecora Memorial Remote Sensing Symposium and the 38th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment will convene in Baltimore, Maryland, USA from October 6 – 11, 2019. The organizers have released a call for special sessions and are inviting proposals for sessions that deal with issues and advances in the broader field of Earth observation. Learn more & register online
  • The Gulf of Maine 2050 symposium, 4 – 8 November, 2019, Portland, ME: Dedicated to increasing our collective understanding of how the region's coastline is expected to change in the next 30 years. It's open all sectors--industry, science, students, citizens--so consider joining in. Early bird registration through August 5, and there are scholarships available for people who may not have conference or hotel budgets. Learn more & register online.
  • Save the date: November 5-7, 2019 for the Esri Ocean and Atmospheric GIS Forum, Esri Conference Center, Redlands, CA: Registrations, as well as calls for papers, lightning talks, posters, and story maps and apps is available at Join us at the Esri Ocean and Atmospheric GIS Forum to share new data collection methods and research. Discuss ways multi-dimensional data and web apps can help people put scientific information to work in your organization. Consider the potential of sharing knowledge across disciplines and collaborating with multiple stakeholders. Work with the ocean, weather, and climate communities as they forge new and better concepts in GIS analytics and applications.

Job & Internship Opportunities:

  • Outreach Coordinator, ODU/VSG: The Old Dominion University/ Virginia Sea Grant Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program in partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS) is searching for an Outreach Coordinator to be located at Old Dominion University.  Learn more and apply here

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