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,

I’m happy to be saying hello to you all again after a busy August! In the last month, IOOS has made a pretty exciting announcement, added new faces to the program office (welcomes below!), and we’ve been meeting with partners and stakeholders all over the U.S.

First I have to send a heartfelt thank you and congratulations to the IOOS Enterprise. In August 2015, NOAA certified the first IOOS regional association, PacIOOS, and in August 2018, CeNCOOS crossed the finish line, meaning all 11 of the IOOS regional associations are now NOAA-certified for data management and gathering. Certification is a lot of hard work and is only possible because of the collaborative relationship between the RAs, the program office, the IOOC, NOAA, and the rest of the Enterprise. It's a milestone for establishing a fully integrated national observing system, it's a requirement of the ICOOS Act, and it's teamwork. We're so proud of this accomplishment, and I hope you'll join me in celebrating along with AOOS, CARICOOS, CeNCOOS, GCOOS, GLOS, MARACOOS, NANOOS, NERACOOS, PacIOOS, SCCOOS, and SECOORA.

In addition to announcements, it was a busy month for engagement for the program office!

  • The IOOS Association Executive Committee met in Chicago in August with the IOOS Office leadership team to continue strategic alignment and planning for FY19.
  • The NANOOS Governing Council met in Vancouver Washington and held its annual project meeting as well. In addition to hearing the great talks about NANOOS, I was able to give an IOOS update and was able to sign the formal MOU for NANOOS Certification!
  • MTS's Oceans in Action conference teamed up with NAVSEA's Advanced Naval Technology Exercise in Stennis, MS. Conference participants were invited to pier-side demonstrations of cutting-edge AUV technology, and LCDR Ben LaCour and I were able to meet with Navy colleagues to thank them for their leadership in deploying underwater gliders in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Caribbean Sea and sharing the oceanographic data with IOOS - see Glider notes below
  • The IOOS Federal Advisory Committee met at the end of the month in Juneau, Alaska, and held their first joint session with the Hydrographic Services Review Panel. We heard from a broad spectrum of Alaskan and Arctic stakeholders. It was great to hear from mariners, tribal representatives, and scientists about the many ways AOOS and IOOS are supporting the people of Alaska and great to have NOS and NOAA leadership at the table with our committee.

Kind Regards,

  • All U.S. IOOS Regional Associations now certified: With the certification of CeNCOOS in late August, all 11 regional associations (RAs) have now been certified by NOAA as meeting federal standards for data gathering and management. In simple terms, that means that ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes data and information from these non-federal System partners can now be used with the same confidence and assurances as federal data. Check out the NOAA press release, get an overview of certification from NOAA’s National Ocean Service, or check out the certification page on the IOOS site to learn what certification means, and how it can help you.
  • IOOS Federal Advisory Committee meets in Juneau: The IOOS Federal Advisory Committee met in Juneau, Alaska at the end of August. This is the last meeting of the current body of the 11 member FAC, with 8 members reaching the end of their terms and 3 remaining. We sincerely thank them all for their time and advice to NOAA and the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee. For the first time, the committee was able to join with the Hydrographic Services Review Panel, also meeting in Juneau that week. The joint session saw discussions highlighting the significance of navigation services and ocean observations in Alaska and Water Level Partnerships and included addresses from both Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK). The FAC then spent time speaking with a local stakeholder panel with participation from AOOS, Southeast Alaska Tribal Ocean Research, the Marine Exchange of Alaska, and NOAA’s Auke Bay Laboratory before turning their attention to developing recommendations for the NOAA Administrator and legacy documents to share with the incoming committee members.
  • Welcome Cristina Urízar! Cristina joined us in late August and will be doing a six month detail in the IOOS office serving as the NOS Modeling Portfolio Manager--a position new to IOOS and envisioned to be a cross NOS position. Cristina arrived at NOAA in 2006 as a John A. Knauss Fellow. Currently her primary role is to provide tide coordination for hydrographic and shoreline mapping surveys conducted by OCS and NGS. Cristina is also a NOAA HAB Bulletin analyst and provides forecasts used by members of the public and local governments when a bloom is temporarily affecting their area. Cristina recently served as the project manager for the transition of the Tampa Bay Marine Channels Forecast product (a tool designed to aid local pilots by providing integrated meteorological and oceanographic forecasts and observations along the marine channels) from the NWS to NOS/CO-OPS. Prior to taking the project manager role, Cristina was a member of the CO-OPS Modeling Team where she assisted in the transition to operations of a handful of OFS including TBOFS, CBOFS and DBOFS. Cristina has a BS in Geophysics from the University of Houston, an MS in Oceanography from Texas A&M University and a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.
  • Welcome Hilary Goodwin! Hilary Goodwin joined the IOOS team in late August as the Regional Coordinator. She recently relocated back to the area from Guam, where she worked for Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas as a Marine Resources Specialist. From 2013-2015, Hilary supported the NOAA Fisheries Chief Scientist in his role as co-chair on the Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology, which is the lead interagency entity for federal coordination on ocean science and technology. She also supported the NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology with their strategic planning efforts. From 2008-2011, Hilary worked for the National Oceanographic Partnership Program at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. She holds a masters in Marine Management from Dalhousie University and a B.A. in International Relations & Environmental Studies from the College of William & Mary.
    • High Frequency (HF) Radar/Radio: (IOOS national coordinator, Jack Harlan;
      • HF Radar at AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting: The IOOS Program office reserved a space at Ocean Sciences 2018 for an HF radar meeting to provide a venue for the exchange of news about the latest in HFR research and applications. Approximately 40 people attended and 10 presentations were made during the hour-long meeting. The presentations can be found here.
      • Save the Date - ROWG-2018 Announced: The 10th Radiowave Operators Working Group meeting will take place 16-18 October 2018 at the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Monterey Bay Sanctuary Exploration Center. For more information about the Exploration Center: ROWG is an HF radar-centric meeting for the exchange of ideas and information among HF radar operators and engineers More ROWG details and a registration website coming soon!
    • Gliders (IOOS POC LCDR Benjamin LaCour, ):
      • Successful Glider Events at AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting 2018: The glider events held at the AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting were well attended and well received. About 115 people attended the Townhall, over 90 people attended the oral session, and we had several visitors to the posters. The major take-away from the Townhall was a request for best practices for the user community. There were also introductions with EPA glider operators in the Great Lakes and some others regional and private sector operators interested in collaborating with the network.
    • Animal Telemetry Network (ATN) (National Coordinator Bill Woodward,
      • 4th ATN Workshop: We hosted our 4th ATN Workshop this month with GCOOS in NOLA. Chris, Barb and Jen did a tremendous job in bringing together 50+ outstanding participants from the commercial, resource management and research sectors to exchange thoughts, requirements and conclusions regarding marine animal telemetry activities in the Gulf of Mexico Region. Workshop report will follow in a few months. Next up will be the PACIOOS-ATN Workshop, April 23-24 in Honolulu.
      • Animal Telemetry Abstract for OceansObs ‘19: Bill has been invited by Dr. Rob Harcourt, IMOS at Macquarie University, to be one of several co-authors on an abstract to OceanObs ‘19: Animal telemetry: an essential sensor in ocean observing systems.
    • IOOS PO Attendance at NSF Research Coordination Network OceanObs Workshop: Carl, Derrick and Gabrielle attended the February 11 NSF Research Coordination Network (RCN) OceanObs workshop. The 2018 OceanObs RCN seeks to advance links between research networks and operational users to facilitate the delivery of critical information to stakeholders; this workshop was focused on discussions toward a viable strategy to integrate biological observations into multidisciplinary ocean observing systems. Frank Muller-Karger and Jay Pearlman hosted a series of talks to examine state of play in global ocean observing systems and discuss best strategies for including biological data. The workshop sought input from leaders and operators of observing systems to contribute to a white paper for input to the OceanObs '19 meeting, consider promising new technologies and how to promote their development, discuss the upcoming IOC Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), and address how to balance ocean observations, science, use, and conservation requirements.

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

    • Successful: IOOS Biological Data Training Workshop: The inaugural IOOS Biological Data Training Workshop was held February 8-9, 2018 in Seattle, WA.  This workshop was co-sponsored with the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (U.S. Geological Survey, OBIS-USA) in coordination with IOC’s OceanTeacher Global Academy and OBIS international.  The workshop built on the successful partnership between IOOS and OBIS to develop a community of practice around the management and analysis of biological ocean observing data.  It provided hands-on training to partners from the IOOS Regional Associations, Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON),  National Centers for Environmental Information, Federal and State government agencies, Smithsonian Marine GEO, Ocean Tracking Network, Animal Telemetry Network, Ocean Networks Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The objective of the workshop was to educate participants in the benefits, goals, technology and process to make biological data more widely accessible in standardized formats. Outcomes from the workshop include a collection of software and scripts available on a GitHub repository.  The training materials are available on the OceanTeacher website. (POC: Jennifer Bosch)
    • Save the Date! DMAC Annual Meeting:  This year’s meeting will take place Monday, May 21 to Wednesday, May 23 at the Silver Spring Civic Building in downtown Silver Spring.  Stay tuned for more information including hotel block information and a request for agenda topic ideas.  Please save those dates in your calendars and plan your travel to get together again this year in Silver Spring.
    • QARTOD (National Coordinator Mark Bushnell,
      • Another QC manual updated: A update to the Dissolved Nutrients QC manual has been completed and will soon be posted on the QARTOD web page. We thank the contributors and reviewers for their assistance!
      • Ocean Best Practices at AGU OSM: The OBP Town Hall at the Ocean Sciences Meeting was well attended, participants were engaged and asked good questions. The recorded questions, answers, and additional details are now being compiled. Extensive proceedings from the workshop held in November have been completed and will be posted at Preliminary discussions with IOOS RAs at the OSM suggest there are real opportunities for collaboration, contact Mark Bushnell for additional information.

    Modeling and Analysis Subsystem (IOOS PO and IOOS Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed (COMT) POC – Derrick Snowden,

    • COMT FFO Review Panel, March 12-14: The COMT FFO closed on January 19th and the IOOS Program Office received some excellent proposals for review. An expert review panel has been assembled and will meet March 12-14th, 2018 to review the proposals.
    • Workshop on SDGs in the Caribbean: GEO Blue Planet, with support from NASA, held a workshop on the role of the ocean for the implementation and monitoring of SDGs in Caribbean small island developing states on January 17-19, 2018, in Saint Vincent. A workshop report is under development and will be made public as soon as it is available. The workshop brought together 42 participants from seventeen countries representing a wide range of stakeholders to agree on SDG targets of importance to the region, indicators to measure progress against those targets, approaches to monitoring critical social, economic and environmental variables, and associated funding needs. The group is working to match  these requirements with existing observations and data products and to identify gaps where leveraging existing resources is not possible.  Gabrielle Canonico represents IOOS on the workshop committee.    
    • 2018 OOI Data Workshops – Apply Now: The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) is hosting several workshops for early-career scientists (PhD candidates, postdocs and pre-tenure faculty up to 7 years post-PhD) interested in learning more about the OOI and how to use data from the program in their work. The workshops focus on the development of programming, data analysis, and evaluation skills. Overviews of the marine infrastructure and software tools maintained by the OOI will also be provided. Click here for Workshop Details
    • NGS Releases New Coordinate Conversion and Transformation Tool (NCAT): The National Geodetic Survey recently released the NGS Coordinate Conversion and Transformation Tool (NCAT), which combines several previously separate transformation tools into a single browser-based user interface that supports single- and multi-point conversions, web services, and downloadable software. The tool will provide our NGS customer base of engineers, surveyors, and researchers, etc., a more efficient and streamlined product. NCAT allows users to easily convert geodetic coordinates between different coordinate systems, and to transform coordinates between different datums in a single step. NCAT performs three-dimensional (latitude, longitude, ellipsoid height) coordinate transformations for a wide range of datums and regions in the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) and provides local error estimates for each transformation. This one-stop coordinate conversion and transformation tool makes it convenient to convert and/or transform coordinates for a variety of geospatial applications. It is available as web service or to download for offline processing. For more information, contact:, 240-533-9654
    • OceanObs ‘19 - Call for Abstracts: The organizers of OceanObs’19 are soliciting abstracts for Community White Papers describing aspirations for the coming decade from all interested groups. The Community White Papers should promote international collaboration and large-scale sustained ocean observing efforts, and address one or ideally more of the seven (anticipated) themes (Discovery, Ecosystem Health & Biodiversity, Climate Variability & Change, Water, Food, & Energy Security, Pollution & Human Health, Hazards & Maritime Safety, and Blue Economy) and two crosscutting themes on data information system and ocean observing governance topics. Abstract submissions will remain open until March 15, 2018.  The Program Committee will review and consolidate the Community White Paper list from March 15 – April 30, 2018.  Invitations to group authors for Community White Papers will be sent by April 30, 2018. Final Community White Papers will be collected by September 30, 2018. For more information and to submit an abstract please see
    • Save the Date for the 2018 Public Policy Forum - Power of Partnerships: Advancing Ocean Science and Tech: Consortium for Ocean Leadership’s annual Public Policy Forum theme is Power of Partnerships: Advancing Ocean Science and Tech and will feature leadership roundtables and case studies with experts from across the federal government and around the country, as well as remarks by several Members of Congress. Power of Partnerships investigates partnering as a tool to advance the national ocean science and technology enterprise. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, and a reception will be held in the evening. More info:
    • New GOA-ON Website: NANOOS and NOAA PMEL worked together on an upgrade to the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) website.  Please check it out at  Kudos to Troy Tanner (NANOOS) and Cathy Cosca (NOAA PMEL) for this great collaboration, and it has been my pleasure to be actively involved.
    • Rincon Wave Buoy Back in Service in CARICOOS: A wave buoy located near Rincon in northwest Puerto Rico has been successfully redeployed and is back online and reporting data.  The buoy went adrift during the peak of Hurricane Maria, was recovered by NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson, refurbished by CDIP, and redeployed by CARICOOS on February 8.  Click here for current data:

    • No update.

    • IOOS PO Participation in 2018 Social Coast Forum: Sabra Comet, the IOOS PO’s new Sea Grant Fellow, attended the 2018 Social Coast Forum in Charleston, South Carolina February 5th through 8th. Hosted by the NOAA Office for Coastal Management, the meeting focuses around the social science side of coastal management. Sabra attended a mix of talks, round-tables, mini-trainings, and skill building workshops to learn more about stakeholder engagement and the technology and tools available during the next year of her fellowship.
    • GCOOS Seeks Board Nominees: GCOOS’ Membership Committee is seeking nominations for the organization’s Board of Directors. We are seeking individuals interested in and committed to working within an organization dedicated to provide data, information and products to the Gulf of Mexico stakeholder community that includes the private sector, governmental agencies at all levels, academia and researchers, non-governmental organizations and the general public. The nomination deadline is 5 p.m. (CST), Friday, March 2, 2018.  Click here to learn more about the duties and nomination process:
    • SECOORA Webinar: Next Generation SECOORA Data Portal (v2.5): Building on many years of stakeholder feedback, SECOORA and its technical partner, Axiom Data Science, have been working on a significant overhaul to the SECOORA Data Portal. The updated portal is currently available in beta version (v2.5) to give users access to new features and a revamped design to get more out of the SECOORA data services.  The webinar is February 27 at 12pm ET.  To learn more and register, click here:
    • What do YOU want out of the next GLOS webinars?  GLOS co-hosted two webinars recently, both sharing experience from other regions on harmful algal bloom observations. Participation was great and they’re wondering what else GLOS can do to add value to the Great Lakes data sharing community.  Click here for more, and to add your voice:
    • GLOS co-hosting the Marine Technology Society Buoy workshop, April 9-10: Join GLOS for the 12th MTS Buoy Workshop at the Michigan League, located on the University of Michigan Campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hosts this year are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR), and the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS). Read more here:
    • Save the Date! GCOOS Spring Members Meeting: Please save the date! The Spring Members meeting will be held Thursday, April 19th, 2018.
    • Global Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) Workshop: A workshop has been scheduled immediately following the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity, on Thursday, May 17,  2018 at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. All those interested in life in the sea and in building the global MBON are encouraged to attend, including existing and potential new partners.  Please contact for more information.
    • Save the Date! DMAC Annual Meeting:  This year’s meeting will take place Monday, May 21 to Wednesday, May 23 at the Silver Spring Civic Building in downtown Silver Spring.  Stay tuned for more information including hotel block information and a request for agenda topic ideas.  Please save those dates in your calendars and plan your travel to get together again this year in Silver Spring.
    • Save the Date! SECOORA 2018 Annual Meeting: The SECOORA 2018 Annual Meeting will be held May 22, 23 and 24, 2018 in Charleston, South Carolina.  Check in with SECOORA for more information as it's available:
    • Save the Date for OCEANS 2018: Mark October 22 - 25, 2018 on your calendars now for the OCEANS 2018 Charleston Conference - the leading global OCEANS conference bringing science, technology, and ocean leaders together to help advance the world’s ocean professions. We look forward to seeing you in Charleston, South Carolina.

    Click here to view the IOOS Association Calendar

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