Bi-Weekly IOOS® Z-Gram – 11 November 2016


ZGram picThe Z-Gram is an informal way of keeping you up-to-date on US IOOS® activities. Pass it on! Please reply with an e-mail with additional addresses or if you no longer want to receive the Z-Gram. Previous Updates


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From the IOOS Program Office:

  • MARACOOS Becomes the 3rd IOOS® Certified Regional Association: Congrats to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS), as a complete and full member of the national IOOS system under the authority of the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009. The certification lasts five years and means that the region's data and information are quality assured for use by NOAA and its federal partners.

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • HF Radar/Radio: (IOOS national coordinator, Jack Harlan; The NOAA UxS symposium was held at La Jolla 25-27 Oct.  Ed Romero (UCSB) presented a talk on using quadcopters for HFR antenna pattern measurements.  Official meeting summary has not been released yet.  Ed reported to that his briefing was well received. Representatives from several Federal agencies were in attendance, with about 100 attendees in total.  Ed’s brief is at:
  • Gliders:
    • Challenger mission update:  A great partnership between, IOOS, IMOS, and Rutgers University - Epic Indian Ocean Mission has begun.  Challenger was re-christened by Senator Back (Australia), and onboard are letters from Dr. Sullivan, Tim Moltman (IMOS), and myself along with various flags, including NOAA’s.  Also onboard as part of the ballast is a NOAA coin – in the nose cone – we think NOAA is leading the way.  We wish the glider fair winds and following currents.  Read more at
  • Ocean Technology Transition: An advanced underwater, robotic biosensor, the  "Environmental Sample Processor" (ESP) was successfully deployed 13 miles off the coast of La Push, WA this summer and fall.  The ESP relayed data on harmful algal bloom (HAB) species and domoic acid toxin concentration in real-time.  The ESP was integrated into the University of WA/NANOOS NEMO sub-surface buoy for two 6-week deployments, the timing of which were planned to coincide with potential razor clam harvests. The project is funded through the IOOS Ocean Technology Transition program and is led by Stephanie Moore (NOAA) and John Mickett (UW-APL) with many academic, non-profit, industry, tribal, and state partners.  The ESP will be re-deployed in spring of 2017.

Data Management and Communications (DMAC) Subsystem and Tools Built on IOOS data (DMAC list serve – contact Derrick or Rob -,

  • Contribute Data to IOOS- News Splash: Working with IOOS is now easier than ever. We have launched a new and improved Contribute Data section on the IOOS website.
  • Glider DAC Webinar: The first glider DAC webinar was held to discuss updates to the DAC NetCDF file specifications that added QARTOD flags and how they reference variables and store QC information.  A recording can be streamed from this URL.
  • Glider Team wants your feedback.  The glider DAC team is interested in collecting tools and products that can ease the work required to submit data to the DAC for a future webinar.  If you have examples that you would not mind sharing, please email
  • Release of Compliance Checker V3.0: RPS-ASA is releasing the Compliance Checker V 3.0 on Monday, November 14th. With this major release they have reread and changed their interpretation of the CF specification with the guidance from NCEI and members of NCEI's NetCDF team. Along with these changes, they have integrated a much more advanced capability for the checker to accurately determine feature types for datasets and make accurate checks based on the type of dataset being checked.  Detailed information and install instructions please go here:
  • Integrated OR&R DWH open data (biology and animal telemetry data) via GCOOS: Troy Baker and Ben Shorr (NOAA OR&R) are matching biological and telemetry data variables in ORR's DIVER with the new AST data exchange standards posted in IOOS github and MMI. This exercise will tell us how much work will be needed to map the DWH animal telemetry data and how much metadata needs to be gathered.
  • GLOS Announces Data Challenge winner:  Congratulations to The Water Rangers, whose interactive map helps citizens combine their data with open data available through the GLOS data portal.
  • ATN (National Coordinator Bill Woodward,
    • No Update
  • QARTOD (National Coordinator Mark Bushnell,
    • Passive Acoustics QC Manual: The kick-off telecon was conducted on Nov 7th and the meeting minutes are being prepared for distribution.
    • Phytoplankton QC Manual: Draft being returned to the committee for their review before being distributed to the RAs.

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem:  
(IOOS PO and IOOS Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed (COMT) POC – Becky Baltes,   

  • No Update.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • Successful GEO-XIII Plenary and Week! USA to host next Plenary Oct 2017:  ROSHYDROMET, ROSCOSMOS and 14 agencies and ministers hosted GEO-XIII in St Petersburg, Russia.  An early winter snow storm left 10 inches of snow on the ground and often produced white out conditions while we held the Plenary. A full story in the next Z-gram but here is a link to the video used to announce Plenary XIV in Washington DC.
    • USGEO video HD:
    • USGEO video, web-optimized: 
  • Canada’s OTN: The MEOPAR WHaLe project has partnered with the Canadian Wildlife Federation to launch an online near-real time app showing where OTN and MEOPAR gliders pick up whale calls in Atlantic waters. The project is instrumental in understanding the movements of critically endangered whales and reducing whale-ship strikes on commercial and recreational routes. Check out:
  • Congrats to OTN:  Ocean Tracking Network has just been awarded the Canadian Museum of Nature’s 2016 Nature Inspiration Prize (in the category not-for-profit organization, large).  The Nature Inspiration Prizes recognize individuals and organizations whose leadership, innovation and creativity connect Canadians to nature, inspiring us to preserve and protect the natural world. You may read more about the event and view videos and photos of the events at here: VIDEO:
  • NOAA Releases Fleet Reports:  The NOAA Fleet Independent Review Team’s (IRT) report assesses the health of the NOAA fleet, requirements for recapitalization, and analyzes operational and maintenance practices and technology infusion. The IRT considered the compelling data-collection requirements that need access to the oceans; the applicable technologies and how they change the requirements; the appropriate fleet size and composition to meet needs; and best approaches to meet this need.  You can read the IRT’s final report at

NOAA’s Fleet Plan: Building NOAA’s 21st Century Fleet was presented to and approved by Secretary Pritzker on October 31.  The Fleet Plan highlights NOAA’s products and services that depend on at-sea data, the requirements for a core NOAA capability of ships, the value of these products and services to the Nation, and near-term and long-term strategies for mitigation. You can read the NOAA Fleet Plan at:

Delivering the Benefits:

  • PacIOOS Water Quality Sensor Partnership Program: The PacIOOS Water Quality Sensor Partnership Program (WQSPP) was developed to inform place-based research and conservation efforts in the insular Pacific by collecting accurate and reliable water quality data. Comprised of "roving" Seabird SeaCAT water quality sensors, PacIOOS partners with scientists and natural resource managers to measure important oceanographic parameters over a time period of 6 months to 2 years.
    • As part of the WQSPP, Dr. Kevin Rhodes of the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance (MINA) deployed a PacIOOS nearshore water quality sensor at Kephara Island in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), to examine environmental parameters in association with grouper (Epinephelidae) spawning aggregations. Dr. Rhodes hypothesizes that spawning times coincide with optimal environmental conditions for larval retention and survivorship, such as current strength and direction, and food availability. The study will increase our understanding about the "choices" fish make relative to reproductive success and how climate change may affect fish population persistence.
    • While the primary purpose of the WQSPP project at Kephara Island, FSM, is to study the effects of environmental parameters on spawning aggregations, water temperature measurements collected by the sensor also serve as an invaluable time-series to help reveal triggers for a large-scale coral bleaching event that occurred around Pohnpei last month. Located at a depth of 40m, sensor data has shown that average monthly temperatures rose 0.5°C above historic averages for the months of July, August, and September 2016. Temperatures peaked at an average of 30.1°C in September. The WQSPP sensor measured warmer waters despite the sensor being in slightly deeper waters than its predecessor.
  • Estimated Coral Cover in Hawaiʻi: PacIOOS developed an interactive map viewer that allows users to explore the estimated coral cover around the main Hawaiian Islands. Researchers from the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) at the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) mapped the benthic cover of six coral species in waters between 0 to 30 meters depth. Based on diver surveys and environmental datasets collected between 2000 and 2009, the study used statistical distribution models to estimate coral distribution. Data are shown as percentages, which represent the estimated spatial coverage of a coral species across each 50-meter grid cell. Users can choose to view the six different specifies separately or combined. The "absolute" and "scaled" viewing options facilitate the comparison of coral species or allow users to focus on a specific species, respectively.
  • MACAN Official: Welcome to the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network (MACAN), an information nexus on acidity for our estuaries, coasts and ocean in the Mid-Atlantic region. MACAN has formed a new steering committee to provide oversight, guidance, and bounds on what defines MACAN’s role within the larger context of acidification monitoring and research in the region. Webinar series will be conducted the third Tuesday of the month from 1-3pm starting December 20th and ending March 21st. We will kick-off the webinar series with an overview of the state of the science on acidification in the Mid-Atlantic region. More information to follow shortly. Stay tuned for their website.


  • No update.


Upcoming Meetings with IOOS Participation:

  • Oceanology International Comes to North America:  The OI North America 2017 Conference has a 3-part program that will consist of a series of keynote end-user focused panel discussions, topical technical sessions and a full day dedicated to the Catch the Next Wave conference, all aiming to provide a better understanding of present and future requirements and opportunities of the Blue Economy. Abstracts are being sought now:

View the IOOS calendar:


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