Bi-Weekly IOOS® Z-GRAM – 13 November 2015


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From the IOOS Program Office:

  • IOOS Federal Advisory Committee Meeting:  My sincere thanks to LaVerne Ragster, IOOS AC member, and the University of the Virgin Islands for a successful committee meeting. The hospitality was top notch and only outdone by the excellent presentations from Dr. Miguel Canals, CariCOOS; Roy Watlington, IOOS Association Board member; Senator Shawn Malone, Office of the Governor, USVI; Mona Barnes, VITEMA; Cletis Clendinen, District Office for Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett; Dr. David Cuevas-Miranda, US Environmental Protection Agency; Roberto Garcia, NOAA National Weather Service; Josie Quintrell, IOOS Association; Capt. Marjorie Smith, Fast Ferry; and Capt Eric Dobson, VI Port Authority. The stories, examples, and messages delivered at the formal session and during the tour of the harbor offered by Dr. Canals, Capt. Smith, and Capt. Dobson detailed the exceptional value of an effective relationship between Virgin Islands stakeholders and CariCOOS. Mr. Clendinen, on behalf of Delegate Stacey Plaskett, shared her awareness and support of the critical need for data on ocean and coastal conditions.  Senator Malone’s remarks on behalf of Governor Mapp gave the members an appreciation for the Governor’s commitment and initiatives that depend on and use data and information generated by CariCOOS and IOOS. Ms. Barnes, VITEMA, highlighted the important relationship VITEMA has with Federal agencies and her need for precise forecasts. Mr. Garcia complemented CariCOOS on the critical observations they provide and the models they run in support of the Weather Forecast Office, even hiring individuals educated and trained by CariCOOS – now that is a real vote of confidence. Dr. Cuevas-Miranda discussed with the committee EPA’s work in the region and the need for data, especially in the area of ecosystems, and looks forward to fostering a closer relationship with CariCOOS. Chris Ostrander, PacIOOS and I signed the MOU, the final paperwork in the IOOS certification process. Read the story about the ceremony and the IOOS AC meeting:
  • 7th Annual BlueTech & Blue Economy Summit: Carl Gouldman, IOOS Deputy Director, attended The Maritime Alliance’s 7th Annual Summit November 9-10 in San Diego, CA. The Summit was attended by private sector companies working on BlueTech; local, regional, national, and international government officials; and leaders from some premier ocean and coastal research institutions from around the globe including the United Kingdom, Ireland, and France, as well as other cluster representatives in the United States. The Summit highlighted the critical features of cluster success, specifically, the need to include government representatives along with private sector technology companies and ocean research institutions.  All three are needed to leverage the extensive expertise in each area to spur further economic growth while advancing our collective technologies.  The Summit agenda was packed with talks from government leaders, research institutions, and private sector CEOs and presidents. A few highlighted speakers include Kevin Faulconer, Mayor of San Diego; Vice Admiral Charles D. Michel, Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard; and CEOs from industry.

    US IOOS and SCCOOS were represented by Carl Gouldman and Danielle Williams, respectively.  Carl participated in two panels covering the topics of “Gathering Big Data” on the oceanographic side, and NOAA’s Big Data Project & TownHall discussion. During day two of the Summit, Carl attended the “Blue Economy” track and SCCOOS’ Danielle Williams attended the “Blue Economy Workforce of Tomorrow ” track.

    The impact of the Summit and subject meetings around the Summit was immediate for all of the participants who praised the conference for bringing the right mix of players to the table to create a collaborative spirit of trust and engagement.  Overwhelmingly, participants agreed that it is necessary to have multi-disciplinary and BlueTech focused fora to advance our collective ability to collaborate. For more information visit See

  • NOAA and NANOOS sign MOU: An agreement between NOAA and NANOOS enables any NOAA employee or organization to be a member of NANOOS.  NANOOS extends membership through a Memorandum of Agreement to representatives of Federal agencies and non-federal organizations.  Signatories to the agreement agree to coordinate and support the development and operations of the organization.
  • Congrats to 2015 National Ocean Service Awardees: NOS has a Peer rafting award that enables a NOS office to recognize a NOAA employee for their outstanding effort.  I am pleased to announce that IOOS had 2 successful nominations:  Allison Allen – Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, for her outreach to the IOOS RAs in support of NOAA’s Ecosystem roadmap and Robert Simons – National Marine Fisheries Service, for his efforts in including biological information within IOOS.

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • HF Radar (IOOS national coordinator, Jack Harlan;
    • ROWG-WHOI: We had 40 attendees; one of the largest turnouts we’ve ever had.  Attendees from Canada, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Japan. All 10 RAs having HFR were also represented.  Feedback from attendees indicated that the meeting was productive and enjoyable.  The steering committee is working on a summary document.
    • The Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR) of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) established a High Frequency (HF) Coastal Radar Network for the measurement of the velocity of surface currents in coastal seas. Read full paper.
  • Integrated Nutrient Observatory Deployment Underway: As a project under IOOS’ Ocean Technology Transition, throughout the summer and fall of 2015, NERACOOS and its partners deployed and tested automated nutrient sensors. Scientists from UNH operated and tested nitrate and phosphate sensors on the Great Bay buoy and will continue to operate them until the Great Bay buoy is recovered for the winter in early December. In the spring of 2016, UNH plans to re-deploy this buoy with automated nitrate, phosphate and ammonium sensors.  The University of Maine deployed nitrate sensors on NERACOOS buoys E and I during a cruise in July and is deploying nitrate sensors at multiple depths on buoys M and N during their fall buoy turn around cruise. The University of Connecticut will deploy a nitrate, ammonium and phosphate sensor on the Western Sound buoy in the spring of 2016.  Receive updates by signing up for the mailing list or visit the integrated nutrient observatory page.

Data Management and Communications (DMAC) Subsystem and Tools Built on IOOS data:

(Contact Derrick or Rob to get on the list serve for changes -,

  • IOOS Collection on the Digital Coast: The  IOOS® Collection page on NOAA’s Digital Coast offers coastal communities quick and easy access to coastal and oceanographic datasets from 11 IOOS regional associations.  These resources are available through the IOOS Regional Associations portals and providing IOOS data to Digital Coast users, who number more than 6,000 per quarter, provides additional access to ocean observing resources.  Increased access to ocean observing data will expand the breadth of users and integrate these valuable resources with other data, tools, and training resources accessible through the Digital Coast.
  • Compliance checker, v2.0 released! This release adds plugin support and new output formats (HTML, JSON).  More information about the release is in the IOOS github compliance checker repository.

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem:

(IOOS PO and IOOS Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed (COMT) POC – Becky Baltes (

  • No update.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • GEO Plenary XII and Ministerial Summit a Success: Secretary Sally Jewell represented the US at the Ministerial Summit.  Dr. Kathy Sullivan, with Dr. Suzette Kimball, led the US delegation during the Plenary.  The Ministerial Declaration and GEO Strategic Plan were strongly and unanimously endorsed by GEO members and Participating Organizations.  GEO now has 100 countries as members! Secretary Jewell delivered heartfelt remarks in support of GEO stating that it was our moral obligation to work together and pledged strong support by the United States for GEO in its second decade.  Thank you to our Mexican hosts for a superb meeting.  I will provide a full report in the next Z-Gram but 2 ocean related highlights:
    • Congrats to POGO for winning the first GEO video conference and having their video played at the Ministerial.  It was all about the importance of ocean observing.
    • The Marine Biodiversity Network (MBON) generated significant global interest.  The team included Gabrielle Canonico (IOOS, U.S. MBON lead for GEO), Gary Geller (GEO Secretariat), Emmett Duffy (Director, Smithsonian’s Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network), Mark Costello (GEO BON), Francisco Chavez (GEOBON, U.S. MBON, IOOS/CeNCOOS and POGO), Philip Goldstein (OBIS) and several other representatives of the U.S. MBON effort. On November 10, Dr. Sullivan provided substantive, inspirational opening remarks to a well-attended Global MBON session during the GEO BON side event. She noted that the ocean planet is grossly under sampled, and that MBON is “a critical step to help us preserve these environments for their own sake and for what they provide.”  She said that MBON “underpins” the concept of environmental intelligence and encouraged participating countries to amplify the U.S. investment in MBON through GEO BON and the global framework.  On November 12, MBON was highlighted in the U.S. National Statement by Alternate head of the U.S. delegation Suzette Kimball (USGS Acting Director). 

Addressing the full GEO plenary, Dr. Kimball said, “Marine biodiversity plays a vital role in maintaining the productivity and resiliency of ecosystems. The United States is pleased to be a part of the developing Marine Biodiversity Observation Network within GEO BON. Last year, NASA, NOAA, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and commercial partner Shell Oil funded projects in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans to understand ongoing changes in ocean ecosystems. Now, joined by the Smithsonian Institution, we are exploring the potential to work with partners throughout the Western Hemisphere to develop a Pole-to-Pole Biodiversity Observation Network running from Antarctica to the Arctic.” MBON was recognized as a key partner in the AmeriGEOSS initiative, to provide marine biodiversity capacity building and information for partners in Latin America in direct support of AmeriGEOSS priorities.  MBON was also recognized as a key partner of the GEO Blue Planet initiative -- providing support to Blue Planet capacity building, ocean observing, and user engagement activities for marine and coastal biodiversity and ecosystems.

  • OTN receives iTag's ‘Zen Sandbox Award’ and ‘Gulf Guardian Award’: Dr. Fred Whoriskey, Executive Director, Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) accepted the Zen Sandbox Award for helping organize acoustic arrays in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf Guardian Award was awarded for the work to support Cory Diaz, 9, a Florida elementary school student raising funds for acoustic tags. Read more.
  • Citizen science: Glider Pilot Training: Glider technicians from Canada’s OTN and the Marine Exploration Observation Prediction and Response Network hosted a training workshop on piloting and remote data offload of the OTN Wave Glider. The session serves as a test-run for members of the public to pilot the gliders. Read more.
  • NOAA and IOOS briefs Ambassador Mark Brzezinski:  National Geodetic Survey, Office of Coast Survey, Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, Office of Response and Restoration, and IOOS met with Amb. Mark Brzezinski and participated in a discussion of NOAA navigation services in the Arctic.  Amb. Brzezinski serves as the Executive Director of the U.S. Government's Arctic Executive Steering Committee in charge of implementing the National Strategy for the Arctic Region (NSAR) and the NSAR Implementation Plan. Carl Gouldman briefed for IOOS focusing on AOOS’ capabilities.

Delivering Benefits:

  • Climate Variability and Fisheries Workshop:  October 26-28, SECOORA co-hosted the "Climate Variability and Fisheries Workshop: Setting Science Priorities for the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Regions" in St. Petersburg, Florida. The goal of the workshop was to advance our understanding of impacts of climate variability on fisheries resources and management in the large marine ecosystems and to promote multidisciplinary partnerships. A meeting report is coming soon. Click here to see the meeting page.
  • Southeast Ocean and Coastal Acidification Network (SOCAN): Since March 2015, SECOORA has led SOCAN’s State of the Science Webinar Series to strengthen ocean acidification communication in the southeast region. Click here to view the webinars.
  • Expanding Ocean Acidification Monitoring and Engagement: NERACOOS has led NECAN (Northeast Coastal Ocean Acidification Network) and the efforts to expand monitoring of ocean and coastal acidification (OCA) in the region are starting to pay off.  Last month, NECAN members and steering committee representatives attended a press event at the Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) hosted by the EPA. The event highlighted the recent deployment of a unique monitoring system for OCA measurements at the SMCC dock, which was implemented by Joe Salisbury’s team at the University of New Hampshire.  Over the last several months NECAN has hosted Stakeholder Engagement workshops in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Canada. The latest workshop was held in early October in conjunction with the Canadian Fishermen’s Forum. This year’s forum focused on “working together to monitor our changing coasts and oceans.” The Forum brought together members of the fishing and aquaculture industry, academic and government scientists, and the public to discuss observations and collaborative research needed to anticipate and adapt to the environmental and economic impacts of a rapidly changing ecosystem.
  • SCCOOS Citizen Science launched:  Calling amateur scientists, beachgoers and people who work or live along the Southern California coast to take photos this winter. SCCOOS is asking the public to help monitor coastal erosion and shoreline damage during this upcoming El Nino event.  The collection of photos and data will be added to Scripps record books and used as a predictor for the effects of future high-tide and large wave combinations, as well as sea-level rise.  Photos can be submitted via email to  Click for more information.


  • Fall Congressional Visits: Jen and Carl continued the IOOS Congressional visits through meetings with the staff of Representatives Honda, Capps, and Graves and the House Natural Resources Committee, Minority staff.  Visits are still being scheduled through mid-December.  Want a briefing? Contact
  • ICOOS Reauthorization Status: Senate Bill to reauthorize IOOS (S.1886) will go to mark-up on November 18th.
  • Coastal Science Fueling Coastal Economies Capitol Hill briefing: Sponsored by Senator Bill Nelson and the National Association of Marine Laboratories.
    • When: November 20, 2015, Noon to 1:30PM
    • Where: Capitol Visitor Center, Room SVC 202
    • A box lunch will be provided.  Space is limited. RSVP to
    • Speakers:
      • Pamela Yochem, Executive Vice President, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, San Diego, California
      • Megan Davis, Interim Executive Director, FAU Harbor Branch, Fort Pierce, Florida
      • Lisa Auermuller, Director, Coastal Training Program, Rutgers University
      • Alan D. Steinman, Director, Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University, Muskegon, Michigan

Communications / Outreach / Education:

  • No update.

Upcoming Meetings with IOOS Participation:

  • Register for the 2014-2015 Pacific Anomalies Science and Technology - WORKSHOP 2 - scheduled for January 20-21, 2016 at the University of Washington Campus - Seattle Washington.
    • Areas of the North Pacific have been as much as 5°C warmer than average affecting weather and climate patterns.  Extreme conditions in physical and biogeochemical parameters are occurring in many locations, and appear to be impacting pelagic ecosystems, including fisheries. Workshop 1, held at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Ca, generated a series of research and development questions and issues related to these anomalies. Workshop 2 is focused on improving our understanding of how these significant oceanographic variations arose, their impact on our water, weather and economic well-being, and ways in which we can potentially improve predictive capabilities.

View the IOOS calendar:


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