Bi-Weekly IOOS® Z-GRAM – 21 August 2015


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IOOS certified the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) as its first Regional Information Coordination Entity (RICE) after rigorous review. Certification is a key milestone to the establishment of the full IOOS system and is mandated by the ICOOS Act. IOOS’ Regional Information Coordination Entities bring together local, state and regional ocean and coastal observing capabilities to save lives, safeguard property, and foster economic development. Certification means that these regional organizations are providing high-quality observations to National-level standards and extending the reach and ability of Federal programs. BRAVO ZULU to the entire PACIOOS team!

From the IOOS Program Office:

  • Have you voted today? Put a reminder on your calendar to vote each day for Dr. Richard
    Feely, esteemed NOAA scientist, OA researcher and proud IOOSian, who is up for a
    People's Choice Sammie Award for public service. People’s Choice voting will close at
    11:59 p.m. EST on September 30, 2015.
  • Hail and Farewell:
    • Welcome Kate Culpepper, who started this week as our communications specialist as
      Nancy Seeger wraps up her time at IOOS. Kate is a freelance writer/producer here in
      the DC area. She has been working in production for about 10 years now, primarily in
      factual and documentary broadcast production, starting at National Geographic in 2006.
      Her passion is for education and outreach with a focus on educational and informational
      content, which makes working with IOOS a great fit.
    • Farewell and Thank you: We say goodbye to Nancy Seeger at the end of August.
      Nancy has performed the communications role for almost a year. She also provided us
      with an assessment of the skill set and defined the communications position within the
      IOOS program office. We thank her for a job well done.

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • HF Radar (IOOS national coordinator, Jack Harlan;
    • New Arctic Radar: A new radar site has been established in Alaska at Icy Cape in the
      Chukchi Sea. It is a long-range CODAR SeaSonde that was relocated from Point Lay by
      our partners at University of Alaska-Fairbanks. The new location will mesh with the
      existing site at Wainwright, providing better HF radar coverage of the Chukchi Sea surface
      currents than the previous location. Congratulations on completing this very challenging
      radar installation!
    • Annual IOOS HFR Technical Steering Team Meeting/Webinar: Short presentations
      were made by Nick Shay (waves-HFR work) and Mark Bushnell (QARTOD work) and
      Glen Watabayashi (the Refugio spill response use of HFR). Jack provided an update on
      AWIPS integration and archiving. A large portion of the meeting was focused on the role of
      HFR in IOOS. Also, the topic was discussed as to whether a standing Steering Team is still
      needed. Thank you to Nick Shay (U. Miami/SECOORA) and Jeff Paduan (Naval
      Postgraduate School/CeNCOOS) who have served since the standup of the Steering Team
      and are now stepping down to allow for a refresh of the team.
    • GEO Global HFR: An outcome of the 2015 GEO Global HFR meeting in Taiwan was the
      determination to set up a regional HFR group for information sharing to facilitate the growth
      of HFR in the region. It will be known as Ocean Radar Community for Asia-Pacific Rim
      (ORCAR). For the United States Jack Harlan and Hugh Roarty (MARACOOS) will serve
      on the Board of Directors.
    • CO-OPS Installs Water Level Station to Aid Emergency Managers in New Orleans:
      NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) and the
      National Weather Service recently filled a significant gap in Lake Pontchartrain water-level
      observations that will improve New Orleans’ resiliency to severe storms and flooding.
      CO-OPS installed a water-level station that uses new microwave measurement technology
      and includes a meteorological station. Built to withstand winds of up to 110 mph, the station
      provides continuous real-time measurements before, during, and after a storm event—
      important data for local, state, and federal emergency managers involved in emergency
      planning, emergency flood response, and evacuation orders.

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

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

  • DMAC WEBINAR IOOS Compliance Checker: If you missed the Webinar you can
    stream it here. Luke Campbell from ASA has been developing the Checker and went
    through its functions and a demonstration during his presentation.

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem:

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

  • Study Reviews Forecast System Used During Deepwater Horizon: From the paper’s abstract: “In response to the Deepwater Horizon (DwH) oil spill event in 2010, the Naval Oceanographic Office deployed a nowcast-forecast system covering the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent Caribbean Sea that was designated Americas Seas, or AMSEAS, which is documented in this manuscript. The DwH disaster provided a challenge to the application of available ocean-forecast capabilities, and also generated a historically large observational dataset. AMSEAS was evaluated by four complementary efforts, each with somewhat different aims and approaches: a university research consortium within an Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) testbed; a petroleum industry consortium, the Gulf of Mexico 3-D Operational Ocean Forecast System Pilot Prediction Project (GOMEX-PPP); a British Petroleum (BP) funded project at the Northern Gulf Institute in response to the oil spill; and the Navy itself.  For the full paper see:

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • Canada’s The St. Lawrence Global Observatory (SLGO) announces the launch of its guide to “Best practices in environmental data management” in both official languages: Produced with the contribution of Environment Canada, this document has for a primary goal to raise the awareness of the scientific community regarding the importance of adopting good practices in data management, including compliance with recognized standards, the description of data sets, their sharing and their dissemination. The production of this document is a concrete action that supports the implementation of SLGO’s mandate which aims to promote and facilitate access, dissemination and exchange of data and electronic information on the St. Lawrence ecosystem to improve knowledge and assist decision making.  This guide is available directly on SLGO’s Website and can be downloaded in PDF format.

Delivering Benefits:

  • MARACOOS monitors recent Atlantic storms: MARACOOS is monitoring the tropical depression east of the windward islands, and planning coordination of its assets and allied programs (Gliderpalooza, HFR, CINAR) to ensure data is collected, coordinated, and flowing to the GTS, beginning with assets in the Caribbean toward the East Coast. MARACOOS’ liaison at NCEP (Greg Seroka) is working with the NWS folks.
  • NERACOOS Partners support the 2015 Boston Light Swim: Dr. Rich Signell (U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole) ran (on 8/14/15) an Integrated Ocean Observing System forecast using NECOFS (New England Coastal Ocean Forecast System) of water temperatures and current conditions for the Boston Light swim on August 15 2015. This forecast is based on a model developed at UMass Dartmouth and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution by Drs. Chen & Beardsley, respectively. The model incorporates both weather forecasts, including wind effects, and oceanic conditions. Dr. Signell ran forecasts for the 7 am start (11 AM Greenwich or UTC time) and hourly until 12 noon.  The conditions change enough that the swimmers who completed the swim in 2.5 hours had very different conditions than those that completed the swim in 4 hours.


  • No update.

Communications / Outreach / Education:

  • Geospatial Infrastructure: Informing Adaptation to Sea Level Rise: In cooperation with The COMET® Program—a world leader in education and training for the environmental sciences—on August 7, NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey NGS released a new video “Geospatial Infrastructure: Informing Adaptation to Sea Level Rise.”  Aimed at community planners, emergency managers, and other coastal zone decision-makers, this video explains how geospatial information available through NOAA, combined with strategic local investments in infrastructure, can provide communities with the data needed to confidently plan for future sea-level changes.  This new training video will add to NGS’ existing informative and collaborative COMET videos and training module and will be hosted on COMET’s YouTube Channel, as well as on NGS’ website. See the entire series of seven Geodesy and Mapping videos!
  • NANOOS - New sensor system monitors water temperature for shellfish safety: In the ongoing effort to reduce “bad oyster” illnesses, the state Department of Health recently installed 13 sensors along the shoreline.  The data is disseminated by NANOOS.

Upcoming Meetings with IOOS Participation:

  • Mark your calendars for Oceans ‘15 and associated events, October 19 – 22, Washington D.C.
    • Promoting Sustainable Usage of the Oceans - seminar we are planning at Johns Hopkins SAIS on Monday, Oct. 19 – for more info contact Michael Jones, The Maritime Alliance,
    • Exciting Events sponsored by US IOOS, The Maritime Alliance and MTS all focused on the Blue Economy, Blue Tech, Blue Voice and Blue STEM.  Tuesday will be the popular Ignite Event, followed on Wednesday and Thursday with two special town halls.  Details will be sent in the next Zgram.

View the IOOS calendar:


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