Bi-Weekly IOOS® Z-GRAM – 23 January 2015


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:

  • There is a lot to look forward to in 2015. We anticipate IOOS Regional Associations will submit certification packages and there will be a Federal Funding Opportunity for the next 5 years of partnerships with the IOOS Regional component. At the national level, the IOOC continues to engage the Federal agencies in IOOS with active task teams in modeling, biology, and animal telemetry, and we are working with them to set up a glider task team. On the global front, the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) continues to advance the Tropical Pacific Observing System, we published the GOOS modeling inventory, and the next GOOS Regional Council Forum will be held in September along with the next Global HF radar meeting.   The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is writing its next ten year implementation plan which we hope will be agreed to at the GEO Ministerial that will be held in Nov 2015. The Ocean Enterprise Study is garnering interest. This year will be critical because we will survey the industries (profit and non-profit) to determine their impact on our economy.

    I hope you enjoy the bi-weekly Z-Gram and also encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. I am always interested in how to make the Z-Gram better so hit reply if you have suggestions and the email will come directly to me.

    From all of us at the IOOS Program Office, we look forward to working with the entire IOOS enterprise to make it responsive to user needs.

    Check our IOOS’ newest video: All about safe shipping in the Northeast. Go to the following link,, to view the video. Right click on the video to download. From Captain David Gelinas, Penobscot Bay and River Pilots Association: “We have linked the video on our company website.  I was absolutely thrilled with how professional the presentation was; it is an honor to be able to help spread the word on the importance of the IOOS system.  I sincerely hope the video helps with your mission.” Penobscot Bay and River Pilots Association:

    • Congrats on Promotions:
      • Division Chief for Operations and Communications (OpsC): Congrats to Derrick Snowden who was competitively selected as the OpsC Division Chief. Derrick has a master’s degree in Engineering Management /Systems Engineering and has dedicated his career to working with oceanographic data in some form or another. He has served as the IOOS Data Management and Communications Architect since he joined the IOOS program office in 2010. Prior to that he worked for the NOAA Climate Observing Division of the Climate Program Office; the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami; and also for a short period in the private sector with Lockheed Martin Corporation.  Prior to that, he dedicated many hours of his youth conducting personal observing experiments in and around the Florida Keys and Miami.
      • GLOS Executive Director: Congrats to Kelli Paige the new Executive Director. No stranger to IOOS, she was previously the GLOS program coordinator.
    • IOOS Federal Advisory Committee: The October 2014 meeting minutes have been posted: The next meeting will be April 29-30, 2015 in Washington D.C.
    • GCOOS needs your help:  The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association is seeking nominations for its Board of Directors, which helps to guide the priorities and direction of the organization. Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. CST on Wednesday, Feb. 18. GCOOS-RA - which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year - is a nonprofit organization with members from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida that is tasked with establishing a sustained observing system for the Gulf of Mexico to provide ocean information needed by end-users. Self-nominations are welcome. Nominations should include a short biography; indicate the member organization and its sector (government, academic, industry, education/outreach, etc.). Nominations should be emailed to BOTH Alyssa Dausman,, Chair of the GCOOS-RA Membership Committee, AND Susan Martin, For the full call for nominations, see

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • No update.

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

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

  • 8619 Datasets/4503 Services: Are you using IOOS information? Check out the IOOS Data Catalog at:  The IOOS Data Catalog provides the ability to discover data distributed across more than 4000 data access services. It serves as a landing page that connects to each Regional Association's data portal, such as Voyager. The catalog visualizes the vast amount of data and services available from the IOOS system and highlights the value of Regional Associations and Federal Partners. Please explore the new interactive features of the IOOS Data Catalog and provide feedback through the 'help' page or by going directly to
  • DMAC Webinar:  The IOOS RA DAC managers are working on a standard way to implement QARTOD recommended tests in the IOOS services. The January QARTOD Webinar can be reviewed from this link.  The February Webinar will focus on the encoding question.  Details of the webinar will be provided soon.
  • IOOS ATN and IMOS AATMAS coordinate: Hassan, IOOS PO, met Robert Harcourt (Facility Leader, Australian Animal Tagging & Monitoring System (AATMAS) under IMOS) and Clive McMahon.  They discussed AATAMS 7 years of experience with the Animal Telemetry community and lessons learned that can help the US ATN development and the implementation of acoustic telemetry standards that were developed in collaboration with OTN, IMOS, NANOOS, POST and NOAA.

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem:

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

  • IOOC Modeling Task Team: A sub-group from the Modeling Strategy team met in DC and worked through many of the outstanding questions and ideas for the report.  They agreed on the remaining writing assignments and expect to have all writing assignments in by Feb. 27 and a strategy team endorsed draft out for external review by April 10.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • Your Support Needed:  The Nutrient Sensor Challenge is under way. Led by the IOOS’ partner Alliance for Coastal Technologies and the Challenging Nutrients Coalition, the Challenge aims to accelerate the development of affordable, reliable sensors for measuring nutrients in aquatic environments. Key to the Challenge is demonstrating to developers that there is a robust market for sensors that are more affordable, accurate, and reliable. A large market not only reduces risk for manufacturers, but also encourages competition and innovation that can reduce costs for you – the sensor users.  Preliminary research shows a high demand for affordable, accurate sensors by agencies, states, utilities, watershed managers, and researchers all over the world. Are you part of this market?  Indicate your support and answer a few simple questions – your input will make a difference!

Delivering Benefits:

  • CeNCOOS Governing Council Winter Meeting - Carl Gouldman, IOOS Deputy Director had the opportunity to travel to Santa Cruz, CA to attend the CeNCOOS Governing Council Meeting. Carl presented on topics from the Program Office including updates on the Budget Process, FFO, Certification and the Ocean Enterprise Study. Participants expressed appreciation for the national slides and conveyed that it was really useful to see the world we work within and the challenges we face at the national office in terms of building the coalition to make IOOS work. Carl also had a chance to meet with CeNCOOS Executive Director David Anderson, CeNCOOS staff, and PI Rob Bochenek to understand the region’s capabilities, challenges, and issues.

      Other presentations at the meeting included a presentation by Rob Bochenek, Axiom highlighting new portal features and DMAC advances. There was an overwhelming positive response to the Research Workspace Axiom briefed. Rob said about the research workspace: “Yes, what we have now is really novel, and now what we have to do is make is useful”. Carl was very impressed with the DMAC progress.

      Skyli McAfee announced the west coast ocean acidification and hypoxia task force that is bilateral with Canada and part of the West Coast Governors agreement. She and others talked about Ocean Acidification as a simplification and that the real importance is to understand the multiple stressors and impacts on ecosystems services (one of which is water quality for shellfish health – e.g. need for aragonite saturation levels to be high enough).

      CeNCOOS also presented on a schedule to complete proposals for the next funding cycle beginning with “expressions of intent” as an initial step. They also demoed the new CeNCOOS website and discussed future plans. If you have not had an opportunity to view the new website, go to: The second day of the meeting consisted of breakout groups focused on various topics including Shore Stations, HFR, and Modeling.

      We will have links to the presentations posted on our Communications page soon:

    • Listen for Marine Wildlife: PacIOOS’ Voyager is now streaming live audio from an offshore hydrophone (underwater microphone)! Listen to the audio feed and you may hear songs of humpback whales or other marine wildlife. The hydrophone is part of the University of Hawai'i's ALOHA Cabled Observatory, located 100 km north of the island of O'ahu. Since June 2011, the ALOHA Cabled Observatory has been providing real-time oceanographic observations from a depth of 4,800m via a submarine fiber optic cable that comes ashore on O'ahu. Voyager now also incorporates plots of the latest ALOHA station data (temperature, salinity, oxygen, and currents) and photographs of the ocean floor. Explore, view, and listen to our ocean!
    • Integrated Tracking of Aquatic Animals in the Gulf of Mexico (iTAG) - Learn more and help out! It has been eight months since the Integrated Tracking of Aquatic Animals in the Gulf of Mexico (iTAG) workshop was held at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC), Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, FL (see the May 2014 meeting report at Since that time, significant progress has been made toward developing a web-based tool to support a regional animal telemetry network in the Gulf of Mexico. As, one example, Bob Currier, GCOOS-RA Data Product Developer, has programmed a beta interactive map product to host "orphan tags" (tags that are picked up on a researcher's monitoring network that is not their own) and facilitate data sharing by integrating regional data and data from other telemetry networks, such as the developing U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Animal Telemetry Network. Read more at  Development of a beta product by the GCOOS-RA to promote the integration of telemetry data in the Gulf of Mexico is one positive outcome of the May 2014 iTAG workshop. Another is the development of a joint Gulf of Mexico effort with Dr. Fred Whoriskey, Executive Director of Canada's Ocean Tracking Network (OTN). OTN has a program whereby they are able to loan acoustic receivers to interested parties. The catch is that those using them must provide their own transmission tags. The iTAG Steering Committee, including Chair, Dr. Sue Barbieri at FWC, and GCOOS-RA Executive Director, Dr. Barb Kirkpatrick, has been working to find funds to purchase tags to support projects in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (NMS), Flower Garden Banks NMS, and off the coast of southern Texas. Enter eight-year old Cory Diaz, Bay Point Elementary School third-grade student and creator of the UTag for iTAG project. When she learned that the Gulf would receive $500,000 in acoustic receivers if they could find money for tags, she set to work raising money to buy tags for her school community service project.  When asked what inspired her to create the UTag for iTAG campaign, she simply stated, "I wanted to do something good for the ocean. I love the ocean and all the animals in it and I don't want them getting hurt anymore. I started this project to put the "U" and "me" in iTAG!" Cory's target goal is $20,000 and her full press campaign is just getting underway. "Tags are expensive," she stated. You can support this effort by donating at  
    • Smart Planning: SCCOOS Government and Public Relations Coordinator, Jen McWhorter, participated in an informative panel discussion along with Dr. Russell Tait of Exxon Mobil, Michael Jones of the Maritime Alliance, Dawn Write, Esri Chief Scientist, and RADM Gerd Glang, Office of Coast Survey at the recent Esri® Oceans Conference.  The panel discussed the multitude of ways that we use the oceans and how to promote safe and effective marine spatial planning (MSP). You can watch the entire video of the panel discussion at:
    • SCCOOS Receives a Grant from Edison International: Edison International is an energy company that offers grants up to 5K to organizations that have missions that focus on their four priority areas: education, environment, public safety and preparedness, and civic engagement. SCCOOS is grateful for this grant as it will allow us to educate and engage the public on preserving a healthy and sustainable environment. Check out to see if your organization qualifies.
    • NANOOS- King Tides are coming! King Tides, the highest tides of the year, happen every winter when the moon is closest to Earth. This winter’s King Tides begin December 20th. Both OR and WA have photo projects inviting citizens to document these tides. Use NVS to see when the King Tides are at your favorite beach. View Tide Forecasts in NVSOR King Tides ProjectWA King Tides Project
    • CeNCOOS: Harmful Algal Bloom Forecasts Now Available: With NASA funding, UCSC researchers and CeNCOOS have been working to operationalize a predictive Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) model for the region.  The forecasts from this model of Pseudo-nitzschia (a marine diatom) blooms and Domoic Acid (the potentially harmful biotoxin Pseudo-nitzschia releases) probabilities along the California coast are in a beta form and we are posting some initial products at the link below. See more at:


    • No update.

    Communications / Outreach / Education:

    • AOOS, NOAA (NOS and NMFS) talk about the Science of Cook Inlet: Barbara Mahoney (NMFS, Protected Resources) and Molly McCammon (Alaska Ocean Observing System) and Kris Holderied, Director National Ocean Serivce’s Kasitsna Bay Labtalk about Cook Inlet. Cook Inlet plays a big part in the life of our city, but what do we know about the health of the waterway that brings us fish, oil and gas, the cargo ships that supply us, and accepts our waste? As the Alaska Marine Science Symposium takes place in Anchorage, we’ll talk with experts about the Inlet and Gulf of Alaska, the waters and wildlife.  Great job, I really enjoyed their discussion.
    • NOAA-CalCOFI Ocean Genomics Project (NCOG): ‘Omics is the term for a set of genome-based technologies used for biological analysis at the molecular level (i.e., DNA, RNA, or proteins) to identify organisms and their function. Read the article at: U.S. IOOS provided some funding in Year 1 of this effort to support connections to SCCOOS.
    • AOOS 10th Anniversary – Feature Video: GYRE: Art from a Plastic Oceanby JJ Kelley won the Award for “Best Treatment of a Complicated Subject”. GYRE takes viewers around the Gulf of Alaska, illuminating the seriousness of the marine debris issue. Learn more. A new film from the AOOS Short Film Contest will be posted weekly. See the full list.

    Upcoming Meetings with IOOS Participation:

    • Announcing the 2nd Blue Planet Symposium - Following the success of the inaugural Blue Planet Symposium held in Ilhabela, Brazil in 2012, we are pleased to inform you the 2nd Symposium will be held in Cairns, Australia, May 27-29 2015. The 2nd Symposium seeks to bring ocean observations to users by connecting leaders and representatives of various international organisations and networks, research scientists and postdoctoral and graduate students to:

      • Learn about the various relevant on-going activities
      • Coordinate better the ocean-related tasks within Group on Earth Observations (GEO)
      • Speak with a collective voice to GEO member nations and participating organisations
      • Raise awareness of societal benefits of ocean observations to the broader community, targeting in particular policy makers and funding agencies
      • Seek new avenues for enhancing implementation of ocean observation systems
      • and Promote capacity building globally, especially in developing countries.

      The call for presentation and poster abstracts is now open and we encourage your submissions around the Blue Planet Components. Submit through the Blue Planet website, abstracts are limited to 2000 characters.

      Submissions will close on 13 February, 2015. 

      The symposium program will be organized according to the Blue Planet Components:

      • Sustained Ocean Observations
      • Sustained Ecosystems and Food Security
      • Ocean Forecasting and Services
      • Services for the Coastal Zone
      • Ocean Climate and Carbon
      • Developing Capacity and Social Awareness

    View the IOOS calendar:


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