Bi-Weekly IOOS® Z-Gram – 24 June 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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IOOS website gets a digital facelift!

From the IOOS Program Office:

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • HF Radar (IOOS national coordinator, Jack Harlan;
    • No update.
  • CO­OPS Stations Record 85 mph Winds During Storm: Severe thunderstorms on June 21 produced very strong wind gusts recorded at NOAA’s Center for Operational Products and Services (CO-OPS) stations along the Delaware Bay. CO­OPS stations recorded very high wind gusts within a few minutes of each other as the storms crossed the bay.  8555889 Brandywine Shoal Light, DE recorded a wind gust of 74 knots (85 mph) as the storm passed over the station and 8536110 Cape May, NJ station recorded a wind gust of 56 knots (65 mph).  This information was used by the National Weather Service office in Mt. Holly, NJ to verify the intensity of the storms.  The wind gust at 8555889 Brandywine Shoal Light now sits as the #1 event gust for the period of record at that station (2002­2012, 2014­ - present). Additionally, the wind gust at 8536110 Cape May, NJ station is now the #3 event gust for the period of record there (2003­ - present).
  • Glider Update:  2015 IOOS gliders days: 5546.  An increase in days from 2014, though we are still down from the 2008-2013 trend.  The summary is posted at the bottom of the IOOS glider page here.  Of the days submitted this year, 78% were in the DAC, which is great progress.

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 releases our Environmental Sensor Map – millions of observations at your fingertips:  Access from and click on the thumbnail, or go directly to  The map displays an enormous amount of real-time meteorological and oceanographic data from sources across the IOOS enterprise.  The hexagonal bins seen in the default view are averages of data (default parameter is water temperature).  This binning changes as you zoom into a location. One feature to note is that the menu options allow you to view each RA's real-time assets. This in partnership with Axiom Data Science.
  • NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) releases “Gold Standard” NetCDF files:  NCEI completed the "Gold Standard" NetCDF files using both the NODC template v1.1 and the NCEI template v2.0.  These example files can help you shape how your NetCDF files are put together so they are consistent IOOS data formats and are ultimately ready for archival at NCEI. Please see his email below for the links.  Luke Campbell of RPS ASA has updated the Online IOOS Compliance Checker to include the latest updates we spoke about at the DMAC meeting (the ioos_code attribute for the platform variable). Here’s your chance to check it out and provide feedback! Please submit compliance checker feedback on Github.  Bugs specific to NCEI checks or the interpretation of the NCEI specifications should be reported to All other issues should be reported here:
  • Enter the GLOS Data Challenge to make a difference in the world – and to earn cash prizes:  The Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) recently launched the GLOS Data Challenge, opening the contest for registration. The contest rewards creative technological solutions developed with open data. Competitors can sign up at, and further details are available at The grand prize is $5,000, and an additional $8,000 will be awarded in various categories. Read more.
  • QARTOD Update (lead Mark Bushnell -
    • Phytoplankton:  A kick-off telcon was conducted on June 13 with strong participation.  The primary concern among those attending is the diversity of technologies used to observe phytoplankton biomass and diversity. The idea of chapters within the QC manual to address the differing techniques was discussed.
  • Animal Telemetry Network (ATN) (Project Manager Bill Woodward Bill visited the NMFS Chesapeake Bay Office in Annapolis to learn more about their Mid-Atlantic Acoustic Tag Observation System (MATOS) and to explore how it can fit into our regional ATN plans with MARACOOS. MATOS is the mid-Atlantic version of an OTN Acoustic data node with some extra bells and whistles.  It was a great meeting and they were very enthusiastic about joining forces with us. We have been able to provide them with a small amount of funding through MARACOOS to enable them to 'finish' the technical work (by ASA) and generate a demonstration product that we can show to the local mid-Atlantic resource managers, the ASMFC, the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Council, etc., to get their support and to be vocal advocates for the ATN concept and products.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Public Sector Summit in DC: Micah, IOOS Office, attended the summit along with over 7,000 federal, state, and other public sector attendees as well as Amazon staff and other IT provider representatives. Presentations included several open data projects leveraging the AWS platform including OpenAQ (Air Quality), NOAA Big Data Project (NWS NEXRAD radar), and the US Federal GeoPlatform project.  Amazon presentations covered both technical and non-technical topics including procurement, accreditation and authorization for federal users.  The AWS Public Sector summit is a great venue for learning about the latest technologies available from AWS and how they are being implemented in the government/public sphere.

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem:

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

  • COMT testing new tool to meet NOAA PARR:  To support the diversity and innovation of coastal and ocean modeling systems, the COMT (Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed) project is testing a new tool to enable participating researchers to quickly and easily meet requirements and recommendations set forth by NOAA's PARR in 2015. Enabling participants to interactively address complex metadata requirements for standards such as, Climate and Forecasting metadata standards (CF) as well as emerging standards such as UGRID (CF extension for unstructured meshes) and SGRID (CF extension for staggered grids), the tool developed by COMT will enable the IOOS and coastal/ocean communities to be early adopters of the initiative to make research results discoverable, accessible and ultimately usable by other participating members, NGOs, the private sector and the general public. The results of this development effort are already planned to be a critical component of the NOAA Regional Coastal Resilience grant awardee, NERACOOS, who will be undertaking a multi-state initiative to provide a comprehensive, collaborative coastal forecasting system using various numerical models similar to COMT. The tool and practices were developed by the COMT CyberInfrastructure team (led by RPS ASA) to enable rapid compliance and development of decision support tools for all communities within the member states, leading to immediate benefits from the NOAA grant.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • Influence the 2nd National Plan for Civil Earth Observations:  The USGEO subcommittee has the responsibility to produce this plan every 3 years.  OSTP released a Request for Information on Development of the 2017 National Plan for Civil Earth Observations.  The link to this RFI is  Deadline for public input is July 15, 2016.
  • Administration’s 100 examples of US capacity in science, technology and innovation:  Among the many stories are the National Ocean Policy, the White House Nutrient Challenge where IOOS funding of ACT was a major partner, and the 1st National Plan for Civil Earth Observations.  Check out all the stories:
  • CDC Launches Reporting System for Harmful Algal Blooms & Associated Human and Animal Illnesses:  CDC launched a reporting system for harmful algal blooms, as well as a new website with important information for both health officials and the public.  The One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System (OHHABS) collects data on harmful algal blooms and associated human and animal illness. This voluntary reporting system is accessible to state and territorial public health partners.  OHHABS is an example of One Health surveillance.  One Health is an approach that recognizes that human, animal, and environmental health are interconnected, and that human health, animal health, and environmental health communities can more effectively address many linked health challenges by working together. The new Harmful Algal Bloom website provides information about harmful algal blooms and associated illnesses for the general public, including ways that people can protect themselves, their families and their pets.

Delivering Benefits:

  • IOOS and CARICOOS joined the National Ocean Service (NOS) offices for meetings in Cuba:  Julio, CARICOOS and I joined the Office of Coast Survey (OCS), Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS), the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) for talks with the Oficina Nacional Hidrografía y Geodesia (ONHG), GEOCuba, Ministry of Science Technology and the Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The NOS has two agreements with Cuba – one dealing with nautical charting and the second regarding sanctuaries. While ocean observing was a new topic to this group, tide stations included in the development of nautical charting, but we feel we opened some opportunities for further collaboration.  For the full story and pictures click here. The IOOS and CARICOOS presentations are available here.
  • Ocean forecast offers seasonal outlook for Pacific Northwest waters: Researchers from the NANOOS, University of Washington, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have created a seasonal outlook for the Pacific Northwest waters, which would help tell if it's going to be a great year for sardines or a poor crab season. A paper evaluating the forecast's performance was published in June in the interdisciplinary, open-access journal Nature: Scientific Reports.
  • Final Run Forecast of Chinook Timing on Yukon River Predicts Early to Average Run: The final outlook for Yukon River Chinook salmon timing in 2016 calls for an early to almost average run this year. The first significant pulse (15% point) of Chinook is expected to cross the delta around June 9, which is five days earlier than the long-term average 1961 – 2015. The half-way point (50%) in the run will be reached about June 19, which is two days earlier than the long term average. Final 2016 Outlook and Forecast, Forecast and data page.  Researchers from NOAA Fisheries and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, with the support of the Alaska Ocean Observing System, have identified a combination of spring conditions that is closely related to the timing of Chinook salmon on the Yukon delta.


  • No update.

Communications / Outreach / Education:

  • No update.

Upcoming Meetings with IOOS Participation:

  • Ocean ‘16 – Gearing up:
    • QARTOD Session
    • Zdenka will present the IOOS and NOAA Ocean Enterprise Study
    • Townhalls:
      • IOOS Office and Monterey Bay International Trade Association - “The ‘Blue Silicon Valley’ Emerges from the ‘Serengeti of the Sea’’
      • IOOS Office and Global Ocean Design LLC – Ocean Innovation and Unique Partnerships
    • IOOS Office and CeNCOOS are teaming up with NOAA for a booth

    View the IOOS calendar:


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