Bi-Weekly IOOS® Z-GRAM – 27 November 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:

  • Thanks: As the United States celebrated Thanksgiving this past week, I thank each of you for passionately believing in the importance of ocean observing to enable decisions every day, advance science, and foster technology.
  • MTS/IEEE Oceans ‘15: Ignite talks (videos and power points) and Blue Economy/Blue Tech Town Hall power points posted
  • Great Read:  A few Z-Grams ago, I talked about Tad’s article using IOOS data management services to support water management. He graciously secured access to the article for all Z-Gram readers: Slawecki, T.A.D. “Virtuous Data Management: Ensuring the Availability and Quality of Environmental Data.” Water Resources IMPACT, Vol. 17, No. 6. November 2015.

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • Glider Updates:
    • Mote Underwater Robot "Genie" Deployed to Monitor HABs & More: Mote Marine Laboratory's newest robotic glider -- nicknamed "Genie" by Manatee County, Fla., 5th-graders who won Mote's naming contest -- started its first underwater mission Nov. 9 offshore of northern Sarasota County.  Genie will gather data useful for many kinds of ocean observing and research, including studies of the ongoing Florida red tide.  The glider's name honors Dr. Eugenie Clark, the world-renowned "Shark Lady" who founded Mote in 1955 and died in 2015. The name was chosen by 5th-grade science students at Annie Lucy Williams Elementary School in Parrish, Fla., during Mote's naming contest among nine classes from five Sarasota-Manatee schools.  Genie will monitor the abundance of  phytoplankton, including the toxic algae K. brevis, water temperature; depth; salinity;  and colored dissolved organic matter.  Data from Genie will be hosted at GCOOS' online data portal and reported at Read the full press release.

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

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

  • Glider Data Assembly Center: Becky Baltes, IOOS PO, gave a glider DAC 101 and tool familiarization last week.  Missed it? View here.  
  • QARTOD Update: lead Mark Bushnell -
    • Glider QC manual: We continue to solicit committee members, co-editors, and gathering reference materials.  A save-the-date email was distributed calling for a glider QC committee telecon on Dec 02 at 14:00 EST.
    • TS QC manual: Adjudicating 2nd round of comments.
    • HF Radar QC manual: We continue to solicit committee members, co-editors, and gathering reference materials.  A save-the-date email was distributed calling for a committee telecon on Dec 03 at 14:00 EST.
    • GCOOS and Gulf of Mexico Alliance develop nutrient & hypoxia portal: The Hypoxia-Nutrient Data Portal is the first of its kind in the region and incorporates nutrient and hypoxia datasets into GCOOS’s data portal, The portal aggregates information from multiple sources to support informed strategies that will reduce nutrient inputs and hypoxia impacts to Gulf coastal ecosystems.  Parameters include current and historical datasets related to dissolved oxygen, dissolved nitrogen, phosphate compounds and many others. The project extends from the inshore waters of estuaries to the continental shelf break of the five U.S. Gulf states. A Hypoxia Decision Support Tool allows users to inspect base maps of observation locations down to the station level.

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem:

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

  • COMT Model Viewer Published: Check it out here  Please provide feedback to Becky Baltes.
  • West Coast model update: The WCOFS management team presented its semi-annual update to senior leadership last week.  The project has had some delays as we establish new processes.  The non-Data Assimilation model is set up.  A skill assessment was completed and accepted by both CSDL and CO-OPS leadership.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • GEO Plenary XII and Ministerial Summit a Success:  See all the outcomes, presentations, awarding winning videos, and country statements:  Link to Secretary Jewell’s weekly message that includes her participation in GEO.  Link to the POGO video on ocean observing, the overall winner of the 1st video conference here.
  • GCOOS partner on NSF EarthCube projectEarthCube IA: Collaborative Proposal: Cross-Domain Observational Metadata Environmental Sensing Network, or X-DOMES, is part of a wider initiative between the NSF Directorate for Geosciences and the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure called EarthCube. EarthCube is a community-led cyberinfrastructure initiative for the geosciences that supports teams who create, assess and align frameworks for sharing data and knowledge in an open and inclusive manner to enable an integrated understanding of the Earth system. The project will build on existing domain vocabulary that sensor manufacturers and researchers can use and will facilitate the aggregation and analyses of data from various sensors. The tools, including modules to communicate to the registry and SensorML from MatLab and guides for sensor manufacturers and researchers, will be published via a project website.  "This pilot project, if successful, could lead to products that will allow scientists to better understand data emanating from these sensors so they can explore issues like data discrepancies or how current observations can be used in conjunction with historical records to conclude a statistical trend," said Co-Investigator Felimon Gayanilo, GCOOS Systems Architect and a researcher at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi's Harte Research Institute. "It should also help scientists, among others, figure out what could be causing differences in reports coming from neighboring sensors."

Delivering Benefits:

  • ACT solicited user needs and requirements for Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASVs):   The workshop included participants from NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, Center for Operational Products and Services, Office for Coastal Management, NCCOS, National Data Buoy Center and NMFS/Chesapeake Bay Office, as well as industry and academia. Gabrielle Canonico provided an overview of U.S. IOOS observing activities and interest in the technology. The workshop included discussion and demonstration of vehicle capabilities, in an effort to understand the current state of the technology and potential application to hydrography, habitat mapping, physical and ecological assessment.  NOAA’s ocean observation and mapping requirements include near shore, shallow water (less than 10 meters). Traditional shipboard observations may not be possible or effective in these areas, and small boat survey operations may be laborious or unsafe. NOAA is investigating the feasibility of using unmanned systems, particularly Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASVs), to meet these shallow water requirements, and this workshop was part of that investigation.
  • The Nutrient Sensor Challenge releases a report on Preliminary Market Outlook for In-Water Nutrient Sensors:  Visit for a summary, and to download the full Market Report.


  • Senate Bill to reauthorize IOOS (S.1886):  The expected November 18th Markup was delayed until December; no date known.

Communications / Outreach / Education:

  • Gulf of Mexico Shark Tagging Expedition Featured on CBS This Morning: The special Gulf of Mexico shark tagging expedition underway was featured on CBS This Morning.  The expedition joins the Harte Research Institute (HRI) for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and leading shark-tracking nonprofit OCEARCH in an effort to build the most extensive shark-tagging program in the Gulf of Mexico region.  Other contributing organizations include Mote Marine Laboratory, University of South Alabama & Dauphin Island Sea Lab, University of North Florida and the National Institute of Polar Research in Japan. Follow OCEARCH on Facebook for expedition updates.
  • Ocean Internet of Things™ Platform: Catalina Sea Ranch, the developer of the first offshore aquaculture facility in federally regulated waters of the United States, talks about using nomad buoys to monitor the farm.
  • IOOS’s Penobscot Bay Navigation video is doing double duty as an NOS podcast this week--new logo and all!  Check it out:

Upcoming Meetings with IOOS Participation:

  • Register for the 2014-2015 Pacific Anomalies Science and Technology - WO RKSHOP 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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