Bi-Weekly IOOS® Z-Gram – 29 April 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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From the IOOS Program Office:

  • IOOS Part of Prestigious Panel:  Ru Morrison joined Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator; Philippe Cousteau, Jacques Cousteau’s grandson; Jeremy Jackson, Scientist/professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Bob Ballard, Discovered Titanic – Professor of Oceanography at URI; and Jane Lubchenco, Past NOAA Administrator (2009 – 2013) for a panel at the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee meeting on oceans.  Some of my favorite points from Ru’s remarks:
    • IOOS was born out of a shared vision about 16 years ago to efficiently and effectively provide the sustained information needed to address these challenges
    • Many have worked to make the vision real
    • IOOS has significantly increased the nation’s ability to deliver ocean information
    • Most importantly, IOOS works because it fosters and cherishes collaboration, creating shared and jointly owned visions of how to address problems.
  • Hail: Welcome to Bill Woodward who joined as the ATN Coordinator.  No stranger to our community, Bill has a long career with NOAA and CLS America. Bill is spinning up quickly with the help of Derrick, Mike Weise and Sam Simmons. 

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • HF Radar (IOOS national coordinator, Jack Harlan;
    • HFR Radar in AWIPS!!  In close partnership and with alot of hard work, HFR Radar is now distributed directly to AWIPS at all coastal WFOs.  For the forecasters to use the information they need to take training - located here The "AWIPS-2 HF Radar Sea Surface Product" lesson has been published in the Commerce Learning Center. It can be found via search or by using the direct link (after login) below: RA team, please reach out to your WFOs and let them know you are available for assistance
    • Significant Wave Height (SWH) Project:  We will discuss this project with NWS marine forecasters in mid-may to 1) inform them of the state of the technology; 2) assess their interest in an HFR-derived SWH product and 3) plan next steps toward a working group to develop a CONOPS.
    • Direction de la Météorologie Nationale of the Kingdom of Morocco starts the first HF radar system in Africa. CONGRATS!  As part of the Group on Earth Observations, Global HF Radar task, the first radar station was implemented in Casablanca Port on top of the Met Office building.  The second station is installed on the premises of the Civil Protection in Temara taking advantage of the uniquely compact design of the chosen SeaSonde HF radar technology which has been implemented by the Moroccan firm Qualitas (  Thank you to GEO secretariat for travel support of a Morrocan official to the Global HF Radar meeting that was key to this success.
  • SCCOP demonstration:  Ocean Power Technologies, Inc., and the National Data Buoy Center are partnering under a cooperative research and development agreement to conduct ocean demonstrations of the innovative Self-Contained Ocean Observing Payload (SCOOP) monitoring system integrated into OPT's APB350 PowerBuoy®.  The initial demonstration will be conducted off the New Jersey coast.  Read More

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

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

  • Annual DMAC Meeting: We will host the meeting in Silver Spring on June 2-3.  Contact Rob Ragsdale if you want to attend.
  • IOOS Archive Data Portal LIVE on the NCEI website. As part of the Ocean Archive System, NCEI maintains the official archives for observational data collected by IOOS.  This data access portal allows you to search the NCEI archives for individual data collections archived by each of the IOOS RA and DACs. 
  • AOOS Adds New Beluga Portal: Through a grant with the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation AOOS has developed the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Ecosystem Portal. Resource managers now have a tool for integrating and visualizing Cook Inlet beluga sighting data with other biological, physical and socioeconomic data.  Thanks to partners National Marine Fisheries Service, Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council and Axiom Data Science. Learn more.
  • ASIS Data Added to AOOS Ocean Data Explorer: Fish catch data from the Bering-Aleutian Salmon International Survey (BASIS), an important part of understanding salmon ecology in the Bering Sea, can be viewed along with other physical and chemical ocean conditions. This project represents a long-running collaboration between Axiom, AOOS and NOAA's Alaska Fisheries Science Center. Learn More
  • QARTOD Update: lead Mark Bushnell -
    • Glider Manual: Adjudicating comments from the international review, then back to the original drafting committee for final review.
    • HF Radar Surface Currents: 4 May, comments due from NOAA-wide, IOOC, and international review.

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem:

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

  • No update.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • NOAA OA and IOOS Partnership:  Thanks to Libby Jewett as I replay her summary from her “nOAts:”
    • The IOOS Pacific Region Ocean Acidification Data Portal (IPACOA - - is being expanded to the entire nation thanks to support from both the IOOS Program Office and the OAP. Access to such information improves our ability to understand, predict and manage the impacts of changes in ocean chemistry from a wide variety of environments.
    • La Parguera (Puerto Rico) mapCO2 buoy, redeployed after its yearly refitting, has extended to include stations in mangrove lagoons and channels at La Parguera.  Data from these stations, which experience high organic loading from mangroves, will provide for an improved understanding of the effect of said loading on adjacent coral reef communities.
    • Erick Garcia, CARICOOS intern, presented a poster on La Parguera OA observations at the Ocean Sciences meeting. Garcia’s participation was sponsored by the ASLO Multicultural Program.
    • Melissa Melendez reported on regional OA at the Puerto Rico Climate Change Workshop held last month in San Juan.
    • The IOOS OTT (Ocean Technology Transition) project “Turning the Headlights on ‘High’: Improving an Ocean Acidification Observing System in Support of Pacific Coast Shell Fish Growers” (funded by OAP and IOOS) that involves NANOOS, AOOS, CeNCOOS, and SCCOOS, and 5 shellfish grower partners and Sunburst Sensors, is making progress toward the next generation of pCO2 sensors for field-testing in shellfish hatcheries with QA/QC evaluation by NOAA PMEL.
    • NANOOS will be deploying the IOOS OTT Environmental Sample Processor on the NANOOS OAP buoy off La Push, WA, in May that will yield information on HABs and OA simultaneously.
  • MBON at the Convention on Biological Diversity Technical Workshop:  Gabrielle, IOOS Office, addressed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) Technical Workshop on Monitoring of Coastal and Marine Biodiversity, speaking about global MBON. The workshop was convened by the CBD Secretariat, the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO through its Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) Biology and Ecosystems Panel, and the GEOBON Marine Biodiversity Observing Network (MBON).  The workshop was attended by 70 people representing 31 countries and 17 organizations representatives of the major global initiatives related to marine assessment and monitoring.  
  • CONGRATS to NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey:  The NGS Gravity for the Redefinition for the American Vertical Datum project (GRAV-D) reached a major milestone  - 50% of data collected for the United States and territories. Once complete, GRAV-D will provide an estimated $240 million in annual savings from improved floodplain management and an additional $282 million in savings from activities that benefit from more precise elevations, including coastal resource management, construction, agriculture, and emergency planning.
  • 4th Ecological Forecasting Roadmap meeting: The IOOS Office and RAs were in strong numbers at this meeting.  The IOOS Office and RAs were mentioned throughout the meeting as important players and partners in the execution of the EFR mission.  Several of the teams are partnering with RA’s for observation gathering as well as hosting of products and services for EF. We enjoy working with our partners across NOAA, in particular the Center for Operational Products and Services, who provides the operational HAB forecasts.  The Assistant Administrators from all five Line Offices (the NOAA Fisheries chief scientist represented that office) kicked off the meeting, sharing their perspectives on ecological forecasting.  Their commitment to moving ecological forecasting forward was impressive.  

Delivering Benefits:

  • Next Generation Oceanographers at MARACOOS:  In 2012 we christened RU 29, now she is back after a victorious swim of over 20,000 km around the Atlantic from New Jersey to Cape Town, to Brazil and back to Cape Town as part of the Challenger Mission.  A perfect backdrop to interact with students of Rutgers’ ocean observing research class.  I chatted with students about the impact they are already making, the opportunities of a career in the field, and my favorite, hearing from each of the groups on their end of semester projects.  The projects were all wonderful and focused on using ocean information.  I was honored by Rutgers for our support of the Challenger Mission. Full story and pictures will be posted soon when we roll out our new IOOS website.
  • CARICOOS Enters Phase 2 with amazing new capabilities: CARICOOS held their annual meeting this past week. Taking a page from IOOS’ Ignite sessions at the MTS/IEEE Oceans conferences, the first evening drew a crowd of 80 where the CARICOOS dazzled the audience with their science in 5 minute increments.  From waves to new water quality forecasts, from biometrics to bio-sensing, from larval transport to MPAs in Jobos Bay NERRS, and from HF Radar to modeling for alternative energy – this pretty much covered the island front of both Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.  The excitement continued the next day with the annual meeting.  What’s new? – A lot:
    • CARICOOS Inc launched; CARICOOS.ORG – new amazing website launched
    • New radars, water quality models, and under keel projects
    • 17 student interns
    • Hon. Carmen Guerrero, Secretary of Department of National Resources and CARICOOS sign a memorandum of agreement to formalize the relationship between Jobos Bay National Estuarine Reserve and CARICOOS


      And MUCH, MUCH more.  Full story in early May on the IOOS website.

      • Los Angeles Sanitation 2015 Hyperion Diversion Post-Monitoring Fact Sheet:  The City of Los Angeles diverted the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant’s effluent from its 5-Mile Outfall to its auxiliary 1-Mile Outfall to allow for critical repairs to infrastructure. The report highlights the results and conclusions of Hyperion’s diversion monitoring plan which includes the SCCOOS component of data sharing and public communications.
      • 22 Current Meters in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca:  NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services deployed 22 current meters in Northern Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca as part of a 3 year currents survey.


      • No update.

      Communications / Outreach / Education:

      • UN Environment Programme and Reef-World Foundation Launch New Video as Part of the Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey Series:  The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and internationally acclaimed cartoonist Jim Toomey have collaborated with Reef-World Foundation to produce a new video on sustainable dive tourism as part of the popular Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey video series.  The video, “Green Fins for a Blue Planet”, illustrates the many benefits of, and potential environmental risks associated with, recreational diving and feature a certification program called Green Fins, which was developed in partnership between UNEP and the Reef-World Foundation.   Watch the video to learn what actions you can take to reduce your environmental “finprint” underwater, especially on coral reefs.
      • SECOORA/USF Intern Accepted at Scripps Institution of Oceanography: Michael Kovatch, a SECOORA/University of South Florida intern, was accepted by UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography to study his PhD in Physical Oceanography. Under the mentorship of Jay Law of USF, Michael spent the 2015 summer taking a behind the scenes look at all the work that goes into coastal ocean monitoring.  Prior to the internship Michael had never heard of physical oceanography and knew very little about marine science in general. "I genuinely believe that my internship with SECOORA and USF opened a door to a world I had never experienced before: seeing real world applications of physical oceanography and the exposure to hands-on field work are undoubtedly the inspiration for my decision to pursue a Ph.D."– Michael Kovatch, State University of New York at Geneseo. Congratulations Michael!
      • Congratulations to ARCS Foundation Award Recipient:  PacIOOS Graduate Assistant and PhD student Lindsey Benjamin received the 2016 Helen Jones Farrar Award in Oceanography from the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation. The ARCS Foundation Honolulu chapter recognized Lindsey's research on using sea surface current measurements south of O'ahu to study tsunami resonant modes and look for meteotsunamis, or tsunamis generated by the atmosphere.  She published in the Journal of Geophysical Research "The 2011 Tohoku tsunami south of O'ahu: High-frequency Doppler radio observations and model simulations of currents."
      • 12th Edition of National Water Monitoring News: Topics included in this edition:   Formation of Volunteer Monitoring Working Group; New products and resources from Federal and State agencies; Tools for visualizing water-quality data; and Recent publications of interest.

      Upcoming Meetings with IOOS Participation:

      • Oceans ‘16:  Gearing up: Abstracts deadline extended to 8 May but don’t delay: Additional activities we are working on: 
        • Mark Bushnell is setting up a special session on QARTOD
        • IOOS Office and CeNCOOS are teaming up with NOAA for a booth
        • Joining the Monterey Bay International Trade Association for a townhall on Blue Economy and America’s Blue Silicon Valley
        • IOOS Office and Kevin Hardy are looking to host a Townhall on innovative technologies/partnerships

      View the IOOS calendar:


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