Bi-Weekly IOOS® Z-GRAM – 29 May 2015


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From the IOOS Program Office:

  • The Ocean Enterprise: A Study of US Business Activity in Ocean Measurement, Observation and Forecasting: The survey is open now through mid-June. The study aims to identify and dissect the scale and scope of the United States private sector activity in support of ocean measurement, observation and forecasting, and the use of ocean information to deliver safety, economic and environmental benefits.

    Any company who is a provider or intermediary is welcome to join the study.  Opt in by going to the survey:

    Summary information is also available on the IOOS web page:

    This study is sponsored by NOAA’s National Ocean Service and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) and being conducted by the ERISS Corporation and The Maritime Alliance.

    • BZ to Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT): I received a nice email from Mary Therese Gookin, Principal, Gookin Technical Target Marketing thanking ACT for their support: “I wanted to take a moment to tell you how impressed I was with both Dr. Tamburri and ACT. I have been involved with marketing research in water markets for almost 25 years and the ACT resource is a rare find!   A colleague of mine referred me to Dr. Tamburri and ACT for a buoy marketing research project I am investigating for seaports. He was so helpful to me and ACT’s website resources are amazing. ACT is an invaluable resource saving both time and money for anyone needing its data. Further, Dr. Tamburri’s insight and exposure to a particular sensor of interest to me which he previously evaluated was incredibly helpful. There is no telling the extent of his contributions to so many in the industry –from business interests to academic research.   Thank you for supporting ACT.”

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • See support to the West Coast Oil Spill under “Delivering the Benefits” section.
  • Teachers "Make a Splash" with Ocean Buoy Launch off Olympic Coast, WA: Four educators from Oregon and Washington took part in a research cruise to deploy NANOOS UW NEMO off La Push WA that will inspire learning about how the changing ocean conditions impact ocean life in the Pacific Northwest. The deployment occurred in NOAA's Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, near Quileute tribal lands. Read the full story.
  • NOAA’s AOML on the front line of Global Observing: Gliders with CARICOOS; Drifters with the Volo Ocean Race; long term partnership with Maersk. Read this an much more in NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) Newsletter -

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

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

  • Successful IOOS DMAC Meeting: The IOOS Program Office hosted the IOOS RA DAC managers and individuals, both old and new to IOOS, from USGS, EPA, and NOAA, and partners from RPS ASA, and Axiom Data Science. The discussions were productive and the feedback we received will help us develop features of DMAC that have not been implemented and consider how we maintain or enhance the parts that are working.    

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem:

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

  • No update.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • 2nd Water Cycle GEO-CIEHLYC Capacity Building Workshop:   I had the pleasure of remotely kicking off this conference. The IOOS Program Office, GEO-SEC, World Bank provided resources along with in-kind contribution from NASA, NOAA, the Colombian Ocean Commission (CCO)/Colombian Naval Academy (ENAP), Brigham Young University (U.S), University of Baja California (Mexico), Centro Científico y Tecnológico de Bahía Blanca (Argentina). Attendees included 105 students from 33 organizations (14 international) who came together for 4 courses in Fresh Water and Operational Oceanography. From the provider perspective, capacity building is perhaps one of the most difficult activities to achieve, because having the technology is not the only determining factor for success; being able to match the technology with the political, scientific, technical, and management needs of the receiving organizations are key factors for a capacity building activity to be effective. This is precisely what the Comunidad para la Informacion Espacial e Hidrografica para Latinoamerica y el Caribe (GEO-CIEHLYC) strives for through the activities and projects carried out with members in the region. The group understands the importance of integrating meteorological, land, and ocean observations for a comprehensive approach to the water cycle and thus, they made the decision to remain as a single community made of both ocean and fresh water members. This unity provides the base from which to develop the science required to address management questions related to water availability, natural disasters, coastal ecosystem management, and many other challenges related to water. As working group of USGEO/GEOSS in the Americas, their goal is to promote long-term cooperation among Latin American countries, and to improve the North-South dialogue within America. These relationships and capacity building activities are cost-effective, allowing for the sharing of limited resources, transfer of technology, and the development of effective regional collaborations.
  • Gravity and Time do go together: National Geodetic Survey (NGS) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) working together to make time more accurate: Einstein’s theory of general relativity tells us that if we move any clock “up” to a location with lower gravity (for example, away from the center of the earth), it will run faster.  The effect is far too small to notice with typical clocks, but scientists at NIST are now developing atomic clocks with such precision that a change in height as small as 1 centimeter will cause a noticeable difference!  To help them test and compare these clocks, NGS surveyors are planning to perform a first-order geopotential (height and gravity) survey of atomic clock laboratories. The survey will provide orthometric heights (“above sea level”) accurate to within a few millimeters and absolute gravity values accurate to nine digits. The hope is that one day the process can be “reversed” and that, by networking similar clocks, height (or, actually, geopotential) differences can be measured directly with time. In short, the NGS survey will be used to determine the precise elevation of the atomic clock in Boulder, and thereby assist NIST is measuring time more accurately.

Delivering Benefits:

  • SCCOOS and CeNCOOS support for the Santa Barbara Oil Spill Response:
    • HF Radar derived surface currents were sent to NOAA Office of Response and Restoration (ORR) and CA State Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR). SCCOOS HF radar visualizations were used by local News Channel 3 in Santa Barbara during the weathercast in order to show circulation patterns in the area. A temporary HF Radar site was quickly installed by University of California, Santa Barbara to fill in coverage north of the spill and ran a local trajectory model adverting simulated particles through the current field to visualize the potential path of the slick: The data was easily ingested because of the work IOOS has done to establish HF Radar as a national network. See the IOOS Facebook page for pictures of the temporary site See for near real-time visualization and distribution to operational organizations responding to the spill.
    • Gliders: There are 5 Spray underwater gliders off the coast of California at all times sending back data on temperature, salinity and ocean currents. These missions are funded through IOOS and NOAA’s Climate Program Office/Climate Observation Division. These data were used to feed the models that predict currents to help responders know where the oil will go. This demonstrates the importance of having a persistent observing asset that can immediately be used in an emergency.
    • ROMS Model: Like weather forecast, oceanographic data collected by HF radar, gliders and other in-water platforms as well as satellites are assimilated into a 3D ocean model to provide oceanographic information (e.g. ocean current to estimate oil spill trajectories) at not only those data collection locations but data gap areas as well. Three day forecasts of ocean conditions are provided by the California Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS), developed under IOOS and supported by SCCOOS and CeNCOOS help NOAA and US Coast Guard plan response strategies. See more at:
    • Communicating the information: The close cooperation of SCCOOS and CeNCOOS prior to the crisis made working together easy during the event. When SCCOOS has some technical difficulties with their website – they worked with CeNCOOS to deliver the information so it was seamless to the responders.
  • Sensor Provides Early Warning of Toxic Algal Bloom in Offshore Waters of Monterey Bay: National Centers for Coastal Ocean Sciences NCCOS-developed domoic acid sensors on board two Environmental Sample Processors (ESPs) deployed in Monterey Bay, California have provided early warning of a toxic Pseudo-nitzschia algal bloom. Only a week into the deployment that began in early May, particulate domoic acid levels exceeded 30 micrograms per liter of seawater, which was consistent with the ESPs also detecting very high concentrations of Pseudo-nitzschia cells known to produce the potent neurotoxin. For reference, shellfish harvesting closures are implemented when domoic acid levels reach 20 micrograms per gram of shellfish tissue. The high domoic acid and Pseudo-nitzschia cell concentrations were reported to the California Department of Public Health, the Marine Mammal Center, and NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, alerting these groups to the offshore presence of a toxic bloom that may affect fishery resources and wildlife in the region. Information on this toxic bloom is also being provided to the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) and the California Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and Alert Program for wider distribution to additional stakeholders via portals operated by these groups.
  • SECOORA is the Glue that Holds the System Together: SECOORA has a successful annual meeting. SECOORA Director Deb Hernandez reported on how far SECOORA has come since its inception 5 years ago. A stakeholder survey of SECOORA activities found that SECOORA is making a positive impact in integrating the diverse number of ocean and coastal activities in the region. SECOORA has seen 16% growth in funding levels over the past 5 years, and new stand-alone initiatives such as the high-frequency radar network. More recently, SECOORA is enjoying improving web and social media presence and increasing followers year on year. Read the full story.


  • No update.

Communications / Outreach / Education:

  • Earthzine article on ocean acidification

Upcoming Meetings with IOOS Participation:

  • No update.

View the IOOS calendar:


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