Final Z-GRAM – 25 January 2017


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The time has come for me to say goodbye.  When I announced my retirement in July, it was so NOAA could select a new Director prior to me departing.  I am very pleased that NOAA selected Carl Gouldman to be the next Director of IOOS.  I could not be happier.  Carl has been with NOAA and IOOS prior to the start up of the IOOS Office.  He has progressed from senior analyst to Deputy and now Director.  I am pleased because Carl believes in the concept of IOOS as much as I do.
So this Z-Gram looks a bit different – only 2 sections – Highlights since the Holiday Z-Gram and my farewell.

Highlights since the Holiday Z-Gram:

  • NERACOOS annual meeting: Congrats on a great year that included the first PORTS® by an IOOS RA; great progress on their IOOS award, IOOS-OTT award and support of NOAA OA award; congrats on new funding through the NOAA coastal resilience award.      
  • CONGRATS to MARACOOS and SCCOOS – you are CERTIFIED! Our third and fourth regions to be certified following in the footsteps of PacIOOS and GLOS.
    Certification:  CARICOOS has submitted their package; AOOS, SECOORA and GCOOS remain in work and are getting closer.
  • Strategy for National Mooring Network Released: IOOS, The National Ocean Service (NOS) and the National Weather Service (NWS) have released The National Strategy for a Sustained Network of Coastal Moorings. Coastal moorings are a vital and versatile ocean observing platform.  Whether it’s a buoy or an instrument cluster suspended below the surface, the instruments and sensors deployed on these platforms can gather a wide range of ocean information customized to network and user requirements.  They are also capable of providing long-term time-series, which is key to monitoring the health of the ocean and Great Lakes.  With this Strategy, IOOS and NOAA has taken the first step in ensuring that these moorings are operated and maintained where they are needed while developing an infrastructure that will allow for uninterrupted deployments. Thanks to Kathy Bailey, IOOS and Shannon McArthur, NOAA/NWS for their leadership, the entire writing team, and all of you who provided comments.  This is a BIG ACCOMPLISHMENT!
  • MBON: Learn more about the U.S. Marine Biodiversity Observation Network with this NOAA Ocean Podcast featuring MBON Project Manager Gabrielle Canonico, and read this NOS feature story highlighting how closely monitoring marine life at home and around the world is key to better understand our changing ocean: "U.S. Marine Biodiversity Observing Network: Building Global Connections".
  • 5th GEO Global HF Radar meeting:  The meeting, held at AGU, was chaired by Dr. Hugh Roarty/Rutgers University/MARACOOS.  For info click here
  • The IOOS Data Demo Center continues to post new python notebooks illustrating how to access IOOS data through various web services, including the new IOOS Catalog.  Feedback and suggestions for new posts are very welcome. Send an email to or post an issue on our GitHub repo:
  • Check out IOOS FAC recommendations to new Administration: IOOS AC Recommendations page here:
  • Check out new HF Radar Video: IOOS teamed up with COMET to produce the video which will be featured at NOAA’s booth at AMS: or direct link is
  • IOOS Ocean Technology Transition FFO: IOOS OTT is accepting applications for Fiscal Year 2017 funding for OTT projects under Federal Funding Opportunity Number NOAA-NOS-IOOS-2017-2005149.  The U.S. IOOS Program is seeking to fund projects, subject to the availability of funds, which advance new or existing technology-based solutions that address long standing and emerging coastal observing, product development, and data management challenges. The projects will be focused on those technologies for which there are demonstrated operators who commit to integrated, long term use of those technologies and open data sharing.  Funding will be targeted to technologies that are sufficiently mature and proven to consider for long term operations.  You can view the full and complete FFO at NOAA-NOS-IOOS-2017-2005149 FFO ReportApplications due March 20, 2016.
  • IOOC Task Team Reports Released:

Thank you/Farewell/Carry On

I started the Z-Gram when we stood up the IOOS office in Jan 2007 to ensure there was transparency into what NOAA was doing with IOOS.  It has grown over the years as a labor of love to convey the amazing things that are happening in IOOS, GOOS, USGEO, GEO, other interagency and Ocean Enterprise efforts.  It certainly never was intended to cover the water front, but it allowed me to stay connected and connect with each of you.
So how does one sum up 10 years? I am not sure how to begin.  There have been many accomplishments, with some listed below – which I know is dangerous:

  • IOOS from a vision to operations; first ever Ocean Enterprise Study; IOOS RAs certified; DMAC works with national, regional, and functional DACs; Waves/HF Radar/Gliders/ATN/Coastal Mooring plans, largest HF radar network in the world, over 40,000 glider days
  • Gliders across the Atlantic and now across the world – Scarlet Knight and Challenger Missions will always be a highlight
  • Restructure of GOOS and recognition of the GOOS GRAs; GRA assessment, modeling inventory, adding elements to GOOS and new projects
  • USGEO: strategy, plan, new assessment tools, US MBON, AmeriGEOSS, assessing satellite needs and strong leadership in all things GEO
  • GEO’s unanimous worldwide agreement to continue GEO until 2025; a new strategic and implementation plan focused on connecting Earth Observations to socio-economic information to support global initiatives such as SDGs and natural capital account and many others.

While these accomplishments are wonderful, for me it was the passion of the IOOS, GOOS and GEO community that I will always treasure.  I have traveled to many meetings and met with so many scientists, students, users of observing information and have always been impressed by your intellect, your determination, and your willingness to go the extra mile.
During our last IOOS FAC meeting, Jan Newton, NANOOS Executive Director had a slide - why NANOOS is so good:

  • The people: creativity
  • The spirit: cooperation
  • The concept: collaboration
    I suggest this applies to IOOS, GOOS, and GEO.  One of the things we all have in common is our convening ability – bringing people to talk about mutual interests in ways that span locally to globally and never underestimate that power.
    You have heard me say it many times – if we could take passion as a measure of resources, IOOS would be a billion dollar program!
    I was fortunate when NOAA decided to establish IOOS office there was already a foundation laid for its success.  The foundation laid through the efforts of Ocean.US, thanks to Jim Baker and VADM (Ret) Gaffney; early believers and stalwarts – Margaret Davidson, Mel Briscoe, Eric Lindstrom, David Martin, Josie Quintrell, Larry Atkinson, VADM (Ret) Conrad Lautenbacher, Rick Spinrad, Scott Rayder, and Bill Birkermier gave us a launching pad.  The 1998 paper written by Tom Malone, Worth Nowlan, Chris Moores was key to get the attention of Congress and set up the structure for the results of the Ocean Commission.  The Airlie house meeting in 2002 set IOOS in motion.  I looked at the attendees and smiled at many who attended there are still strongly supporting IOOS including 2 of our IOOC co-chairs.   We continue with support of current NOAA/NOS/AA, Russell Callender.
    Under GOOS, my thanks to John Gunn, Eric Lindstrom and Albert Fischer for their leadership of GOOS.  A VERY special thanks to Tim Moltman, my cohort in crime, you have done an amazing job in building IMOS and I feel we have been in the trenches together.  Our calls, our briefs, and the efforts of our teams to make this a reality has been a highlight of my time at IOOS.
    In the USGEO/GEO a shout out to Barb Ryan – thanks for your efforts in keeping GEO moving forward.  Nationally, thanks to the leadership by Dr. Kathy Sullivan, Dr. Suzette Kimball, and Dr. Ann Bartuska. To Peter Colohan and Helen Wood, my sincere gratitude.  To the chairs, Vice Chairs and fellow USGEO subcommittee members – you are the greatest.  To Yana Gevorgyan thank you for everything you have done; you are a driving force behind our success.  And a remembrance of our colleague, Len Hirsch, may he rest in peace, for the energy and entertainment he brought to our group – I know we all miss him.

    I have had the honor of being an international advisory to Canada's Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) and it has been a great joy to see OTN be so successful. To Fred Whoriskey, Sara Iverson and the entire team - well done.    
    Dr. Sullivan made the follow statement and it has always resonated as to why what we do is so important, so permit me to quote her: “We are the first generations of human beings in all of global history to have the ability take the pulse of the earth in this way.  We gather information to give us foresight to look ahead about what the weather will be tomorrow, climate in a few years, or the state of the ocean, year, the outlook for your crop next season and the food security for your country.  Data can not just become science data. Data can not just become collected in repository somewhere it actually must come into play.  Come into play in society, in business, in economies and managing the environment itself and only then can we actually tap the value. Needs to connect to real peoples’ lives to real decisions and real challenges we face across the globe at every scale from the individual family to the entire country.”  

    So my challenge to you is share your data and scientific research, and you connect what you do the challenges at local, regional, national and global levels.
    What would a talk from me be without a reference to Jimmy Buffett:

From Changes in latitude, changes in attitudes
These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes,
Nothing remains quite the same.
Through all of the islands and all of the highlands,
If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane

Which for me translates to believing in the intent to work together.  And it is the long view, so Persistence, Persistence, Persistence.
So it is time for me to wrap up by saying it has been a privilege of a lifetime to Direct IOOS and be a part of GOOS, USGEO and GEO.   You have given me your all and for that I will always be humbled.  For the IOOSians reading this, please give Carl the same support you have shown me.  A stronger IOOS, GOOS, USGEO and GEO would be the biggest compliment you could give me.   
For me I will join my husband’s consulting company – Veraison Consulting.  He chose the term “veraison” because it means the onset of the ripening of grapes/change of color of the grapes – the beginning of a new harvest, a change – so fitting.  I plan to keep my consulting in the world of observations, ocean, coasts and Great Lakes but I am always happy to share a glass of wine.
My new contact info:
Mobile: 703 907-9515
There is one final thank you – that is to Laura Griesbauer whose title is Executive Assistant.  So many of you have interacted with her and know she does that part of the position so well.  But she has grown to take on so many more duties performing admirably as Exec Sec for GOOS GRA Regional Forum during my chairmanship, now as Exec Sec for AmeriGEOSS and the magic behind our twitter and facebook feeds.  There are no words adequate to convey my thanks; you are truly my heroine.
With the greatest of appreciation and Always an IOOSian,  
IOOS is national effort serving the people . . . learn from it . . . leverage it . . . love it!


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