The Eyes on the Ocean™ Bi-weekly is an informal way of keeping you up-to-date on U.S. IOOS® activities.

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From the Director:

Hello IOOS Community,

I am happy to announce the MBON federal sponsors (NOAA, NASA, ONR and BOEM), on behalf of the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP), have awarded six new three-year MBON projects. We are excited to welcome new and returning members to the team, and we look forward to a productive three years! Read more about the projects in the MBON section below. 

At the end of the month, I'll be coming to you from the MTS/IEEE OCEANS 2019 conference in Seattle.  If you'll be there, come see me Tuesday morning in the exhibit hall where I'll talk about harmful algal bloom work with NANOOS' Jan Newton and Northwest Fisheries Science Center's Stephanie Moore.  Tuesday afternoon I will speak on a panel discussing the federal strategic vision for ocean observing with NOAA, BOEM, DOE, ONR, NASA, EPA, and NSF representatives. Be sure to also stop by and see our set up with NOAA in the exhibit hall!

Best wishes,

From the U.S. IOOS Office:

  • U.S. IOOS Ocean Technology Transition Funding Opportunity: Last Call for Optional Letters of Intent!  Optional letters of intent are due 18 October.  The form to submit a letter of intent is located here: The U.S. IOOS Program, in conjunction with NOPP, 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. See the bullet under “Grants & Funding Opportunities” below for more info. View the full notice here. More information can be found at the following links:
  • IOOS Advisory Committee Meeting: The IOOS Advisory Committee will meet in Washington, DC, February 11 & 12, 2020. More information will be made available on the IOOS Website soon. An announcement will be published in the Federal Register Notice as well. 
  • Save the date! 2020 IOOS Spring Meeting: March 4 - 5, 2020: The IOOS Association, IOOS Regional Associations, and the IOOS Program Office will meet for their annual spring meeting March 4-5 in Washington, D.C. Check back for more information. Questions? Contact Katie Liming,

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • NOAA Buoy Helps Save Lives: In September, four people with their lives hanging in the balance were hoisted to safety after finding refuge on a nearby NOAA weather buoy when their vessel took on too much water. The survivors used their vessel’s Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)—one of three types of emergency beacons used to transmit distress signals—to alert the Savannah Coast Guard that they were in need of immediate rescue. Read more about this rescue here:

  • Surface Current Mapping: (IOOS PO POC, Derrick Snowden,  

    • New HF radars deployed near Bering Strait: Two new high-frequency radar installations are underway in Wales and Shishmaref, Alaska. At the moment, there is no real-time outlet, but the installation teams are working out GCI cell modem data issues and reports from the setup in Wales were of excellent data returns. The University of Alaska Fairbanks HF radar team Hank Statscewich, Rachel Potter, Jordi Maisch and Seth Danielson hope to have some radial maps to share on the AOOS Real Time Sensors page on the data portal shortly.

    • Video: Hurricane glider launch in the mid-Atlantic: Step aboard the R/V Heidi Lynn Sculthorpe with UCI Marine Scientist Jim Nickels, Monmouth University student Bryce McCall, and Rutgers University scientists Scott Glenn and Travis Miles in this video as they deploy a pair of U.S Navy gliders off the New Jersey coast. The gliders’ mission was to cruise the New York Bight during the hurricane season, gathering data on the interactions between water conditions and storms, with the ultimate goal of improving storm modeling. Additional project partners include MARACOOS - Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System, IOOS and NOAA.
    • Gliding into the Honguedo Strait: Using Gliders for Critical Ocean Monitoring for Whales at Risk: A group of researchers from Canada and the United States have embarked on a study to evaluate the effectiveness of baleen whale monitoring systems in and around the Honguedo Strait (between Anticosti Island and the northern Gaspé Peninsula in the Gulf of St. Lawrence). The information gathered will help scientists and managers understand hazards for whales, and inform appropriate steps towards conserving one of the world’s most endangered species. Read more on Canada’s Ocean Tracking Network’s website:
    • No update.

Data Management and Communications (DMAC) Subsystem and Tools Built on IOOS data ((DMAC listserv – contact Micah Wengren, DMAC System Architect,

  • NDBC Harvesting of Real-Time IOOS Observation Data: NDBC has successfully harvested real-time observations (water temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity) from two PacIOOS nearshore stations (51045 and 51046) via the PacIOOS ERDDAP server.  This is a major step forward in the effort to switch the data harvest mechanism from individual XML data files pushed to NDBC by RAs and/or data providers to NDBC harvesting from centralized RA ERDDAP servers. The IOOS DMAC team worked closely with Axiom, PMEL, and NDBC representatives to ensure proper attributes were in place for NDBC to successfully harvest the QC’ed data.  These two PacIOOS stations were not previously sent to NDBC via FTP, so they are new additions. NDBC plans to do another test to pull a station via ERDDAP with meteorological data or ocean current data, possibly with SECOORA or AOOS. For stations currently being delivered by RAs via FTP, NDBC plans to coordinate a switch-over to ensure seamless data delivery. The ERDDAP project team will coordinate with the RA data managers directly before any testing begins.

  • QARTOD (National Coordinator Mark Bushnell,
    • Updates to In-situ Temperature and Salinity Data Manual: We’ll begin an incremental update to the Manual for Real-Time Quality Control of In-situ Temperature and Salinity Data in November. Your suggestions, corrections, and recommendations are welcomed! Please send them to Mark.
    • Ocean Best Practice System update – The third Annual Evolving and Sustaining Ocean Best Practices Workshop will be held at the IOC/IODE offices in Oostende, Belgium during 2-3 December, 2019. The outcome of the OceanObs’19 Ocean Best Practice breakout session, knowledge gained from the OBPS survey (, and your direct input will be used to create the vision and directions for Best Practices for the next decade.

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem (IOOS PO and IOOS Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed (COMT) POC –Tiffany Vance,   

  • COMT Annual Meeting: The COMT Annual Meeting will be held October 22-23rd in Silver Spring, MD. For more information, contact Aijun Zhang,

    • COMT Data Upload Tool Tutorial: COMT PIs attending the COMT Annual Meeting are required to bring seminal datasets for an in-person tutorial at the end of Day 1 (Tues Oct 22), led by Kathy Bailey and RPS Ocean Science representatives.  The tutorial will cover how to upload these datasets to the Data Upload Tool, for publication in a THREDDS server and the COMT website. ( Seminal datasets mark substantial progress in a COMT project, as determined by the COMT PI, and can include: data that represent an advancement in model development; a reference dataset used as basis of measurement for model improvements or that shows new capability; inputs used for data assimilation, which increase the capability of data assimilation; data a COMT PI wants to highlight as important; and/or data used as the basis for a publication.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) (IOOS PO POC Gabrielle Canonico,


    • Francisco Chavez, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute: The CeNCOOS MBON: Integrating remote sensing, in situ data and models to understand central California ecosystem responses to environmental change

    • Katrin Iken, University of Alaska - Fairbanks: A sustainable, integrated AMBON in the Chukchi Sea

    • Maria Kavanaugh, Oregon State University: Marine Biodiversity Observing Network in the Northern California Current: Understanding patterns and drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning from plankton to seascapes

    • Bob Miller, University of California - Santa Barbara: Southern California Bight Marine Biodiversity Observation Network

    • Ru Morrison, Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS): MBON expansion into the Gulf of Maine: the NERACOOS/NROC Integrated Sentinel Monitoring Network (ISMN)

    • Frank Muller-Karger, University of South Florida: Implementing a Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) in South Florida to Advance Ecosystem-Based Management


    • Congratulations to the new US MBON projects!  The MBON federal sponsors (NOAA, NASA, ONR and BOEM), on behalf of the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP), have awarded six new three-year MBON projects. The new projects are intended to build on the lessons learned and the progress made during the initial set of US MBON demonstrations (Arctic MBON, Sanctuaries MBON, Santa Barbara Channel MBON). We are excited to welcome new and returning members to the team, and we look forward to a productive three years!  Visit us at for news and project updates, and please join us in congratulating:

  • NOAA 2020 tide tables are now available: NOAA tide predictions are used by both commercial and recreational mariners for safe navigation. NOAA's Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services produce these tide tables on an annual basis. Learn more here: 

  • NOAA responds to bridge damage near Houston following Tropical Depression Imelda: While many are aware that hurricanes can inflict costly damage when they make landfall, tropical storms and depressions are not to be underestimated. Tropical Depression Imelda moved over the Texas coast in mid-September producing heavy rain and causing extensive flooding. Nine barges broke free from their mooring on the San Jacinto River and two of these barges hit the Interstate 10 bridge in Lynchburg, Texas. At the request of the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston, NOAA’s Navigation Response Team (NRT)- Stennis was called in for rapid hydrographic survey response. Read more here: 

  • New Story Map - NOAA Supports a Healthy Nation: NOAA has become a pillar of America’s health and economic vitality over our half century of existence.  NOAA’s new story map, NOAA Supports a Healthy Nation, demonstrates how we continue to build on this legacy.  From innovations in managing heat risks and detecting waterborne bacteria, to giving new life to endangered species and driving resilience with high-value environmental data, you’ll see examples from across NOAA on how we continue to push the bounds of scientific understanding to protect our Nation's health!    

  • NOAA and Partners Respond to Ongoing Outbreak of Coral Disease in Florida: The ongoing outbreak of stony coral tissue loss disease in the Florida Reef Tract began in 2014 and continues to spread. It is highly active off Key West, Florida and appears to be expanding to the Caribbean region. The Lower Florida Keys are in the epidemic zone with the highest concentration of active disease. Learn more about what NOAA and partners are doing in response to the problem, and how you can help. 

  • POGO call for proposals: POGO is issuing a second call for proposals for 2019/20 POGO working groups, observational training, travel support and other support for ocean observing-related initiatives, with a deadline of 20th October 2019. Further information can be found and the relevant documents downloaded from  Requests for extension of existing WGs are also invited at this time. Please inform the Secretariat in advance (by the end of September) if you intend to submit a proposal. The Secretariat, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, will be able to advise you as to whether your proposal fits the requirements, and answer any questions you may have.


  • Grants & Funding Opportunities

    • U.S. IOOS Ocean Technology Transition Funding Opportunity: The U.S. IOOS Program, in conjunction with NOPP, 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. A Transition Manager for the project should be identified and a Transition Plan will be a Year One deliverable. Closes 1/13/2020. View the full notice here

    • Notice of Funding Opportunity: NOAA’s Climate Program Office FY2020: NOAA’s CPO supports competitive research through three major program areas: Earth System Science and Modeling (ESSM); Climate and Societal Interactions (CSI); and Communication, Education and Engagement (CEE). Through this announcement, CPO is seeking applications for 10 individual competitions in FY20. Closes 10/28/2019.

    • DARPA BAA: This new BAA invites proposers to submit innovative basic or applied research concepts in the following technical domains: Frontiers in Math, Computation & Design; Limits of Sensing & Sensors; Complex Social Systems; Anticipating Surprise. The research topics of interest within each domain are described in the BAA. Closes June 12, 2020.

Delivering the Benefits:

  • Electronic Integrated Ecosystem Assessment project for Alaska: AOOS has received $50K this year to help broaden the utility of NOAA Fisheries ecosystem status reports and Integrated Ecosystem Assessments. The first planning meeting with NMFS was held September 25. The results of this effort will be used by several other IOOS regions to do something similar.
  • Kodiak, Alaska Wave Buoy: AOOS has entered an agreement with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to take over the operations and maintenance of their offshore wave buoy near Kodiak Island. AOOS is staging to service this buoy in October with the help of the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP). Stay tuned for updates next month with photos! The data from this buoy can currently be viewed on the Real Time Sensors page of the AOOS Data Portal.
  • Sargassum Outlook Update: Read the full story on the CARICOOS website here. The maps on this page show Sargassum abundance, with warm colors representing high abundance. During September 2019, Sargassum amount has decreased significantly from August 2019 in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Florida straits, Caribbean Sea (CS), and Central West Atlantic (CWA). The reductions are more than our August 2019 prediction, at rates higher than previous bloom years. In all regions combined, the total Sargassum amount is estimated to be ~3 million metric tons, lower than in September 2017 (5M tons), September 2015 (6.1M tons), or September 2018 (6.3M tons). The amount is much lower in the last week of September than in the first week of September, indicating a continuous reduction.


  • No update.


  • Talk & Q&A: Ocean Acidification & Alaska: If you are in Anchorage on October 23, this is a great opportunity to learn about ocean acidification in Alaska. The event will be held following the Board of Fish meeting at the Egan Center.
  • New Alaska OA Video – Alaska Sea Grant, with support from the Alaska OA Network, produced a short video on ocean acidification research and impacts in Alaska, highlighting efforts in Kachemak Bay. 
  • NANOOS Director Interviewed on Marine Heat Wave Observations: NANOOS Director Jan Newton was interviewed by CBC's Ian Hanomansing on "The National" about the marine heat wave that has developed in the Northeast Pacific ocean. The film crew set out with the NANOOS Puget Sound ORCA buoy group (Chris Archer, Robert Daniels, UW) to visit the buoy, understand the conditions and see how available real-time observations are.  They also interviewed Bill Dewey at Taylor Shellfish about OA and Greg Johnson, NOAA PMEL, about the science of marine heat waves. See the piece that aired on TV: 
  • GLOS to release new five-year strategic plan: On October 22, GLOS will be rolling out their plan through 2025, and they'd like to invite you to join in via webinar.  For details and registration, click here
  • Tell your NERACOOS story: The NERACOOS Annual Meeting (December 6, 2019 in Portsmouth, NH) is a yearly one-day event that serves to highlight ocean observing and modeling efforts in the region. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the NERACOOS observing system. To celebrate the past, present, and future of ocean observing in the Northeast, we would like to hear how these data and information impacted people's lives, research and decisions. Read more here.

  • IOOS in the News:

Click here to view the IOOS Association Calendar

Do you have suggestions for new things you would like to see in the Eyes on the Ocean IOOS Bi-Weekly? Talk to us:!