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,

We have less than a month to go until the OceanObs’19 conference (Sept. 16-20, 2019) and our office has been working hard in preparation for this decadal international ocean meeting. I’d like to highlight just a couple of the many events that will take place during OceanObs’19 that IOOS and NOAA are leading. 

On Tuesday morning, September 17th, NOAA will host a Special Session “An Ocean of Data: NOAA’s Roles in Marine Extreme Events and Hazards” where NOAA will provide an agency overview to show the integration and interconnected contributions necessary to take observations to services that support response to extreme events and hazards. On Wednesday morning, September 18th, DOE and NOAA will participate in a Special Session focused on innovation - “Powering the Blue Economy: Energy Innovation for Ocean Observations. The session will discuss how recently announced research initiatives and energy innovation can lead to entirely new capabilities in ocean observation. 

Be sure to come visit us at the NOAA booth in the OceanObs’19 Expo Hall. We will have a great line-up of lightning talks on NOAA mission and priority areas, hold hands on demonstrations of NOAA and IOOS products and services, and have lots of other great ocean information available. 

There are many other IOOS related events, sessions, and panels, and we are looking forward to seeing many of you at the conference next month!

Best Wishes,

From the U.S. IOOS Office:

  • Marking 20 Years of IOOS! We will celebrate 20 years of IOOS  in conjunction with the upcoming OceanObs’19 meeting in September in Honolulu, HI. In preparation for this celebration, we want to hear your memories of IOOS.  Has IOOS helped you, were you a part of building the System, or do you have photos, videos, or documents of the last 20 years that you can share with us? Please contact us at to share your memories or ask for more details on how to share information.
  • U.S. IOOS Ocean Technology Transition Funding Opportunity: 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
  • Nutrient Sensors in Action Challenge Announces Winners: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of a technology-accelerating water quality challenge. This year’s winners demonstrated how data from low cost water quality monitoring sensors can be used to inform local-scale nutrient management decisions. The Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge is one of a series of challenges focused on nutrient management conducted as part of multi-year collaboration between the EPA, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).  Congratulations to the winners! Read the full press release here


Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • ACT Open Calls for New Technology Evaluations: The Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT) currently has two open calls for new technology evaluations. 
    • 1. Accepting preliminary applications from developers and manufacturers of commercially available Total Residual Oxidant (TRO) instruments used to monitor TRO in shipboard ballast water treatment applications.
    • 2. Call for applications from individuals or teams of researchers, and/or sensor developers and manufacturers to participate in a technology demonstration aimed at improving data processing and algorithm development of hyperspectral imagery for research and management applications within shallow freshwater and marine aquatic ecosystems. 
    • Applications for both calls are due by August 31, 2019.
    • For further details please see:
  • Surface Current Mapping: (IOOS PO POC, Derrick Snowden,  
    • No update.
    • GCOOS Seeks Glider Community Coordinator: Please see the job announcement for a Glider Community Coordinator in the Jobs & Internship Opportunities” section below. 
    • ATN Steering Group Meeting: Our 13 member Federal and non-federal ATN Steering Group (SG) met remotely on Aug. 6 for our fifth meeting, SG-5, where they received an update on the broad range of ongoing ATN activities, provided feedback on our operational Data Assembly Center (DAC), discussed results of our 7 ATN Stakeholder Workshops and had a chance to comment on our newly drafted ATN Data Policy.  The 2-year period for SG membership had elapsed and all members present enthusiastically agreed to remain on for another 2-year term. Meeting minutes will be available soon at under the meetings tab.      
    • Covering Argos Fees through the ATN: The ATN Program will pay for Argos fees for researchers willing to display their R/T data on the ATN DAC Portal. This initiative is now supporting 23 programs and 536 tags. If you are interested in joining this program please go to:  and click on Quick Links - Covering ARGOS Fees through the ATN

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

  • QARTOD (National Coordinator Mark Bushnell,

    • Updated currents QC manual posted: This updated manual has been posted on the QARTOD web page at, deposited into the NOAA repository at, and accepted by the Ocean Best Practices System at Our thanks to those who assisted with these postings, and to everyone who helped with this incremental update! 

    • Ocean Best Practice System update: The Ocean Best Practice Working Group invites you to join us at the OceanObs’19 Conference breakout session “Ocean Best Practices, supporting efficiency, interoperability and quality ocean services”. The session will be held Thursday afternoon (19 Sept) starting at 14:00. This session will consider ocean-observing priorities for best practices across the ocean observing value chain including their creation, their use, and approaches to improve training and adoption at local, regional and global scales consistent with the FAIR principles. The discussions will also include the benefits to you and colleagues involving sustainability, peer review and accommodating the latest technologies. The breakout will be an informal setting between expert panelists and participants on these topics to formulate recommendations for further developments of best practices making them easier to use, and identification of use cases as models for the ocean observing community.

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. More details coming soon.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) (IOOS PO POC Gabrielle Canonico,
    • GOOS Report on Coordinating the Implementation of Mangrove and Seagrass Essential Observations: The report for the implementation of the seagrass and mangrove EOVs is now available through the GOOS website (GOOS Report # 236).  This is one outcome of the June 10-11, 2019,  workshop titled “Coordinating the Implementation of Mangrove and Seagrass Essential Observations”, which was a joint activity between the Biology and Ecosystems Panel of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS BioEco) and the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON). The workshop was supported by NASA and hosted by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


  • OceanObs’19 Updates and Planning:
    • OceanObs’19: Registration Is Open! For more information on fees, deadlines, posters, and event registration, visit here
    • Last call! OceanObs'19_OceanArt: Calling all ocean-inspired artists: Today is the deadline for sign up for time slots! OceanObs’19 organizers would like to provide a platform for people who have made art that is inspired by the ocean. We know that many scientists or other OceanObs’19 conference goers and their guests may have an artistic streak that they would be willing to share. This can be any art form: poem, music, painting, sculpture, fashion, stories, comedy stand-up etc. We will have a stage in the Exhibition Hall that will be open from 5:00-5:30 on the Tuesday-Thursday of the conference for people to sign up for time slots. Please fill out this form and submit to hold your space! Deadline: August 21
  • Planning A Side Event At OceanObs'19? We'll be compiling and advertising a list of side events and workshops occurring during the conference. To add your event to the list, please submit any information you'd like to make public here:
  • NOAA Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) Meeting - August 27-29, 2019, New Orleans, LA: The next NOAA HSRP public meeting will be held in New Orleans, LA August 27-29. For more information and to see a draft agenda, please see: 
  • NOAA increases chance for above-normal hurricane season: NOAA forecasters monitoring oceanic and atmospheric patterns say conditions are now more favorable for above-normal hurricane activity since El Nino has now ended. Two named storms have formed so far this year and the peak months of the hurricane season, August through October, are now underway. Read more here:
  • Unprecedented 2018 Bering Sea ice loss repeated in 2019: During winter 2018 the sea ice in the Bering Sea reached record-low levels thanks to persistent warm southerly winds. These conditions caused the ice to retreat to the northern reaches of the 800,000 square mile body of water. Scientists were amazed, “It was about half of what we usually have in winter,” said NOAA oceanographer Phyllis Stabeno, lead author of a new paper in the journal Geophysical Research Letters offsite linkanalyzing the event. “To be blunt, all of us were shocked. This isn’t how it’s supposed to work.”  At the end of April, 2018 Bering Sea ice covered 61,704 square kilometers. By contrast, sea ice extent on April 29, 2013, was 679,606 square kilometers, closer to the 1981 to 2010 average. By the end of April 2018, sea ice was about 10 percent of normal. And then, much to the scientists’ surprise, 2019 just missed eclipsing the record set in 2018. Read more:
  • New Oceanographic Forecast Models Will Aid Mariners in the Great Lakes and Cook Inlet, Alaska: Two new oceanographic models will now be operational in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan in the Great Lakes and Cook Inlet in Alaska. The model for Lake Huron and Lake Michigan was developed in partnership with the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, and combines two existing models into a single improved model. The model for Cook Inlet, Alaska was developed in partnership with the Office of Coast Survey. These models will help mariners to navigate their local waters safely and more efficiently. Specifically, the models will provide operational nowcast and forecast guidance (out to 48 hours for Cook Inlet, and 120 hours for the Great Lakes) on parameters such as water levels, water temperature, salinity, and currents. NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services has implemented forecast systems like these in critical ports, harbors, estuaries, Great Lakes and coastal waters across the United States, forming a national backbone of real-time data, tidal predictions, data management and operational modeling.
  • NOAA Ship Rainier successfully field tests autonomous hydrographic survey launch: NOAA Ship Rainier field tested a new hydrographic survey platform this season. Last winter, one of the ship’s hydrographic survey launches was converted into a semi-autonomous vessel, allowing it to be operated remotely.  Hydrographic surveying is, by nature, dangerous. Autonomous systems have the potential to augment traditional surveying methods, improving efficiency and decreasing (or eliminating) risk to the surveyors themselves. As such, this technology is an exciting step toward fully-autonomous hydrographic survey systems. Read more here:
  • Researchers observe coral reef damage and invasive alga in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument: NOAA and partner scientists recently completed a 22-day expedition aboard the NOAA Ship Rainier in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. They were surveying and monitoring coral reefs and associated reef fish communities, and searching for new species and habitat types on deep coral reefs. Researchers documented several new species of algae as well as an entirely new form of coral reef habitat. However, while conducting research dives, they observed reef destruction from Hurricane Walaka at French Frigate Shoals, and an invasive alga overgrowing native corals and other algae at Pearl and Hermes Atoll. Monument staff are now working to understand and respond to these impacts to the monument. Read more here:
  • New NOAA Ocean Podcast: NOAA's Disaster Preparedness Program: Planning for Tomorrow, Today: In this episode, Kate Wheelock, Chief of NOAA’s Disaster Preparedness Program, explains how her team facilitates internal communication, coordination, and preparation for all types of unforeseen disasters.
  • State of the Climate in 2018: AMS has just released the new State of the Climate report. It confirms that 2018 was one of the hottest years on record, with global surface temperatures continuing the trend in which every year since the turn of the 21st century has been hotter than any year experienced in the 20th century. This is the 29th issuance of the annual assessment, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society since 1996. State of the Climate puts a peer-reviewed stamp on the evidence that 2018 was one of the four warmest of 137 years of recordkeeping. Only the three record-setting years of 2015–17 were warmer. Its comprehensive analysis of sources and varied means of tracking global and regional climate show that trends are consistent with a warming planet. Read more here and download the report at
  • Designing the Global Observing System for Marine Life: The Working Group of the Pegasus project for ocean sustainability supported by NCEAS and Future Earth held its first workshop "Designing the observing system for the world’s ocean – from microbes to whales" in Santa Barbara, CA, from 5-7 March, 2019. The report of this workshop is now available online.  The goal of this Working Group is to design a monitoring network to answer specific scientific questions on high priority global phenomena in response to calls for guidance from policy makers and managers. By mapping the current spatial extent of observations for these essential variables, from microbes to whales and coastal ecosystems to the deep sea, the group aims to capitalize on what is already being achieved and what remains to be done to develop a globally coordinated, fit for purpose, and sustained ocean observing system.  The group will also develop a roadmap to ensure that products maximally support monitoring progress against the Convention on Biological Diversity 2050 Vision, Agenda 2030 and other critical international agreements including scientific platforms related to climate change, biodiversity, and ecosystem services as well as the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainability. The roadmap will include where current indicators can be updated to make better use of scientific information and impact the future development of scientific priorities.  A second workshop is planned for December 2019.
  • Call for New GOOS Steering Committee Members: GOOS is looking for six new and enthusiastic members to join its Steering Committee. This is an exciting time for the Global Ocean Observing System Programme (GOOS); The Ocean Observing community is very active for the OceanObs’19 conference and GOOS have just launched the Global Ocean Observing System 2030 Strategy. Now the real work of making this ambitious strategy come to life starts. This is an opportunity to work towards and shape the future Global Ocean Observing System. Apply by sending an email expressing interest and ideas on where you feel you could contribute to the following email address, with your CV. The call will close on 30 September 2019 and selection will be made by 31 October 2019. Please also forward to any contacts that you think would be good candidates. 


  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

Delivering the Benefits:

  • GLBottom is live: The Great Lakes Bottom Mapping Workgroup’s website is fully launched and stuffed with information to get those working in bathymetric and benthic data up to speed. The group’s exists to “harmonize the collection, sharing, and use of lake floor data for the great lakes and connecting channels.”
  • GCOOS is now hosting meteorological data from BOEM: The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) Air Quality Modeling in the Gulf of Mexico Region study (M14PC00007) [] prepared offshore meteorological files for use in the American Meteorological Society/Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Model (AERMOD) and California Puff Model (CALPUFF). The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, generated a five-year meteorological dataset for the Gulf of Mexico region for years 2010-2014. The data was processed with the Mesoscale Model Interface (MMIF) program for formatting.  These datasets support air dispersion modeling efforts to report modeled air quality impacts. Access the data here.
  • GCOOS Director Appointed to Governor’s Red Tide Task Force: GCOOS Executive Director Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick has been named to the reorganized Red Tide Task Force, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis announced Aug. 2. The Red Tide Task Force will complement the Blue Green Algae Task Force and the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, which were implemented following Florida’s double whammy hit of toxic red tide and blue-green blooms on the state’s east and west coasts. Kirkpatrick joins a distinguished panel of Florida and national HAB researchers. Learn more here.
  • SECOORA debuts new Hurricane Monitoring portal: Use SECOORA's new Eyes on the Storm portal to access data - such as wind speed and wave heights - from monitoring stations located along the path of named hurricanes in the southeast and western Gulf of Mexico. 
  • NVS Tsunami App improved:  NANOOS recently worked with the US Tsunami Warning Center to refresh links in the NVS Tsunami portal that is used to alert the public of an earthquake generated in the Pacific basin and a potentially destructive tsunami. This revision to the web portal's alerting capabilities will eventually enable similar information to be pushed directly to a user’s smartphone, providing users with needed information about a distant tsunami event.
  • New Ecosystem Mooring in Gulf of Alaska: AOOS’ long-term buildout plan calls for deploying ecosystem moorings in each of the four Large Marine Ecosystems in Alaska oceans: Chukchi, Beaufort and Bering Seas, and the Gulf of Alaska, to provide sustained, year-round observations and track changes over time. The Chukchi Ecosystem Observatory (CEO) is now fully built out and operating. The Gulf of Alaska Ecosystem Observatory (GEO) began collecting data July 11 with three moorings deployed off the R/V Sikuliaq. Read the full field report (and more AOOS news) in their Summer 2019 newsletter
  • Paper: Monitoring mosaic biotopes in a marine conservation zone by autonomous underwater vehicle: This recent paper, published in Conservation Biology, illustrates the potential for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to photographically survey Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). AUVs offer a solution to monitoring challenges posed by mixed habitat types such as mosaics of rock and sand, as well as the growing spatial extent of marine protected areas globally. 
  • Paper: Improving Surface Current Resolution Using Direction Finding Algorithms for Multi-Antenna High Frequency Radars: While land-based High Frequency (HF) radars are the only instruments capable of resolving both the temporal and spatial variability of surface currents in the coastal ocean, recent high resolution views suggest that the coastal ocean is more complex than presently deployed radar systems are able to reveal. This work uses a hybrid system, having elements of both phased arrays and direction finding radars, to improve the azimuthal resolution of HF radars. Data from two radars deployed along the U.S. East Coast and configured as 8-antenna grid arrays were used to evaluate potential direction finding and signal, or emitter, detection methods.


  • No update.


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