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:

Dear IOOS Community,

Hurricane season begins in a few days and NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Last edition we shared some resources on how you can be sure you are prepared for hurricanes and storms. USGS also has some great resources available. For this edition, we are highlighting some safe boating tips in recognition of National Safe Boating Week. As summer approaches, we always like to remind our community to take care when enjoying our Nation’s coasts, lakes, and beaches. Do you know how to recognize a rip current in the ocean and how to avoid getting caught in one? These resources show you how to spot one and what you can do to “break the grip of the rip”. Enjoy the holiday weekend and stay safe out there!


From the U.S. IOOS Office:

  • IOOS Google Summer of Code Internship Program: IOOS has accepted three students to participate in IOOS’ inaugural year in the Google Summer of Code internship program for Summer 2021!  IOOS was accepted as a first-year GSoC mentoring organization in early March, and mentors have been working with interested students on their applications over the past two months.  Google announced accepted students on May 17, and IOOS is thrilled to be working with three of these applicants. Head to the DMAC section below to read more. 
  • Enhancing Coastal and Ocean Observing and Innovation Workshops: IOOS-OAR Workshops - Two-Pagers Now Available: In 2020, NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and the U.S. IOOS Office teamed up to develop and host three regional workshops focused on improving users’ access to streamlined ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes observational information. OAR’s focus on the global ocean and development of the Global Ocean Observing System and IOOS’s focus on U.S. waters from the head of tide to the EEZ are distinct, but complementary missions that together are fundamental elements of the Nation’s ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observing, monitoring, and measuring capabilities. These workshops focused on advancing eight target areas that capitalize on that collaboration to expand ocean observing capabilities regionally, nationally, and globally. The series of two-pagers and accompanying wrapper capture the recommended next steps for those eight priority areas.
  • First GOOS Regional Alliance Meeting 2021: The first teleconference of the GOOS Regional Alliance Council was held April 30th. The meeting focused on progress on actions since the last GRA council meeting, a presentation on the development of the Benefits of Ocean Observing Catalog (BOOC), a report out form the GOOS Steering Committee, updates on engagement with the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and planning for the next GRA Forum. The meeting report will be made available soon on the GOOS GRA meeting webpage. Next steps for the council include planning the targeted workshops in advance of the September GRA Forum, which we anticipate will start with a workshop focused on BOOC sometime in June/July.
  • IOOS Director Participates in IPF Virtual Forum: Carl Gouldman participated on a panel entitled “Positives of Data-Sharing: Benefits of a NOAA Partnership” at the 2021 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum on May 13th. The panel was moderated by Ben Brown, Director of Industry Education, Business Network for Offshore Wind and included Carl and Laura Morse, Environmental Manager for Ørsted. The session focused on The Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Memorandum of Agreement with Ørsted to share physical and biological data is the first of its kind, paving the way for future data-sharing agreements with industry. Carl spoke on how NOAA anticipates utilizing industry partnerships to share data to fill gaps in ocean science knowledge –particularly in ocean mapping and observing – and advance NOAA’s mission to improve climate adaptation and mitigation, weather-readiness, healthy oceans, and resilient coastal communities and economies. NOAA partnerships and data-sharing provides positive benefits for the entire industry. 

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • Surface Current Mapping: (IOOS Surface Currents Program Manager, Brian Zelenke, 

    • No update.
  • Gliders (IOOS POC Kathleen Bailey,; Underwater Glider User Group (UG2) POC Bill Lingsch,; Click here to join UG2
    • Hurricane season is rapidly coming upon us and the IOOS Hurricane Glider Group, led by Kathleen Bailey, is in full preparation mode for the predicted active upcoming season.  Coordination amongst the IOOS regions CARICOOS, GCOOS, SECOORA, CARICOOS and their industry and academic partners as well as NOAA-AOML and Navy has been superb.  Plans are in place to capture the Essential Ocean Features with gliders in these regions that influence hurricane intensity. This group is truly a great example of how collaboration and leveraging can and does work.  Plans will be adjusted according to Navy asset availability and operational funding.
    • Underwater Glider User Group (UG2) Updates: 
      • OceanGlider has been doing an international workshop on glider Best Practices and several UG2 members are participating from May 13th – 25th.  UG2 Best Practices sub-group plans to track the outputs to adopt these where applicable and share with UG2 members so not to duplicate efforts.
      • Mark your calendar: Next UG2 Webinar Series will be June 17th and will focus on Sensors and Operations. Agenda and speakers will be coming out soon.
      • UG2 Steering Group is in the early planning stage and coordinating with EGO to determine plans for a 2022 Glider Workshop.  Details will be forthcoming as they evolve.
  • Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) (IOOS PO POC Gabrielle Canonico,
    • MBON Researcher at the University of California Santa Barbara Describes Four New Species of Sponge: UC Santa Barbara’s Thomas Turner has published a paper in the journal Zootaxa describing four new species of sponges. These novel specimens weren’t dredged from the murky depths or found on some distant seamount, but collected locally from popular dive spots. The study brings Turner’s new species count to five, and the scientist believes there may be dozens yet to discover and describe along the West Coast. Read more here: 
    • Fishing for Answers: An investigation into the role of herbivory on coral reef recovery in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.  On May 6, students from the University of the Virgin Islands Master of Marine and Environmental Science program presented results from an investigation into the role of herbivore biomass in coral reef recovery using data available through MBON.The webinar recording is available at: and on the MBON website (
    • SECOORA Scientist Receives SC Governor’s Award: Congratulations to SECOORA Scientist Dr. Eric Montie, University of South Carolina Beaufort for receiving SC Governor’s Award for Excellence in Scientific Research at a Predominantly Undergraduate Institution. This statewide award recognizes Montie’s strong research program in soundscape ecology, which focuses on estuaries, and his contributions to developing the next generation of scientists. Read more here: 

Data Management and Cyberinfrastructure (DMAC) Subsystem and Tools Built on IOOS data (DMAC listserv – contact Micah Wengren, DMAC System Architect,, or the 'ioos_tech' listserve:

  • 2021 IOOS DMAC Virtual Annual Meeting - Register Now! - June 15 - 17, 2021: We are pleased to announce that the 2021 DMAC Meeting will take place virtually on the afternoons (1:00 - 5:00 PM ET) of Tuesday, June 15 through Thursday, June 17. For this year's virtual meeting, we've planned a daily schedule including two hours of presentations, followed by concurrent hour-long breakout sessions on DMAC topics of interest.  More information about both presentation and breakout topics is available in the agenda posted on our DMAC community web site ( Please register for the meeting if you plan to attend so we can ensure you're able to access all of the meeting materials and Google Meet sessions on the 15th. Please email Mathew Biddle ( with any questions, concerns, or problems accessing the registration form or other meeting materials. Breakout Session Input: We're also encouraging anyone that would like to contribute discussion topic suggestions for any of the breakout sessions to reach out to session leads directly.  Below is a list of the breakout sessions and email addresses for leads for each session.
  • IOOS Google Summer of Code Internship Program: IOOS has accepted three students to participate in IOOS’ inaugural year in the Google Summer of Code internship program for Summer 2021! IOOS was accepted as a first-year GSoC mentoring organization in early March, and mentors have been working with interested students on their applications over the past two months.  The GSoC period runs from early June through mid August, during which time students will work on writing code with their mentors’ assistance before a final evaluation period at the end of the summer.  GCoC pairs post-secondary students with open source programming mentors to contribute to active development of open source software packages.  More information on GSoC can be found here: Google announced accepted students on May 17, and IOOS is thrilled to be working with these three applicants:
    • Callum Rollo: Callum is a final year PhD student in physical oceanography at the University of East Anglia, UK. Callum will be working on erddapy and gliderpy to improve Python access to EDDAP data, with Filipe Fernandes, Matt Biddle, and Micah Wengren as mentors.
    • Lohith Munakala: Lohith is a third year undergraduate from the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Kalyani, India.  Lohith will be working on the Sea Floor Sampling using Machine Learning and Demo Data Centre Migration projects with Dalton Kell, Ben Adams, and Matt Biddle as mentors.
    • Qi Zeng: Qi is a second year math and CS student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. This summer Qi will work to translate the ERDDAP user interface into different languages with Bob Simons, Filipe Fernandes, and Micah Wengren as mentors.
  • SAVE THE DATE! The 3rd NOAA Workshop on Leveraging AI in Environmental Sciences September 13–17, 2021: This will be a hybrid event, the theme for this year’s workshop is “Transforming Weather, Climate Services, and Blue Economy with Artificial Intelligence.” In-person capacity at the event in Boulder, Colorado, will be limited in accordance with the most recent public health guidelines while the virtual event will be open broadly. A decision will be made in June about whether the workshop will be fully virtual. Please check the workshop page ( for more information. If you have any questions, please email
    • OceanGlider Program Hosts Best Practices Workshop: The WMO/IOC OceanOPS OceanGlider program ( hosted a virtual BP workshop on data management during 11-25 May, 2021. The workshop falls under the umbrella of the EuroSea H2020 project, with the intention of reinforcing the global OceanGliders program by developing best practices around all glider activities - including those related to real-time and delayed mode QA/QC data management. Many existing QARTOD manuals and especially the Manual for Quality Control of Temperature and Salinity Data Observations from Gliders are relevant. Participants plan to produce a document describing why and how to submit data and metadata to OceanGliders. For more information contact the Technical Coordinator for OceanGliders & Regional Networks, Turpin Victor, at or workshop organizer Soeren Thomsen at
    • Ocean Best Practice System: The paper International Quality-controlled Ocean Database (IQuOD) v0.1: the temperature uncertainty specification has just been published by Frontiers, under the OBPS Research Topic Best Practices in Ocean Observing ( The extensive references are impressive, and it serves as an exemplar for a method of approaching the highly challenging quantification of measurement uncertainty.

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem (IOOS PO and IOOS Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed (COMT) POC – Tracy Fanara,   

  • PODCAST: Connecting the Dots with Modeling: What do harmful algal blooms, dust from the Saharan desert, and hurricanes have in common? They are all pieces of the puzzle that modeling puts together to give us the big picture when it comes to studying and understanding our ocean and coasts. NOAA's National Ocean Service sat down with NOS modeling portfolio manager Dr. Tracy Fanara for this modeling 101 to talk about why it’s important, what kind of data is provided, and how collaboration with stakeholders strengthens our knowledge base.  Check it out here and look for part 2 next month! 

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • UN Ocean Decade of Ocean Science For Sustainable Development Updates:
    • High-Level Launch of the Ocean Decade - First international Ocean Decade Conference - 1 JUNE 2021: The ocean is the largest ecosystem on Earth and central to the survival of nature and humankind. But the ocean is also under massive threat. More than ever before, science and research are being called upon to join forces with policymakers, society and economic actors to protect and sustainably manage the ocean. To achieve this vision, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2021 to 2030 as the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development – the "Ocean Decade". A prominent virtual opening June 1st marks the official start of the series of events that will make up the re-structured First International Ocean Decade Conference. Engage with world leaders and other stakeholders from diverse stakeholder groups including science, industry, UN agencies, philanthropy, governments, NGOs, civil society and community leaders, media, and arts and humanities. Learn more and register here:  
    • Virtual Early Career Ocean Professional Day | 01-02 June 2021: The Virtual Early Career Ocean Professional (V.ECOP) Day  will be held June 1, 2021, immediately following the kick-off of the First International Conference of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. As an official UN Ocean Decade Activity, V.ECOP Day  is a 24-hour livestream event following the sun around the globe. Hosted by and for international Early Career Ocean Professionals from a wide variety of disciplines, these future leaders and experts will present their work, activities, and contributions to the UN Ocean Decade and explore what's next in this dynamic field. To register and for more information, see: 
    • Ocean Decade Laboratories | Call for Online Satellite Activities 2021: The United Nations (UN) Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (the Ocean Decade) commenced on 1 January 2021 to deliver the ‘science we need for the ocean we want’. In response to ongoing constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual High-Level Launch of the Ocean will take place on June 1st, 2021 followed by seven “Ocean Decade Laboratories” between July 2021 and May 2022. Laboratories are innovative formats that function as self-sustaining events. They act as a creative platform to link diverse stakeholders and topics to trigger collaborative efforts in regard to the UN Ocean Decade. The Laboratories have been structured around the seven Ocean Decade Outcomes. This Call for Online Sessions is open to partners around to world to identify Satellite Activities for the following Ocean Decade Laboratories:
      • An Inspiring and Engaging Ocean on 7th and 8th July 2021
      • A Predicted Ocean on 15th and 16th September 2021
      • A Clean Ocean on 17th and 18th November 2021

A second Call for Online Sessions will be launched for Satellite Activities for Ocean Decade Laboratories to be held later in 2022. All calls are being launched globally to ensure that a diversity of time zones, languages, and regional and local contexts are represented in the Laboratories. For more information, see or submit your proposal for satellite activities here

  • Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) News:
    • Innovative Instruments on the RCA: The Regional Cabled Array (RCA) provides power and bandwidth to a set of core OOI pressure sensor and tiltmeter instruments, developed by Dr. W. Chadwick, which measure subsidence or uplift of the seafloor, an important indicator of activity at Axial Seamount.  But these instruments undergo slow instrumental drift, which can be misinterpreted as seafloor height changes. To increase measurement accuracy, three novel instruments have been added to the RCA – the self-calibrating pressure recorder, flipping tilt meter, and A-0-A pressure sensor – to account and correct for instrument drift. Read more here:
  • NOAA Launches First National Rip Current Forecast Model: For the first time, NOAA is launching a national rip current forecast model, aimed at saving lives of beach-goers around the country. This new model can predict the hourly probability of rip currents along U.S. beaches up to six days out. NOAA’s National Ocean Service and National Weather Service collaboratively developed and implemented the model, which leverages wave and water level information from the recently upgraded National Weather Service’s Nearshore Wave Prediction System. Similar to predicting weather or precipitation, the model predicts the likelihood of dangerous seaward currents on a sliding scale - from 0 to 100%. Visit for more info.
  • NOAA predicts another active Atlantic hurricane season: NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020. Read more here: 
  • NGS Participates in International Young Surveyors Conference: The International Federation of Surveyors hosted the 6th Young Surveyors Conference online on Saturday, May 15. The theme of the conference was "Challenges in Our New Reality: Reimagining a Sustainable Future." The event was a trip around the world in 24 hours, with 4 sessions focused on different regions. During the North America session, NGS Director Juliana Blackwell gave a keynote speech that focused on mentoring and the NGS Field Operations Branch Chief participated in a panel discussion that focused on overcoming challenges presented by the worldwide pandemic. Hundreds of young surveyors from dozens of countries attended. Participation in events like this one is part of the ongoing NGS effort to serve as good stewards to the next generation of surveyors and geodesists.
  • Projection Shows Mild 2021 Harmful Algal Bloom for Lake Erie: Lake Erie will probably experience a mild harmful algal bloom this summer, according to the early season projection issued by NCCOS with support from Heidelberg University. March and April rains and associated discharge and phosphorus loads for the Maumee River have been lower than average, but precipitation is expected to be above average for the rest of May. Models currently indicate a likely severity of less than 4.5, with a potential severity of up to 6 (still less than the 7.5 severity observed in 2019). The uncertainty level for this forecast will continue to narrow as additional rain and river discharge data are collected. The impact of a bloom on drinking water and recreation on Lake Erie depends on its location, toxicity, and duration. Projections of the bloom’s severity will be issued weekly through the end of June.
  • NOAA Seeks Nominations to New Marine Debris Foundation Board of Directors: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) is pleased to announce a solicitation of nominations for the Marine Debris Foundation Board of Directors. The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act of 2020 established the Marine Debris Foundation as a charitable and nonprofit organization to support NOAA’s marine debris activities and directed the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere to appoint the Foundation’s governing Board of Directors. NOAA is searching for twelve people to serve as Directors on the new Board, representing diverse points of view relating to the assessment, prevention, reduction, and removal of marine debris; post-consumer materials management or a circular economy; ocean and coastal resource conservation science or policy; international trade or foreign policy; and experience or skills related to fundraising and nonprofit management. NOAA encourages candidates representing diverse perspectives from different genders, cultures, educational backgrounds, career stages, geographies, sectors, and other factors. Information on the responsibilities of the Board, term length, selection criteria, and how to submit a nomination is available on the NOAA MDP webpage at Nominations must be received in entirety no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 30, 2021.
  • Grants & Funding Opportunities:
    • NOAA Ocean Exploration’s Ocean Exploration Fiscal Year 2022 Funding Opportunity: The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER), also known as NOAA Ocean Exploration, is soliciting proposals to conduct or support ocean exploration resulting in outcomes that provide or enable initial assessments about unknown or poorly understood regions of U.S. waters. This funding opportunity will focus on the outcomes of the Workshop to Identify National Ocean Exploration Priorities in the Pacific hosted by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL) in 2020 in partnership with OER. Proposals should support the ocean exploration topical priorities or spatial priorities in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) identified in the “Report on the Workshop to Identify National Ocean Exploration Priorities in the Pacific.” Required pre-proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 21, 2021 and invited full proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. EDT on October 8, 2021. Read more about this funding opportunity here

Delivering the Benefits:

  • Researchers plan an unmoored buoy experiment in the Grat Lakes for late May: Later this month, a buoy will be set loose in Lake Superior to drift wherever the wind and waves will take it. In a collaboration between the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) and Michigan Technological University, researchers will release a basketball-sized Spotter buoy near the North Entry of the Portage Canal, along the Keweenaw Peninsula and allow it to drift freely for 1-2 weeks. As it travels, it will measure important details of the wind, waves, water temperature, and currents. Read more here
  • Missing Cha’ba data?  Due to at-sea vessel issues, the UW team was unable to deploy summer Cha'Ba in the Pacific Northwest in early May. Winter Cha'ba ocean acidification sensors were recovered; the non-real-time sub-surface data will be available after QC. Summer Cha’ba will be deployed, with near-real-time data, in June off the OSU R/V Pacific Storm. 
  • New paper: Study of the Bioluminescent Bay of La Parguera: UPR graduate and former CARICOOS assistant researcher Erick Manuel García Troche shared the findings of his research on the Bioluminescent Bay of La Parguera through the publication of his article in the prestigious journal scientific PLOS ONE, an open-access platform that seeks to empower researchers to make their work known immediately to promote the progress of science.  Read more and access the paper here


  • No update.


  • PODCAST: Connecting the Dots with Modeling: What do harmful algal blooms, dust from the Saharan desert, and hurricanes have in common? They are all pieces of the puzzle that modeling puts together to give us the big picture when it comes to studying and understanding our ocean and coasts. NOAA's National Ocean Service sat down with NOS modeling portfolio manager Dr. Tracy Fanara to talk about why modeling is important, what kind of data is provided, and how collaboration with stakeholders strengthens our knowledge base.  Check it out here and look for part 2 next month! 
  • PODCAST: Ocean News & Technology Magazine's SeaState: This episode of the Ocean News & Technology Magazine SeaState podcast is all about ocean observing. It features interviews Dr. Jake Kritzer, NERACOOS's Exec. Director, and Dr. John Trowbridge, PI for the Ocean Observatories Initiative and a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), who are uniquely qualified to tell the story of ocean observing. Download it wherever you normally get your podcasts!
  • GLOS Announces Mini-Grant Awardees: Early in 2021, GLOS launched a mini-grant opportunity to help put more lake information in peoples’ hands and to support the Smart Great Lakes Initiative. Due to the number of submissions, the process was highly competitive. Congratulations to those who were selected! Read more about the funded projects here
  • Engaging with Middle-School Students in PNW:  Members of the NANOOS Enabling Change work group have been developing ocean science curricula with the Technology Access Foundation, a Seattle-based non-profit that works with public schools and teachers to bring STEM opportunities to students from traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities.  Earlier this month, several members of NANOOS-UW and NOAA led three classes through a primer on Marine Heatwaves followed by a demonstration of the NVS Tuna Fishers and Climatology apps and student-led inquiry of NVS data to identify and discuss Marine Heatwaves in the region.
  • GCOOS 2021 Spring Meeting Wrap Up: The GCOOS 2021 Spring Meeting took place on May 18 and included presentations by Carl Gouldman, Director of the U.S. IOOS Program Office, Josie Quintrell, Executive Director of the IOOS Association, and Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick, GCOOS Executive Director. The meeting also included an overview of the 2020 hurricane season related to glider activity in the Gulf, along with a preview of plans for glider deployment during the 2021 season by Bill Lingsch, U.S. Glider User Group Coordinator, and GCOOS Oceanographer Dr. Kerri Whilden. Read more about the meeting and catch up with videos here
  • Alaska Crabbers 'Climate and Ocean Acidification Symposium: the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers and the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network are hosting a mini-symposium on May 26 to share the latest science on ocean conditions, climate forecasts, and crab response and to discuss topics such as species behavior, fisheries management, and adaptation in a changing climate.
  • AOOS Diversity & Inclusion Working Group: The AOOS Diversity & Inclusion Working Group met three times this winter and presented a set of recommendations to the AOOS Board on May 13. The recommendations included expanding the board to include more Alaska Indigenous representation, amending AOOS governance documents to be more explicit about Alaska Indigenous needs and participation, and providing guidance on specific groups in Alaska to engage and how to engage them.

Click here to view the IOOS Association Calendar

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