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,

With hurricane season in full swing, the Hurricane Glider Project has been very active. Even with the current challenges of Summer 2020, our diverse team has come together and supported each other to have the most active season to date. We have over twenty hurricane gliders deployed in the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic Bight, South Atlantic Bight, and Gulf of Mexico! Their mission is twofold. First, providing sustained ocean data in ocean features that are hard for models to forecast and that are linked to intensity changes in hurricanes. Second, when possible, capturing the rapid evolution of the ocean under a hurricane to help us better understand how the ocean affects the storm and the storm affects the ocean. This understanding will ultimately improve our ability to forecast these highly dynamic and complex processes. 

As residents along the Texas-Louisiana coasts prepared for Hurricane Laura, the hurricane glider science team was closely monitoring the ocean conditions under the storm. With a Texas A&M glider, two Navy gliders, and multiple ARGO floats in the path of the storm, we had a unique opportunity to capture the dynamic changes in the ocean ahead of and under the storm. The team was also able to assess the latest version of NOAA’s Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model’s ability to forecast these changes. Initial analysis showed that Laura's winds caused a rapid cooling of the ocean in the eastern Gulf of Mexico but that cooling didn’t occur in the western Gulf where there was above normal temperatures. This warm water in the west is what Laura ultimately went over as it rapidly intensified. 

With storms like Laura and Isaias, our mission is only beginning. There is much work to do after these storms have passed to better understand the ocean's role in intensity and improve our ability to forecast it. Throughout these storms, Dr. Scott Glenn (MARACOOS/Rutgers) has been blogging about the hurricane glider effort. Dr. Glenn is one of the main leaders of this effort and does a fantastic job explaining what we are seeing and learning with the gliders and our analysis of the models. You can follow along at

Best wishes and stay safe,

From the U.S. IOOS Office:

  • IOOS Director Carl Gouldman joined BlueTech Global Connect last month for their "Big Data" webinar.  Joined by  presentations from D-ICE Engineering, OLSPS, and ioCurrents, Carl's presentation covered what IOOS is, what we do, and how it matters for big data.  The full webinar is available in 2 parts, the intro and Carl's presentation followed by the following 3 presentations and the Q&A (moderated by Carl).

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

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

    • HFR Community and Wind Turbine Interference Mitigation: The oceanographic high-frequency radar (HFR) community is drafting questions to ask the offshore wind energy industry regarding wind turbine interference mitigation (WTRIM).  IOOS Surface Currents Program Manager Brian Zelenke will be serving as the lead for the U.S. HFR network and Tom Vinson at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) will serve as the point-of-contact to get answers to the HFR community’s questions from the offshore wind industry.  If you know someone who would like help in writing the HFR community’s WTRIM questions, or someone in the wind energy industry that would like to help respond, please contact

    • Glider Data and Model Output for Hurricane Laura: Check out the MARACOOS/Rutgers University Center for Ocean Observing Leadership (RUCOOL) blog for some great discussion and information on ocean data before and during Hurricane Laura and how that data was used for modeling Hurricane Laura and and forecasting the hurricane’s intensity. Read more here: 

    • Robots Map Ocean Heat Content in Advance of Hurricane Laura: Making hurricane predictions is all about having data — and being able to access accurate information quickly and easily. For the third year in a row, the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) is working with teams in Florida, Mississippi and Texas to track and share data from a gliders in the Gulf. Read more here

    • Gliders, Gliders, and More GLIDERS!!: This time of year is always jam packed with glider activity. In the Mid-Atlantic, there are 5 active gliders deployed by MARACOOS partners ready to collect vital data from hurricanes such as Hurricane Laura. Tune in for “Meet the Fleet” in September for a more in-depth look at Mid-Atlantic gliders and the people behind them! Read more here.

    • ATN Webinar Summary: The US Animal Telemetry Network (ATN) Data Team (Megan McKinzie-ATN and Ian Gill-Axiom Data Science) and Bill hosted a two hour webinar on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 for the NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center researchers and regional colleagues. A mix of 25 NMFS, Navy and academic researchers listened to an introduction to the ATN and its Data Assembly Center (DAC) plus a review of the DAC data management tools (Research Workspace, Project Registration App and Data Portal), data and metadata standards, and data curation process from ingestion through archival. Megan also provided a ‘live’ demonstration of how to register a Research Workspace account in the DAC and how to navigate the steps needed to upload your datasets into your account . Several attendees also signed up for follow-up web-based remote one-on-one PI sessions with the DAC Data Team for more individualized and in-depth discussions and training. A recording of the webinar can be found at:  Additional regional webinars are being planned for the Fall which will focus on the SE and NW NMFS Science Centers and regions.

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

  • 2020 DMAC Annual Meeting Update: Like many other groups, the IOOS Ops Division has decided against planning in-person events for the time being.  Therefore, the dates we had tentatively rescheduled this year's DMAC meeting for (Tuesday Oct 13 - Thursday Oct 15) will be used to hold a virtual DMAC plenary/presentation session and group breakout discussions. Please save the hours of 2 - 5 PM ET, Oct 13 - 15 if you'd like to participate.  More details to follow, however our plan at the moment is for a daily schedule of:

    • 2 PM - 3:30 PM: Presentations and project updates

    • 3:45 PM - 4:45 PM: Breakout discussions

    • 4:45 PM - 5 PM: Daily Recap

    • International Review of QARTOD Paper Complete: Broad international review of the draft paper “QARTOD - Prospects for Real-Time Quality Control Manuals, How to Create Them, and a Vision for Advanced Implementation” has been completed. Comments received are being addressed in the final editing of this paper, which describes the applicability of real-time QC for the IOOS core variables not yet addressed by a QARTOD manual.

    • Ocean Best Practice System: Almost 300 individuals have registered for the 4th OBPS annual workshop. The overarching goal of the workshop is to gather recommendations to help the OBPS serve communities and advance:

      • Sharing of information and knowledge

      • Endorsement of methodologies

      • Convergence of methodologies

      • Guidance – how can the OBPS support your region/community in building best practices?

      • More information is available at

    • U.S. CLIVAR Ocean Uncertainty Quantification Working Group: OceanUQ working group members and others with an interest in uncertainty quantification will virtually meet during the 4th annual OBPS workshop, in an Ocean Uncertainty Quantification session. The session goal is to develop recommendations which guide OBPS activities that support and promote uncertainty considerations and standards. Session co-chairs have invited leaders in the development of uncertainty statements to provide presentations, and are scheduling discussions to help others seeking guidance for their uncertainty efforts. To participate, workshop registrants should select the Ocean Uncertainty Quantification session as their first or second interest.

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

  • No update.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

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

    • New MBON Team Publication on Use Of eDNA Metabarcoding For Biodiversity Assessments and Species Richness Estimates: US MBON partners published a new paper on eDNA metabarcoding applications in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (“Calibrating Environmental DNA Metabarcoding to Conventional Surveys for Measuring Fish Species Richness,” The paper compares species richness estimates for bony fish from eDNA metabarcoding vs. conventional methods (e.g. nets, visual census, electrofishing) across 37 different studies in aquatic systems. The authors conclude that ‘eDNA metabarcoding is reliable and provides a path for broader biodiversity assessments that can outperform conventional methods for estimating species richness’.  However, they note the need for additional studies of relative performance among different methods and for ‘more populated reference databases, increased sampling effort, and multi-marker assays to ensure robust species richness estimates to further validate the approach’. IOOS provides leadership of US MBON on behalf of a NOPP interagency partnership including NOAA, NASA, BOEM, and ONR.

  • Second ACT eDNA Workshop:The 2nd ACT “Envisioning the future of eDNA sampling and sample processing” virtual workshop will be held on Thursday, 10 September, 3-5 pm ET/noon-2 pm PT. As a reminder, notes from the first workshop are available on the Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT) website. The goal for this second virtual workshop is to follow up on some of the challenges to eDNA sampling/sample processing that were identified in the first workshop. This second workshop will be used to learn more about existing and on-the-horizon solutions that can help overcome some of these challenges and discuss remaining obstacles in need of development. Key outcomes from this workshop will include 1) a short list of action items and suggestions for the community priorities for improving eDNA collection/preservation of samples and 2) a report and/or peer reviewed publication will be developed from the input of both workshops. Please register for the workshop here. Please register for the workshop by COB Friday, 4 September. Contact Beth Stauffer ( or Jen Raabe ( if you have any questions. 

  • New OOI Data Explorer Tool Coming Online in October: To help make the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) data more accessible, useable, and easily integrated into research and classrooms, the OOI data team has spent the last year developing a new tool that will allow users to discover the data required to meet their needs.  The new “Data Explorer” has been undergoing user testing for the past three months and will be ready for broad distribution in early October. Data Explorer will allow users to search and download cabled, uncabled, and recovered data, compare datasets across regions and disciplines, generate and share custom data views, and download full data sets using ERDDAP. Read more here: 

  • Save the Date & Register Now: Sep 23-24, 1pm EDT - NOAA HSRP Public Meeting (Webinar): The NOAA Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) Federal Advisory Committee will have a virtual public meeting via webinar on September 23, 1-5:30pm EDT, and September 24, 2020, 1-5pm EDT, to focus on NOAA's navigation services, address implementation plans for the two ocean and coastal mapping strategies, and other HSRP topics. Public comments are requested by September 15th. For more information, see the meeting announcement published in the Federal Register here: Please register in advance of the meeting at the following link:   

  • ICYMI: From Data to Decisions: NOAA's Support for Coastal Resilience Briefing: From science to service and stewardship, NOAA delivers authoritative data, tools, and expertise to prepare our nation for the impacts of coastal storms and the chronic stress of sea level rise.  On August 27, 2020, NOS Leadership participated in a briefing highlighting how NOAA’s observations, modeling, and technical support services are transformational in enabling local understanding and planning to reduce risk in coastal communities. You can watch the briefing at this link: 

  • National Geodetic Survey Damage Assessment Imagery for Hurricane Laura Now Available Online: From August 27-31, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) collected aerial damage assessment images in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura. Imagery was collected in specific areas identified by NOAA in coordination with FEMA and other state and federal partners. Collected images are available to view online via the NGS aerial imagery viewer. View tips on how to use the imagery viewer. NOAA's aerial imagery aids safe navigation and captures damage to coastal areas caused by a storm. Aerial imagery is a crucial tool to determine the extent of the damage inflicted by flooding, and to compare baseline coastal areas to assess the damage to major ports and waterways, coastlines, critical infrastructure, and coastal communities. Read more here

  • Fall High Tide Bulletin Now Available: The rising and falling of the sea is a phenomenon upon which we can always depend. Tides are the regular rise and fall of the sea surface caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun and their position relative to the earth. There are some factors that cause the tides to be higher than what is "normally" seen from day to day. This bulletin tells you when you may experience higher than normal high tides for the period of time between September and November 2020. Read more here.

  • CO-OPS Installs Critical Sensor in North Carolina: NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) installed a new microwave water level sensor in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. This station was significantly damaged over the winter due to strong swells from a nor’easter. With hurricane season in full swing, it was critical to install a second primary quality water level sensor. The station, on Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier, is one of the few National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON) stations located on an ocean-facing shoreline. It is critical for providing unobstructed water level and meteorological data, especially during hurricane season. The NWLON is a network of over 200 water level stations in the U.S and is the source for accurate real-time and historical water levels for government agencies, the commercial navigation sector, and recreational users.

  • NOAA, U.S. Coast Guard Verify Critical Navigation Data in Alaska: OCS supported a last-minute request by U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter SPAR to provide hydrographic support for their operations in Bechevin Bay, Alaska. OCS’s regional navigation manager for Alaska joined the ship in Homer, Alaska, for a two-week mission in early August. Cutter SPAR's draft exceeds the depth of the channel at mean lower low water, and shoals within Bechevin Bay are known to migrate over time. SPAR conducts limited hydrographic surveys to verify aids to navigation are still marking safe water for SPAR and all vessels using the waterway. Using an acquisition and processing workflow refined by OCS in 2019, the mission collected sufficient data to ensure SPAR could work safely. This successful operation supports a growing partnership between USCG and NOAA under the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to collaborate on hydrographic data acquisition in Alaska.

  • Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast: 2020 Improvements: Lakeshore communities now have new tools to help ensure safe drinking water and lake recreational activities. The Lake Erie HAB Forecast now incorporates a 3D hydrodynamic model to better understand what's going on beneath the surface of Lake Erie, critical to managing drinking water intakes and prime fishing spots. In addition, the forecast website is easier to use, with animations and dashboards to help users better understand maps and key elements. Read more here

  • Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) to host Ocean Acidification Week - September 8-10, 2020: The Ocean Acidification Week will be held to engage the ocean acidification and broader oceanographic communities, raise awareness to the issue of ocean acidification, and bring attention to the global efforts being conducted related to monitoring, research, capacity building, capacity needs, and education. The week will also maintain momentum around the upcoming 5th International Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World, and share progress on GOA-ON's three High-level Goals, as well as serve as the "kick off" to a new GOA-ON Webinar Series. For more information, see 

  • Detailed Agenda Available and Registration open: 2020 Americas Symposium (September 7th & 8th): The 2020 Americas Symposium aims to bring communities together to ​identify the synergies ​and paths toward collaboration ​​among​ regional efforts related to ​the integration of​ Geographic, Statistical, Environmental and other information. As a community, we recognize that data integration is the first step toward transforming data into meaningful and valuable information and that a joint effort is needed to achieve this goal. These talks intend to elevate the conversation beyond programmatic updates and facilitate an insightful discussion about multilateral cooperation. To register for this event or to find more information, please visit the official "2020 America's Symposium" website. This Symposium of the Americas is presented by AmeriGEO, the regional organization for the Group on Earth Observations, and the United Nations Regional Committee on Global Geospatial Information Management in the Americas, UN-GGIM: Americas. 

  • Grants & Funding Opportunities:

    • Request for Proposals to Enhance Regional Ocean Data Sharing: SECOORA is soliciting proposals that focus on geospatial data required by states and regional organizations in addressing coastal and ocean management issues. The funding for this award was appropriated by Congress to enhance capacity for sharing and integration of data from Federal and non-Federal sources to support regional coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes management priorities. Proposals are due October 30, 2020 at 5 PM ET. Total funds available are $180,000. SECOORA intends to award between 1 and 5 proposals.  Click here for more information and how to apply

    • NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research FY2021 Federal Funding Opportunity: The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research has decided to extend the FY21 Federal Funding Opportunity pre-proposal deadline to July 8, 2020 to allow the broadest participation in the funding opportunity. The fall deadline for full submissions remains October 22, 2020. The full announcement for this opportunity may be found online at

Delivering the Benefits:

  • Satellite imagery reveals hurricane connections to increases in sargassum influxes: Since 2011, large accumulations of Sargassum on the coasts has become a challenge for managers. Some of the challenges include lack of access to ramps and beaches, deterioration in the quality of tourism services and impacts on coastal ecosystems dynamics. To address this issue, CARICOOS commissioned a study to evaluate changes in benthic composition and coastal vegetation in La Parguera area potentially resulting from to Sargassum influx and accumulations in cays, bays, inlets and near-shore environments. Read more here and find the latest 2020 Sargassum Outlook here

    • NANOOS Tuna App really delivers: The NVS Tuna Fishers App has been especially popular this season, thanks to increased engagement with recreational users. Many people have been utilizing the “Comment” feature, which allows users to contact NANOOS directly with any questions or concerns. This feature gives NANOOS valuable feedback on usability as well as alerting them to data stream issues. So, please keep "Comment"-ing! 

    • Monitoring Water Quality at Maʻalaea Harbor, Maui: As part of the PacIOOS Water Quality Sensor Partnership Program (WQSPP), the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council (MNMRC) deployed a nearshore sensor at Maʻalaea Harbor, Maui. The non-profit organization is interested to learn more about the effects of tides, wind, and swell on water quality in the harbor, and monitor water quality variability over time. The data will help inform the watershed management plan Vision for Pohakea, which aims to reduce sediment and pollutants in Maʻalaea Bay and its harbor. MNMRC is also partnering with the Waterkeepers Hawaiian Islands to utilize several thousand oysters in the harbor to help improve water quality. PacIOOS' nearshore sensor will be rotating to various locations within the harbor, collecting data on water temperature, salinity, turbidity, chlorophyll-a, and depth. 

    • PACE Early Adopter, Clarissa Anderson: California’s economy relies on the healthy ocean. Clarissa Anderson, of the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (@SCCOOS), is leading a team that will be using NASA's PACE data to predict harmful algal blooms in coastal waters. Read more about this PACE project here

    • July CA HAB Bulletin Published: Please check out the July CA HAB Bulletin for the latest collection of model output, observations, and advisories. Major contributors to the bulletin content are SCCOOS, CeNCOOS, NOAA CoastWatch, phytoplankton counts from the Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring & Alert Program (HABMAP) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and stranding data from The Marine Mammal Center, Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute, the Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles, CA Wildlife Center, Marine Animal Rescue, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, and SeaWorld.


  • No update.


  • Interested in being a part of the Smart Great Lakes Initiative (SGLi)?: SGLi leadership is seeking volunteers to share their expertise by serving on Issue Area Strategy Teams. These teams will focus initially on contributing to a Common Strategy representing three areas: science and innovation, data and information, and policy and management. If you are interested in joining a team, email Katie Rousseau, Smart Great Lakes Liaison, at

  • Kauaʻi to Niʻihau Channel Crossing: At the beginning of August, five swimmers from the Ala Moana Beach Swim Club completed a tandem crossing of the Kaulakahi Channel, from the island of Kauaʻi to Niʻihau. In preparation for the swim, the team diligently studied ocean conditions to better understand the channel environment. With the support of PacIOOS' Data Management Lead Dr. Jim Potemra, the group also included PacIOOS wind, current, and wave forecast data into their assessment. At the end, there is only so much "prep" work and planning that can be done. Despite stronger than expected currents, cross swells, and jellyfish encounters, the team mastered the channel and was rewarded with a whole slew of marine life, including a silky shark that peacefully swam with the group for about 8 hours. Read the full story of their swim

Click here to view the IOOS Association Calendar

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