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From the Director:

Dear IOOS Community,

This week, the IOOS regions are gathering virtually for the IOOS Association Spring meeting. Tuesday was the first day of the three day meeting (March 2, March 5, and March 9) and focused on highlights from each of the 11 regional associations FY21 funding proposals and also included breakout sessions discussing the IOOS role in Resiliency and on Elevating IOOS in NOAA. The goal of these breakouts was to begin to develop unifying messaging for these topics. Friday’s agenda includes briefings from Congressional staff, NOS leadership, and a discussion on coastal climate signals and its impacts. I’m looking forward to continuing these discussions to advance the IOOS mission. 

This month, the NOAA Open House has gone virtual. You can join the NOAA Live! Virtual Open House all of the month of March and “visit” some of the places where NOAA science happens. Step inside the hangar where we keep NOAA’s hurricane hunter planes. Feed the fish at the nation’s oldest aquarium. Sniff fish at a NOAA seafood inspection lab. Meet an Alaskan red king crab. Watch scientists command satellites in space. Dive into an underwater sanctuary and more — all from home! Grab your VIP pass and learn more here: 



Best wishes,

From the U.S. IOOS Office:

  • OOS Advisory Committee Public Meeting - March 17-19, 2021: The IOOS Advisory Committee public meeting will take place March 17-19 to advance their recommendations report to NOAA and the IOOC. The meeting notice has been published in the Federal Register here. If you would like to attend the meeting, please RSVP to Laura Gewain, For more information, please see the Advisory Committee website
  • Merit Review Panel for Fiscal Year 2021 Implementation of U.S. IOOS funding opportunity, Topic Area 1: The IOOS Office held a merit review panel 2/23-2/25 to review the submissions to the Topic Area 1 Notice of Funding Opportunity. Kudos to Oriana Villar for her leadership in executing a successful panel and many thanks to the panelists for taking the time to provide thoughtful independent reviews and join the discussions to help review and rank the proposals submitted. The IOOS Office greatly values your efforts in contributing to this high priority program.
  • Farewell LCDR Ben LaCour: Ben LaCour’s tour of duty with the IOOS office is coming to an end this week. He will take command of the NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson for his next assignment. Ben came on board at IOOS in June 2018 serving as Executive Officer for the office. During his time here he advanced NOAA’s hurricane glider efforts through interagency partnerships with Navy and academia, and in collaboration with many parts of NOAA. Ben also provided contracting leadership critical to the IOOS mission. We thank him for his leadership, teamwork, and “can do” attitude” in meeting the IOOS and NOAA missions. 

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

    • No update.
    • OTN IDMC Meeting: The ATN is a member of the International Data Management Committee (IDMC) of the Canadian Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) and Bill participated in their recent meeting on February 24, 2021. Dr. Joy Young (FACT Acoustic Telemetry Network) is the IDMC Chair and she presided over the meeting which included network update reports from the global IDMC members as well as OTN reports from Executive Director Fred Whoriskey and the OTN Team on the OTN core funding status, Data Centre, Data Nodes, Tools and Training and Data Management Quality Management System Implementation.  Discussion topics included the ongoing acoustic telemetry code-space issues currently in play in the global community plus expectations for expanding the number of acoustic data nodes.    
    • AniBOS Network Update: The ATN Data Coordinator, Dr. Megan McKinzie, is a member of the recently created AniBOS (Animal Borne Ocean Sensors) Network Data Subcommittee and joined with fellow members from 7 different countries: Australia, Sweden, US, France, UK and Canada in their first meeting on February 24, 2021. A primary goal of the AniBOS Network is to provide an operational and complementary observing capability to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), to monitor essential ocean variables (EOV) and essential biodiversity variables (EBV), and contribute to the quantification of upper ocean state variability. Animal-borne ocean sensors measure a variety of variables including temperature and salinity profiles, fluorescence, oxygen, and surface wave and wind activity mostly in traditionally under-sampled regions. The Data Subcommittee is tasked with developing a strategic implementation plan for overall coordination and governance of the Network’s data and metadata. The Subcommittee will also work to resolve issues that may hinder interoperability, such as different tag/sensor manufacturers, types, deployment species and locations, while ensuring that the observations are compliant with the FAIR and Open data principles. The U.S. ATN is leading the development and implementation of the AniBOS real-time data management strategy and approach. 
    • Hawaiian Monk Seal Tracking Data: Two Hawaiian monk seal data sets, collected by NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), are now accessible through the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Animal Telemetry Network (ATN) data portal. The first project, initiated in August 2020, is an ongoing data collection of real-time satellite telemetry tracks of Hawaiian monk seals. So far, three animals have been tagged in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Data from the second project span from 1996-2002, and represent the first satellite telemetry study of Hawaiian monk seals. It encompasses satellite telemetry locations of 128 Hawaiian monk seals from six major breeding sites in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Other datasets will be made available with additional spatial and temporal coverage. These projects are part of NOAA's larger effort to study the ecology of Hawaiian monk seals, identify and mitigate threats to survival, and work toward the recovery of this endangered species.
    • Excellent recent publications on marine animal movement and population connectivity:
      • Ajemian MJ, Drymon JM, Hammerschlag N, Wells RJD, Street G, Falterman B, et al. (2020). Movement patterns and habitat use of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) across ontogeny in the Gulf of Mexico. PLoS ONE 15(7): e0234868. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0234868
      • Rooker JR, Dance MA, Wells RJD, Ajemian MJ, Block BA, Castelton MR, Drymon JM, Falterman BJ, Franks JS, Hammerschlag N, Hoffmaer ER, Kraus RT, McKinney JA, Secor DH, Stunz GW, Walter JF. (2019) Population connectivity of pelagic megafauna in the Cuba-Mexico-U.S. triangle. Scientific Reports; 9 (1663)
  • Why marine life? A primer: GOOS BioEco panel member David Obura, CORDIO East Africa, gave a talk providing a good summary of the  relevant findings of many recent biodiversity reviews (IPBES, High Level Panel, FAO, Dasgupta review, etc).  But most importantly he provides good context to help us articulate how biodiversity and marine life observations and monitoring are critical and broader priorities for resource management and restoration. Watch his talk here:  

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

  • New IOOS Github Notebook: Curious about the process to align species and other observations (percent cover, depth, bottom type, rugosity, and temperature) into the biological data standard Darwin Core ( IOOS recently published a new tutorial on aligning an example data file to the biological data standard Darwin Core using Python. Contact: Mathew Biddle (
  • IOOS Applies to Participate in Google Summer of Code: Micah Wengren and Filipe Fernandes coordinated an IOOS application to participate in the Google Summer of Code internship program for Summer 2021.  GCoC pairs rising college or 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: IOOS or IOOS-affiliated projects that contributed internship ideas to IOOS’ application included ERDDAP, erddapy, colocate, and the IOOS Notebook Gallery, as well as some additional ideas for new project starts.  IOOS’ application materials can be found here:  If IOOS is accepted by Google as a participating organization, students accepted to GSoC can apply to work on any of the GSoC project ideas outlined in IOOS’ application materials, where they will work with designated IOOS or NOAA project mentors from June through August to develop and contribute code to the open source projects.
  • SAVE THE DATE! 2021 IOOS DMAC Meeting, 15 – 17 June 2021, Virtual: 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. Please save these dates in your calendars.  We will reach out for agenda input for presentation and breakout discussion topics soon. Further information on event logistics will be coming out soon as well. Questions or suggestions about the agenda should go to Mathew Biddle (, Micah Wengren (, Tiffany Vance ( and Kathy Bailey (
  • DMAC Tech Webinar on QARTOD: Mark Bushnell led a DMAC Tech Webinar on QARTOD and development of the QARTOD five year plan (2022 - 2026).   The well-attended webinar covered the history and successes of the QARTOD project briefly before transitioning to discussion of five year plan development, including requirements gathering to determine new directions for the project over this time period based on a stakeholder input process.  A recording of the webinar is available here: 
  • Manual for Real-Time Quality Control of Water Level Data: The initial draft of the updated Manual for Real-Time Quality Control of Water Level Data has been completed and is being circulated for review. The incremental update includes added definitions, new references and technology discussions, but doesn’t require changes to QC tests that have already been implemented. Contact Mark to obtain a copy.
  • Ocean Best Practice System Update: Within the OBPS, Task Teams may be created to support specific needs related to one or more of the seven Work Package objectives. TTs have well defined objectives, durations, and outcomes. The first TT to be formed was initially proposed by Jordan Van Stavel and Cora Hörstmann, both early career ocean professionals and the newest members of the OBPS Steering Group. The TT will address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity in Ocean Best Practices Development, look for web site content soon at In addition to proposing and developing the TT terms of reference, the effort now serves as an example of the process to be used for creating subsequent TTs. Congratulations to Cora and Jordan!
  • U.S. CLIVAR Ocean Uncertainty Quantification Working Group: The Frontiers in Marine Science paper Quality Assurance of Oceanographic Observations: Standards and Guidance Adopted by an International Partnership ( provides an example of a rigorous uncertainty quantification calculation, but the example is embedded in the supplemental material of the paper. The calculation details the uncertainties associated with a fixed, moored Sea-Bird temperature sensor. The example has now been turned into a stand-alone document and deposited into the OBPS repository where it can be easily found and directly cited, see

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

  • No update.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • OOI News: Shade and Poop at Sea: Increasing Solar Panel Efficiency: Sea lions intermittently visit the Coastal Endurance Array moorings off the coast of Oregon, where they lounge, bask in the sun, and “do their business.”  These visits create two problems for the optimum functioning of the instrumented arrays.  Because sea lions are heavy, some weighing up to 2,500 pounds, the solar panels upon which they rest need to be strong enough to bear this weight. And, excrement left behind by these itinerant visitors smears and shades the solar panels, making less power available for the ocean observing instrument attached to the arrays. John Reine and Marshall Swartz of OOI’s Engineering Team put their heads together to tackle both the weight and intermittent shading problems caused by the sea lions visits. Read more here
  • OOI News: New Discrete Water Sampling Spreadsheets Available: OOI continues to make improvements to how data are made available to users. To provide context and comparison for data collected by OOI instrumentation, for example, OOI collects and disseminates data collected by shipboard underway sensors and from water samples from CTD casts. In addition to shipboard underway data posted to the OOI Alfresco Document Management System, water sampling data are provided. Now included are scanned and digitized versions of the CTD logs, as well as, discrete water sample analyses in the formats provided by the labs which conducted the analyses. Read more here
  • OCS Assists USCG in Portsmouth Harbor: The Office of Coast Survey’s (OCS) navigation manager for the northeast region assisted the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Northern New England (USCG NNE) Waterways Management and local stakeholders in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. OCS helped determine the safest route for commercial vessels around a charted obstruction in the federal navigation channel. The charts for the area used side sonar data from 2014 to mark the obstruction, but more recent, multibeam echo sounder (MBES) data was available from NOAA ship Ferdinand R. Hassler. OCS reviewed the MBES data from 2020, processed it, and performed a quality control check. USCG NNE was able to use this information to modify traffic rules, allowing for more efficient use of the waterway.
  • NGS Releases New Homepage: NGS has developed a new homepage to make it easier to find information and resources. Top tasks and frequently accessed web content have been relocated near the top of the page to make them more apparent. The new homepage is responsive and scales to different device types, including mobile, tablet, and desktop. Navigation improvements have been implemented and a rotating image carousel will provide important system updates, keep users informed of the modernization of the National Spatial Reference System, announce new NGS products and services, and promote conferences, trainings, and webinars. These changes are part of an ongoing effort to modernize the NGS website and make it more responsive to user needs and requests.
  • NGS Creates Standard File Format to Aid Data Sharing: The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) developed a new standard file format for exchanging global navigation satellite system (GNSS) data from various survey methods and hardware from different manufacturers. Regardless of the equipment and software they use, surveyors and other geospatial professionals will be able to upload their files to NGS’s OPUS Projects software for analysis, adjustment, review, and approval. The file format, called GVX (GNSS Vector Exchange), will also aid with crowdsourcing and support the GPS on Bench Marks campaign. NGS staff gave a presentation on the GVX file format to more than 30 software developers from 10 private companies, who indicated they were likely to adopt the file format and create tools in their software to import and export GVX files. Industry adoption of a standard file format for the sharing and processing of global satellite navigation data would allow for greater worldwide collaboration, data sharing, and information exchange.
  • CO-OPS Creates Sea Level Data Animations: The Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) created new animated visualizations of annual mean sea level data for each tide station. CO-OPS sea level trend information has historically been displayed as a static representation of mean sea level when a water level station has over 30 years of data. The new animations are a feature layer through ArcGIS Online and can be accessed and embedded by users. These visualizations will also be featured soon on NOAA’s
  • Grants & Funding Opportunities:
  • NSF funding opportunity for Navigating the New Arctic: Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) embodies an important forward-looking response by the Foundation to profound environmental challenges in the Arctic. NNA seeks innovations in fundamental convergence research across the social, natural, environmental, computing and information sciences, and engineering that address the interactions or connections among natural and built environments and social systems, and how these connections inform our understanding of Arctic change and its local and global effects. This solicitation requests proposals that fall within one of three tracks: NNA Planning Grants, dedicated to developing convergence research questions and teams to tackle projects of larger scope in the future; NNA Research Grants, aimed to support creative projects on fundamental research that address convergent scientific and engineering challenges related to the rapidly changing Arctic; and NNA Collaboratory Grants, designed to support collaborative teams undertaking research and training initiatives on critical themes of a broad scope related to the New Arctic. Proposals due March 5, 2021 
  • Great Lakes observations, data management, and information delivery: The Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) is pleased to share a mini-grant opportunity for one-year projects ranging from $20k-$150k (USD) that will support Great Lakes observations, data management, and information delivery.Proposals are due on March 12, 2021 and are open to both US and Canadian institutions. Please visit the GLOS mini-grant webpage for more information and to download the request for proposals, and reach out to with any questions or to discuss ideas. GLOS will be maintaining a list of FAQs on the website, as well any other updates. 
  • Vembu Subramanian Ocean Scholars Award: SECOORA is continuing Vembu’s legacy by sponsoring the annual Ocean Scholars Award.  There will be two awards this year: an undergraduate and other (for graduate students and early career professionals), each in the amount of $1,250. The funds are to be used to support recipients’ participation in a virtual or in-person regional, national, or international meeting or conference. Proposals are due March 12, 2021, 5:00 PM ET.  Click here for more info
  • SECOORA 2021 Data Challenge: Using Buoy and Shore Station Data to Meet User Needs: The 2021 Data Challenge invites undergraduate students, graduate students, and early career professionals to develop a project that incorporates and analyzes buoy and/or shore station data using archived SECOORA data. There are two $3,500 prizes.  Proposals are due Friday March 12, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET. Click here for more
  • NOAA Sea Grant & Ocean Acidification Program Funding Opportunity: Shellfish Aquaculture Partnerships: The National Sea Grant Office and the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program are funding a joint competition to fund proposals that seek to establish, continue, and/or expand collaborations between researchers and the shellfish aquaculture industry. Specifically, applications to this competition should utilize new or existing research/industry partnerships to study how ocean and coastal acidification in combination with other stressors impacts shellfish aquaculture. Applications must include at least one researcher and one shellfish grower acting as co-Principal Investigators, and the proposed work must utilize a co-production of knowledge framework. Read the formal announcement on NOAA-OAR-SG-2021-2006704. An informational webinar will be held in November, date to be announced. Full proposals due March 16, 2021 via This information is also available at
  • American Lobster Research Program: This program will support research to address critical gaps in knowledge about how the American Lobster and its fishery are being impacted by environmental change. Applications are sought from research teams and encourage research partnerships between state agencies, academia, and/or industry stakeholders that address life-history parameters, including but not limited to impacts of ocean acidification; distribution and abundance, including but not limited to ecosystem shifts; species interactions; and/or bait alternatives in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, and/or southern New England. Pending appropriation of funds, Sea Grant anticipates awarding between five to ten research projects totaling between $1 million and $2 million dollars in FY2021. Projects must have a maximum duration of two years. Eligible applicants are any individual; any public or private corporation, partnership, or other association or entity (including any Sea Grant College, Sea Grant Institute or other institution); or any State, political subdivision of a State, Tribal government or agency or officer thereof. Application due date: April 20, 2021. Read formal announcement on NOAA-OAR-SG-2021-2006808
  • National Coastal Resilience Fund: The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with NOAA, released a request for proposals for the FY2021 National Coastal Resilience Fund. Funded projects will restore, increase, and strengthen natural infrastructure — the landscapes that help absorb the impacts of storms and floods — to ultimately protect coastal communities and enhance fish and wildlife habitat. This year the fund will invest approximately $33 million in these projects. A new category as of last year, Community Capacity Building and Planning, will support the development of prioritized coastal resilience plans and projects. Pre-proposals are due April 7. Click here for the complete request for proposals and information on the informational webinar

Delivering the Benefits:

  • CARICOOS HFR Network expanding: The CARICOOS high frequency radar (HFR) network will soon be expanded with additional sites in St. Thomas and Isla de Cabras in San Juan. The St. Thomas site will provide near real-time surface current data within the Vieques - St. Croix channel, which will also be useful for validating the regional coastal circulation model (FVCOM). The Isla de Cabras location will be a higher resolution site that will also provide surface current data, as well as wave measurements, for the primary purpose of maritime navigation safety.
  • BSEE/NTL Data Management will move to GCOOS on April 1: The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) are making changes to the data management of the Notice to Lessees and Operators (NLT) data. Starting April 1, 2021, the GCOOS will begin serving the NTL data via our ERDDAP server ( and Web Accessible Folder ( From now through March 31, 2021, NTL data providers are encouraged to register and open an SFTP account with GCOOS to ensure a smooth transition. To Register: 
    • Go to the GCOOS Account management page. Click the “Register” tab and create the account. It is important to remember the username and password, as these data will be used to authenticate users when transporting data to GCOOS. 
    • Complete the short forms to identify the individual requesting for the account. 
    • Upon completion, the account request will be reviewed by GCOOS, and users will be notified when the account is active. Data folders will be pre-created where data can be delivered to or pushed to. 
  • New Ecosystem Forecast: NANOOS is pleased to present the J-SCOPE experimental January-initialized forecast for the 2021 upwelling season. The forecast includes Washington and Oregon coastal waters and is referenced by state and tribal resource managers.  As a teaser:  Bottom oxygen is forecast to be lower than normal in the Washington and Oregon shelf waters early in the upwelling season, and bottom Ω is forecast to be undersaturated throughout the upwelling season, with the exception of supersaturated conditions in shallow coastal regions of Washington.  J-SCOPE, a partnership led by Dr. Samantha Siedlecki (U Conn), is funded by NOAA OAP and MAPP and presented by NANOOS. 


  • No update.


  • Nominations for the Boards of Directors Open:
    • The GCOOS Board of Directors invites nominations from colleagues interested in and committed to working within an organization dedicated to provide data, information and products to the Gulf of Mexico stakeholder community that includes the private sector, governmental agencies at all levels, academia and researchers, non-governmental organizations and the general public. The nomination deadline is 5 p.m. (CST), Friday, March 26, 2021, click here for more information about board service and how to nominate
    • MARACOOS is now accepting nominations for their Board of Directors. All current paid members of MARACOOS are eligible. The goal is to have a Board of Directors that reflects the diversity of the membership and the Mid-Atlantic region, in order to expand and diversify the ocean, and coastal workforces and to improve our ability to provide relevant ocean and coastal data, information products, and benefits to all Mid-Atlantic communities. Nominations will be accepted until March 31, 2021. Click here for more information and how to nominate
  • New Interactive, Virtual Curriculum Available for Fourth Graders: A new comprehensive fourth grade, virtual-learning science curriculum that focuses on the water cycle, weather, climate, and natural processes that shape the Earth’s coasts and communities is now available. The curriculum, Water Shapes Our Planet and Our Lives, provides a unique, hands-on experience where students explore local weather, discover and create tools used by scientists to collect weather data, and evaluate long-term trends recorded by climate scientists. To read more and access the curriculum, click here
  • IOOS Enterprise in the News:
    • No update.

Click here to view the IOOS Association Calendar

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