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

Email us to get it delivered to your inbox, and connect with us to keep up with the latest news!

From the Director:

I had the opportunity last week to attend the Oceanology International Americas conference. While there, I attended the Ocean Futures Forum which was designed to provide compelling insights into the role of ocean science and technology in enabling the development of the Blue Economy. The Forum brought together senior strategists and heads of business to hear and discuss the emerging requirements for technology across key offshore industries. High level talks and in depth panels looked at market opportunities and barriers to entry in the future.

In addition, I attended Catch the Next Wave which explored how technology enables exploration and how, in turn, exploration drives the development of new and novel technologies. The program highlighted how the spirit of exploration drives forward the development of new science and technologies, with consequent benefits to society and the protection of the natural environment. Overall, it was a great experience to participate and I also had the opportunity to meet with IOOS partners to work on various topics including planning for OceanObs’19, further development of the HF Radar network, and discussions around monitoring sea level rise and coastal inundation.

Best wishes,

From the U.S. IOOS Office:

  • Farewell Jack Harlan: We wish fair seas and following skies to Jack Harlan as he retires from federal service. Jack was hired by the National Ocean Service in 2004 to help build a cohesive national network of HF radar for coastal ocean monitoring.  That position, originally within the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) transitioned to what is now the IOOS office. We’d like to thank Jack for his amazing work to build the HF radar network into the operational entity it is today.  There is no question that this could not have been done without your dedication to the effort.
  • Welcome Becca Derex: We are excited to introduce the newest IOOS team member, Becca Derex, who will serve as a Program and Management Analyst and lead IOOS office efforts on Legislative Affairs, Budget Formulation and Strategic Planning. Becca will also provide staff support to the IOOS Advisory Committee. Recently, Becca has worked as a Special Assistant in the NOS Office of the Assistant Administrator, and completed a Sea Grant Fellowship working as a Policy Analyst in the NOS Policy and Constituent Affairs Division.  In these roles, she analyzed coastal and marine policy issues, provided management and program support services, and developed mission-advancing recommendations regarding legislation, internal operations and processes, and strategic planning initiatives to Senior Executive Leadership at NOS and at NOAA. Becca has a Masters in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston.
  • Welcome Aijun “AJ” Zhang: Aijun Zhang, Ph.D. has joined the IOOS office on a detail through the NOAA Rotational Assignment Program (NRAP) to work as the NOS Modeling Portfolio Manager. Aijun joined NOS/OCS/CSDL in 1997 and worked on the development of a East Coast Data Assimilation forecast system, and several coastal and estuarine operational forecast systems. In 2008, he joined the modeling team at the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) and served as team lead since 2010. Prior to joining NOAA, he worked in the National Marine Data and Information Service (NMDIS) of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) in China. Aijun has more than twenty (20) years of professional experience in fields of numerical circulation modeling, environmental forecasting, and oceanographic data processing and analysis, developing and implementing hydrodynamic operational forecast systems.

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • High Frequency (HF) Radar/Radio: (IOOS PO POC, Derrick Snowden,
    • No update.
  • Gliders (IOOS POC LCDR Benjamin LaCour,
    • 8th EGO Meeting & International Glider Workshop - May 21-24, 2019: The European (EGO) and US (UG2) autonomous underwater glider user groups are coming together to host the 8th EGO Meeting and International Glider Workshop at Rutgers UNiversity, New Jersey. The goal of the meeting is to strengthen international collaboration through community dialogue, exchanges of information, sharing of experiences, and development of best practices to support the glider community. This international meeting will offer a mix of presentations, panels, breakout groups, poster sessions, and open community dialog. It will provide a forum in which scientists, engineers, students and industry can exchange knowledge and experiences on the development of glider technology, the application of gliders in oceanographic research and the role of gliders in ocean observing systems. More info here:

  • Animal Telemetry Network (ATN) (National Coordinator Bill Woodward,
    • ATN Data Assembly Center (DAC) Data Coordinator Selected: The ATN is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Megan McKinzie for the NMFS/IOOS funded position of ATN Data Assembly Center (DAC) Data Coordinator. Megan joins us with a significant amount of experience in the marine animal telemetry community and she earned her Masters Degree from Chris Lowe’s CSU Long Beach Shark Lab and more recently her Ph.D. from the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences at Auburn University. Megan will be posted at CeNCOOS beginning March 11, 2019 and will be the primary interface between the ATN DAC operated by Axiom Data Science and the U.S. satellite and acoustic marine animal telemetry community.
    • Update on Next ATN Workshop: Our nine-member committee is in full planning mode for our NERACOOS ATN-MBON-OTN Workshop which is scheduled for May 6-7, 2019 at the University of New Hampshire. We have a draft agenda in place with a growing number of candidate speakers. Please save the date! It is an open Workshop.  Please consider attending.

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

  • ERDDAP presentation proposal at 2019 NOAA Emerging Technologies Workshop: Micah Wengren, IOOS PO, with contributions from Bob Simons, Kevin O’Brien, and Eugene Burger, submitted a proposal to present ERDDAP at the 2019 NOAA Emerging Technologies Workshop in June.  The abstract covered ERDDAP’s use by a variety of NOAA communities as a means to provide interoperable access to tabular and gridded scientific datasets. It highlighted ERDDAP as an open source, NOAA-funded and developed tool worthy of consideration for greater investment and support by NOAA as its user base grows within and outside the agency.


  • QARTOD (National Coordinator Mark Bushnell,
    • Real-time pH QC Workshop Convened: About twenty participants attended a real-time QC workshop for pH observations, held at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology & Oceanography 2019 aquatic sciences meeting in Puerto Rico. The goal of the workshop was to introduce QARTOD and the goals of the planned QC manual, determine the manual extent, and begin gathering content. An initial draft will be available soon, contact if you wish to receive a copy.
    • Real-time Waves QC Manual Updated Completed: The incremental waves manual update (no changes to operational implementation) has been completed, and version 2.1 has been posted on the QARTOD web page. Many thanks to those who helped!
    • Ocean Best Practice System update: Almost 650 documents have been deposited in the OBPS repository, well over the targeted goal of 500 by March. Encourage your colleagues to consider sharing their practices at The documents will obtain a DOI, be archived, and readily discoverable for future BP development.

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem (IOOS PO and IOOS Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed (COMT) POC – Derrick Snowden,

  • COMT Annual Meeting: The COMT Annual Meeting is being scheduled for late October. The final dates will be announced soon.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) (IOOS PO POC Gabrielle Canonico,
    • Future Oceans2 IMBeR Open Science Conference: The conference will be held at Le Quartz Congress Centre in Brest, France, June 17-21, with a focus on ocean sustainability for the benefit of society - understanding, challenges, and solutions. MBON team members (Frank Muller-Karger, Gabrielle Canonico, Isabel Sousa-Pinto and Mark Costello) are organizing a session at the conference titled “Towards a coordinated global marine biodiversity observing system.”
    • MBON Pole to Pole regional workshop for the Americas: “Data from the Sea to the Cloud” -- April 2-5, 2019 near Puerto Morelos, Mexico.  This workshop is a follow on to a five-day training program offered by MBON Pole to Pole, OBIS, and AmeriGEOSS in Brazil in August 2018.  MBON Pole to Pole, with funding from NASA, is building a Community of Practice for understanding and conserving life in the ocean. The effort supports capacity building towards: expanded knowledge of biodiversity and its services; coordinated biodiversity monitoring and shared data, experiences, knowledge, and protocols; increased understanding of physical and biological connectivity; and development of biodiversity indices needed for ecosystem assessments and science-based decision making.  The effort and outcomes are designed to be scalable from the Americas to other regions.
  • OceanObs’19 Updates and Planning:
  • Registration now open! US CLIVAR Sea Level Rise Workshop: An East Coast Sea Level Rise workshop, “Sea Level Hotspots from Florida to Maine: Drivers, impacts, and Adaptation”, will be held in Norfork, VA April 23-25, 2019. From Florida to Maine, coastal communities are on the frontline of climate change. Regional “hot spots” for sea level change and variability can be found up and down the coast, where highly populated and developed areas are vulnerable to tidal and episodic flooding. Studies show that flooding events have been increasing in frequency and intensity, and are projected to further accelerate with sea level rise. Planning and adaptation efforts to improve coastal resilience are already in place in large urban areas such as New York City, Miami, and others. But are these plans sufficient, and what best practices can be shared with other communities? This workshop provides an avenue to discuss the drivers, impacts, and adaptation to sea level changes from Florida to Maine, with a focus on benefiting community efforts and enhancing collaboration. The workshop will bring together the scientific community, decision makers, and coastal stakeholders to discuss the state-of-the-art of knowledge about sea level changes in the region. More info here:
  • New Arctic Story Map from NOAA: The Arctic seems like a world away, but take a look at NOAA’s new story map and you’ll discover why the Arctic is closer than you think. From food security and safe maritime navigation, to our economy and national security, the Arctic has a profound global reach. Explore all the innovative and pioneering ways NOAA is working to understand and protect this dynamic and fast-changing ocean frontier.
  • 2019 NOAA Emerging Technologies Workshop: NOAA will hold its third Emerging Technologies Workshop on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 25-26 at the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP) in College Park, Maryland. Registration is now open and free, but on a first come, first serve basis. Click here to register now and learn more about this year’s workshop, focusing on the Blue Economy and Resilience to Extreme Weather and Water. Submission deadline for NOAA funded technologies has been extended! Abstracts for technologies that are funded (in-whole or in-part) by NOAA are still being accepted. If you would like to submit an abstract for consideration, please do so using this form by Friday, March 15th. Sponsored by the NOAA Observing Systems Council, NOAA Ocean and Coastal Council, NOAA Research Council, and the Weather Water and Climate Board, NOAA’s 2019 Emerging Technologies Workshop is a public showcase for innovative technologies designed to optimize NOAA’s observing capabilities and data synthesis. The workshop engages presenters from within NOAA as well as external researchers, analysts, and practitioners representing academia, private businesses, and other government agencies with technologies that have the potential to expand NOAA’s ability to observe the environment, improve efficiency, or reduce costs. Like previous workshops, this year’s event will focus on new and evolving technologies that are already being explored by users in NOAA, and in development by our partners and by industry. The report from the most recent workshop can be found here. The draft agenda is available here. We invite you to join us for this exciting opportunity to learn more about the emerging technologies that could be used to make NOAA’s observation enterprise more agile, effective, and efficient. 
  • NOAA Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) Publishes High Tide Bulletin: Spring 2019: 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 March and May 2019. We also publish annual high tide flooding reports that present a broad outlook of what to expect for a given year in terms of high tide flooding, as well as a summary of high tide flooding events for the previous calendar year. For more info:
  • NOAA Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) Meets this Week in Washington, D.C.: The HSRP Federal Advisory Committee public meeting will focus on topics related to navigation services. There will be updates from the three HSRP working groups (WG) including the Planning and Engagement WG, Technology WG, and Arctic Priorities WG, review and discussion of proposed priorities for the HSRP, issue papers and recommendations to NOAA, comments and suggestions regarding regional, state and national priorities. There will be updates from the National Ocean Service program offices related to navigation services – National Geodetic Service, the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, and the Office of Coast Survey. 
  • NGS Releases CORS Positioning Upgrade for User Review and Testing: NGS released, for user review and testing, a significant positioning upgrade to its network of Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS). The ITRF2014 upgrade to CORS provides improved positional coordinates, and velocities for CORS. Within a few weeks, NGS will replace GEOID12B with GEOID18, a hybrid geoid model that will provide improved GPS-derived NAVD 88-equivalent heights. The geoid is the equipotential surface of the Earth's gravity field which best fits global mean sea level. GEOID18 will be the last hybrid geoid model that NGS will create before NAVD 88 is replaced by the North American-Pacific Geopotential Datum of 2022. Combined with the ITRF2014 upgrade, these data will improve our understanding of the effects of tectonic movement on local geographic coordinates. For more information, contact 
  • NGS Conducts Airborne Gravity Surveys Over Pacific Islands: The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) project, Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum (GRAV-D), is conducting airborne gravity surveys based from American Samoa and Hawaii, from February through March 2019. GRAV-D is an ongoing initiative to re-define the nationwide vertical datum by 2022. Accurate heights are critical to numerous scientific endeavors, but are particularly important for protecting low-lying coastal ecosystems. The GRAV-D project is driven by the fundamental relationship between Earth's gravity field and height. GRAV-D’s goal is to model and monitor Earth's geoid—a surface of the gravity field, approximating global mean sea level—to serve as a reference surface to define precise surface elevations for all locations in the United States and its territories. For more information, contact,
  • Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) News:
    • 2019 OTN Symposium: Please save the date for the 2019 OTN Symposium immediately following the 5th ICFT in Arendal, Norway. The OTN Symposium will begin on the evening of June 28, accompanied by a full day of workshops, discussions and presentations on June 29.  Topics and activities to include: Student presentations; Next generation problem solving and integration; Continuation of ideasOTN—synthesis and publication; and Technical best practices workshop. To RSVP or for more info, please email OTN Special Projects Manager Amy Hill by March 15, 2019:
    • New OTN Logo: It’s been 10 years since the inception of the Ocean Tracking Network. Over the last decade, OTN has served as an internationally recognized platform for aquatic research, data management, and cross-sector partnerships. In early 2019, OTN introduced a new logo that illustrates concepts in monitoring and telemetry as well as better communicates the overall activities of the Network in Canada and internationally. 


  • 2019 International Indian Ocean Science Conference Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 11-15 March 2019: The IOC PPO and Nelson Mandela University (NMU) are pleased to announce that they will co-host the third annual International Indian Ocean Science Conference (IIOSC) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 11-15 March 2019. The conference, which will be held at NMU in Port Elizabeth, will attract up to 90 leading ocean scientists from around the world. The five-day conference will include the annual meetings of the 2nd International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2) Steering Committee, Indian Ocean Global Ocean Observing System (IOGOOS), Indian Ocean Region Panel (IORP), Sustained Indian Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (SIBER), Indian Ocean Observing System (IndOOS) Review, IndOOS Resource Forum (IRF) and IOC Regional Committee for the Central Indian Ocean. It will also showcase NMU's new Ocean Sciences Campus as well as the work of  researchers across the Western Indian Ocean region. Look out for updates on the IIOE-2 website.

Delivering the Benefits:

  • PacIOOS data tracks winter storm in Hawai'i: A strong low pressure system with an exceptionally close approach to the Hawaiian Islands chain, caused record-breaking wave heights on February 10th.  The PacIOOS wave buoy off Hanalei, Kauaʻi, measured 38ft in significant wave height and the largest wave recorded (Hmax) measured stunning 63ft! The Waimea wave buoy also broke its 15-year record and climbed to a significant wave height of 29ft, and the largest wave measured 48ft. Both buoys are located approximately 4 miles offshore and moored in a depth of 200-240m.  The combination of strong winds and high waves produced extremely rough ocean conditions at sea and along the shoreline. PacIOOS' suite of coastal forecasts can provide valuable information for agencies, the boating community, and homeowners to better understand what to expect and to prepare for the storm system.
  • RFP: Observations for Environmental Concerns: The Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) invites proposals for research projects that address one or more of the following environmental concerns within the Southeast US region: Harmful algal blooms; Sound in the marine environment; Coral health. Proposals due by 4/15/19. Read details and how to submit here.
  • January 2019 California Harmful Algal Bloom Bulletin Now Available: Please check out the January CA HAB Bulletin for the latest collection of model output, observations, and advisories. Major contributors to bulletin content are SCCOOS, CeNCOOS, HABMAP, NOAA CoastWatch, California Department of Public Health (CDPH), The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC), the Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) and SeaWorld.
  • Latest Generation Algae-Detection Tools from GCOOS: Did you know that GCOOS is leading the way in next-gen toxic algae detection? A smartphone microscope — called “HABscope” — was created by GCOOS product developer Bob Currier and uses AI technology to recognize the toxic algae Karenia brevis in water samples. Using this tool, combined with other water sampling methods, we’re also developing a red tide respiratory forecast based on these and other measures for Florida’s Gulf Coast. This experimental forecast, now operating in Pinellas County but expected to expand, was developed by NOAA’s National Ocean Service in partnership with GCOOS, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWC-FWRI) and Pinellas County Environmental Management thanks to funding from the NASA Health and Air Quality Program. Check it out
  • GCOOS Receives National Academies Grant to Advance Understanding of the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: The National Academies’ Gulf Research Program (GRP) is developing a long-term research campaign to improve understanding and prediction of the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current System (LCS). In support of this effort, the GRP recently announced $10.3 million in grant awards for eight new projects to conduct studies and collect data and observations that will inform the planning and launching of the long-term research campaign. The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Regional Association, in cooperation with Fugro, Harte Research Institute, Ocean Sierra, RPS, Texas A&M University—College Station, Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi, and Woods Hole Group, was selected for their project “Informing the Loop Current Campaign: Data Compilation to Improve Understanding, Simulation and Prediction of the Loop Current System”. This project will design, develop, deploy, and maintain an information system to digitally compile, update, analyze, and make publicly accessible physical oceanographic and hydrographic data from Gulf of Mexico Loop Current field studies. The system will be an important component of future data compilation efforts for a long-term LCS research campaign. 


  • No update.


  • CARICOOS at the ASLO 2019 Aquatic Sciences Meeting: Members of CARICOOS and CAOSE presented their research at the 2019 ASLO Meeting last week in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Their research projects included a wide array of topics, from ocean acidification to coastal processes, addressing the common goal of protecting our coastal and ocean habitats and resources. Click here for details.  CARICOOS also participated in the ASLO 2019 Education Fair, promoting knowledge of coastal ocean observing to local middle school and high school students and teachers, and providing hands-on activities and classroom resources that teachers could incorporate into their curriculum. Read more here.
  • GCOOS launches new logo, revamped site: Have you seen GCOOS' new look? Check it out, explore their resources, and update your bookmarks!
  • CSU Shark Lab visits SCCOOS: On February 8th, Chris Lowe, head of the Shark Lab at CSU Long Beach, and his colleagues, Alvaro Monge and Darnell Gadberry, met with SCCOOS to discuss future collaboration with animal telemetry data. SCCOOS is hoping to work with Chris and his team to develop a visualization tool that layers the tagged shark movements with environmental data known to influence shark behavior (e.g., sea surface temperature, dissolved oxygen, and harmful algae) including SCCOOS automated and manual shore station data. Read more (and other SCCOOS updates!) in their newsletter.

  • IOOS Enterprise in the News:

Click here to view the IOOS Association Calendar

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