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

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From the Director:

June and the National Ocean Month has come to a close and we usher in a busy July. Last week, I had the honor of attending the second United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal alongside Dr. Spinrad, Nicole LeBoeuf, and other leaders from the US. The conference theme was “Save our Ocean, Protect our Future.” With that focus on the future, discussions revolved around innovative, science-based solutions. The conference is also closely related to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, in which NOAA is an active participant and partner. 

I had the opportunity to meet with and develop new and stronger relationships with international partners and colleagues. I also attended many valuable sessions and events, including a Sustainable Blue Economy Investment Forum, the UN Ocean Decade Forum, and a UNOC Ocean Accounting side event. We were honored to have NOS Assistant Administrator Nicole LeBoeuf speak on a panel to discuss biodiversity data and MarineLife2030, a UN Ocean Decade program that NOAA/U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System is co-leading. She stressed how important quality marine life data is to sustainable economic development, conservation, and management decisions.

I’ll close this month’s newsletter with a farewell and a welcome. Bill Woodward is retiring from his role as the U.S. ATN Coordinator after a productive 54-year career in ocean science and technology, the last six years of which have been with NOAA’s U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Office.  Dr. Tobey Curtis, a Fishery Management Specialist in the NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management Division located in Gloucester, MA,  will provide continuity of ATN leadership by filling the Network Coordinator position. A big welcome from the IOOS Office to Tobey and best wishes to Bill for a long, happy, and fulfilling retirement! Many thanks to Bill for his dedication and service to the Nation. 


From the U.S. IOOS Office:

  • A celebration for Ru Morrison: When John “Ru” Morrison, founder and former Director of NERACOOS, passed away in November 2020, we couldn't come together in person to celebrate his extraordinary life and share our memories.  So NERACOOS is pleased to announce that the Morrison family has invited any and all of us who were Ru’d [verb: roo-d; positively impacted by Ru Morrison in ways large or small] to gather by the water’s edge “to laugh, to drink, to eat, to sing, to dance, and to remember a wonderful man who is so greatly missed.” The celebration will be held in the evening of August 26th at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH. Visit the event webpage for additional details, to make a donation in Ru’s name, and to RSVP if you plan to attend (or leave a note if you aren’t able to).
  • IOOS Advisory Committee Holds Public Call: The IOOS Advisory Committee held a public call on Monday, June 27th. The agenda for the meeting included a briefing on the refresh for the IOOS Strategic Plan and implementation, updates from the Advisory Committee working groups, updates on budget, and planning for the Fall public meeting. Minutes from the meeting will be posted soon to
  • From the IOOS Association: 
    • Save the Date! The IOOS Fall Meeting - November 8-10: IOOS Fall Meeting will be hosted by CariCOOS in San Juan, Puerto Rico on November 8-10, 2022. Please mark your calendars!

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • Surface Current Mapping
    • The Safety in the Straits event, hosted by Michigan Technological University Great Lakes Research Center and the Great Lakes Observing System will bring together elected officials, state agencies, community members, businesses, and researchers to commission a high-frequency radar (HFR) system installed in the Straits of Mackinac to the west of the Mackinac Bridge.  Click here for more info.
    • SECOORA HFR Update: The SECOORA HFR at St. Catherine’s Island, Georgia has likely been lost to wildfire.  Once conditions safely allow, technicians will evaluate the damage.
  • Gliders 
    • UG2 Updates:
      • UG2 Workshop Seattle ’22: The call for abstracts is now closed, but registration remains open for the 2022 UG2 Workshop in Seattle. This workshop will bring together the global underwater glider community to strengthen international collaboration through community dialogue, exchanges of information, sharing of experiences, and development of best practices to support the glider community. If you have any questions, please reach out to

        Registration and Logistics:

        • Dates: September 20-22, 2022
        • Location: University of Washington Botanical Gardens | NHS Hall and Merrill Commons, Seattle, WA
  • Buoys & Moorings
    • Deployment of New Wave Buoy in Palau: A new Waverider buoy was recently deployed in Palau through an international collaboration. The data collected from the buoy—wave height, period and direction; surface current direction and speed; sea surface temperature and air temperature—will enhance disaster and climate resilience in the Republic of Palau. This wave buoy, the only Waverider in Palau, is located on the East side of the island of Babeldaob, about 1.4 miles offshore of Ngaraard State.
    • Washington Shelf Mooring Deployments: The spring deployment cruise aboard the UW’s R/V Robertson occurred the first week of May out of La Push, WA. Summer Cha’Ba and NEMO-Subsurface moorings are deployed in 100m of water and collectively support instrumentation for measuring temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, water current, chlorophyll, and pH from near the seabed to the sea surface, in addition to surface water and air pCO2 (in collaboration with NOAA PMEL) and meteorological variables. The Environmental Sampling Processor mooring supports analysis of Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) organisms and biotoxins present in the water. All three buoys include telemetry to shore for near-real-time data available on the NANOOS Visualization System.
    • Columbia River Deployments: The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Baker Bay buoy (SATURN-07), monitoring the most ocean-ward lateral bay on the Columbia River, and the Youngs Bay buoy (SATURN-09), monitoring the second lateral bay were recently recovered for maintenance and redeployed for the 2022 season. Both buoys measure salinity, temperature, oxygen, chlorophyll, turbidity, and CDOM, allowing for insights into phytoplankton blooms and the exchange between the mainstem Columbia and the lateral bays. The Columbia River Plume buoy (SATURN-02) with various atmospheric and hydrographic observations, was also redeployed.
  • Marine Life
    • New Leadership for the U.S. Animal Telemetry Network (ATN): The current Network Coordinator of the U.S. ATN, Bill Woodward, is retiring after a productive 54 year career in ocean science and technology, the last six years of which have been with NOAA’s U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Office.  Dr. Tobey Curtis, a Fishery Management Specialist in the NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management Division located in Gloucester, MA is providing continuity of ATN leadership by filling the coordinator position beginning on a temporary basis for the next 6 to 12 months.  A big welcome from the IOOS Office for Tobey and best wishes to Bill for a long, happy, and fulfilling retirement.
    • A Citizen Science Success: SOFO Shark Tagging: ATN's new Acting Coordinator, Dr. Tobey Curtis, and the research and education group he collaborates with in New York, was recently featured in The Fisherman magazine. The article provides an overview of this unique cooperative research partnership, and how the group is using technological advancements in the telemetry and biologging of sharks in mid-Atlantic waters. 

Data Management and Cyberinfrastructure (DMAC) Subsystem and Tools Built on IOOS Data:

  • Successful Annual DMAC Meeting: The Annual DMAC meeting was held June 14-16. The IOOS Data Management and Cyberinfrastructure (DMAC) meeting is a backdrop for coordination and communication between managers of ocean, coastal, Great Lakes data and information. Attendees represent IOOS Regional Associations, federal agencies, academia and the private sector. The meeting themes span issues that support IOOS’ data management framework for searching, discovering, accessing, and using information. Talks and presentations from the meeting can be found here: 
  • 2023 AMS Meeting: The theme of the 2023 American Meteorological Society meeting is Data: Driving Science. Informing Decisions. Enriching Humanity. The meeting will be held both in person and virtually in Denver in January 2023. The Call for Papers is now open - are due by 24 August 2022 at 11:59 PM EDT
    • Tending the Treasure Trove:  Advancing Stewardship for Non-Satellite Earth Observations
    • Advanced Products and Technologies That Can Be Used Now and Their Path to Quasi-operational or Sustained Operations: The View From The Dry and The Wet Side  
    • Cloud Computing for Big Data in Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate
    • Democratizing Data: Environmental Data Access and its Future
    • Developing Cloud-based Tools for Data Analysis and Archiving
    • FAIR and Open Data and Software within the Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences to Support Transparent, Reusable and Efficient Research and Operations
    • Life on the Edge: Edge Computing and the Internet of Things for Environmental Information processing
    • Meeting Data Stewardships Needs for Heterogeneous Earth and Atmospheric Science Data via the Exploitation of Emerging Technologies
    • Cloud-based User Services to Support Data Use in the User Community
    • The sessions in the 39th Conference on Environmental Information Processing Technologies would be of particular interest to the IOOS Community. Sessions include:
    • Please contact Tiffany Vance [] if you have any questions.
  • CalOOS Data Portal released: CeNCOOS and SCCOOS have developed the capabilities to support short-term decision-making and long-term assessment by implementing and leveraging biological, chemical, and physical observations and models, many of which are available in near real-time. This new CalOOS Data Portalinteractive catalog and map provides a place to explore and download publicly available oceanographic and coastal datasets in California.
  • New Mariner’s Dashboards for Alaska: Check out AOOS’s new Mariner’s Dashboards for Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet, and Kodiak! These dashboards were created to help provide the real-time weather and other information relevant to mariners in a simple and fast display. The portal was started with these three regions (Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet, and Kodiak) with new regions planned for the future, as well as improving the mobile experience.
    • Updated Manual for Real-Time Quality Control of High Frequency Radar Surface Current Data:The final draft of the updated QARTOD Manual for Real-Time Quality Control of High Frequency Radar Surface Current Data has been submitted to the project manager, the chair of the Board of Advisors, and the director of IOOS for signatures. We’ve incorporated the QC work that’s recently been accomplished by several members of this community, added relevant definitions, verified & updated web links, and addressed comments that emerged during the community review. Once approved, the updated manual will be posted on the IOOS / QARTOD web page, submitted to the NOAA Institutional Repository, and submitted to the Ocean Best Practices System repository. Version 2.0 supersedes the original version which was first issued in 2016.
    • Ocean Best Practice System Update: The OBPS Steering Group ( will hold their fourth annual meeting during 30 Nov - 02 Dec 2022. The hybrid meeting will be held at the IOC facilities in Paris, with support for virtual participation. Meeting objectives include reviews of the OPBS status, adequacy of services provided, methods to improve community awareness, and responses addressing outcomes of the sixth OBPS workshop.
    • ioos_qc Tutorial: On June 7th Matt Biddle hosted a tutorial on the ioos_qc package during the Regional Training Workshop on Observing the Coastal and Marginal Seas in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), from 7-9 June 2022 which will be hosted in Maputo, Mozambique and online. The purpose of the workshop is to encourage the countries bordering the WIO (including marginal seas) to be engaged in coastal observing programs and research as effective partners, and will also identify the training needs and capacity building in the participating countries and provide the opportunity for starting countries to learn from others who have already established programs. IOOS will be providing a tutorial on the ioos_qc package, providing background on QARTOD, and exemplifying the importance of standards and data sharing via tools like ERDDAP. Materials for the tutorial can be found in this GitHub repository and slides are available here.

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem:   

  • MARACOOS Chesapeake Bay Environmental Forecasting System: CBEFS, developed with IOOS funding by scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Anchor QEA, and the University of Maryland, provides high resolution daily nowcasts and short-term forecasts of water quality variables throughout the Chesapeake Bay. Forecasts of temperature and oxygen are used by charter boat captains to better gauge where fish catches will be highest in the summer months when high temperature and low oxygen waters significantly reduce fish habitat. The local shellfish aquaculture industry and specifically oyster hatcheries use nowcasts and forecasts of salinity, pH and aragonite saturation state to help deal with poor water quality conditions. Hindcasts from CBEFS have been used to demonstrate that nitrogen reductions have decreased hypoxia in the Chesapeake Bay over the past 35 years, even though warming Bay waters have offset roughly 10-30% of this improvement (Frankel et al., 2022). These results reassure policymakers and stakeholders that their efforts to reduce hypoxia have improved ecosystem health in the Bay, but also indicate that greater reductions will be needed in the future to counteract the ever-increasing impacts of climate change. 

Around the Regions:

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility:

  • Bima’azh project applies a two-eyed seeing approach to study populations of dikameg or lake whitefish: In 2021, fisheries biologist Ryan Lauzon, along with Researchers Mary-Claire Buell, Kathleen Ryan, and Alexander Duncan received a Smart Great Lakes mini-grant from GLOS, enabling them to launch the Bima’azh project in order to help answer some of the community’s questions. Bima’azh, an Anishinaabemowin word, can mean to track or follow along. And instead of relying only on western science or Indigenous knowledge, the project architects applied a two-eyed seeing approach to better understand the dikameg. Two-eyed seeing is a term coined by Mi’kmaw Elder Albert Marshall, and, when pertaining to research, recognizes and equally values Indigenous knowledge and western science.
  • Red Tide Poster Now Available: Recently, Florida Sea Grant and GCOOS, with funding from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI), collaborated on the development of a model to provide Florida’s agencies with a statewide strategic infrastructure to communicate information about red tide. As part of the project, the team worked with artist Sara Franklin to create a poster addressing some of the most frequently asked questions and misconceptions that came to light during the study. In addition to featuring sea life in watercolor details, the poster includes links to resources such as the Red Tide Respiratory Forecast, and the Visit Florida, Florida Department of Health and FWRI’s red tide web pages. You can also download a high resolution version of the poster to print and use free of charge!

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • UN Decade of Ocean Science For Sustainable Development Updates 
    • Ocean enthusiasts from over 140 countries take part in the First International Ocean Decade Conference: The High-Level Launch and seven Ocean Decade Laboratories in 2021 and 2022 brought together thousands of people to discuss the future of the ocean. They involved participants from over 140 countries and subjects such as deep-sea-research, weather satellites and everything else that supports the Decade’s overall goal of achieving “The science we need for the ocean we want”. To stay in contact on UN Ocean Decade activities, submit your name and e-mail address here.
  • Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) News:
    • OOI Designated as a UN Ocean Decade Endorsed Project: On June 8, 2022, World Oceans Day, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) as a UN Endorsed Action as part of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030. Endorsed status presents opportunities for wider collaboration and enhanced ability to tackle grand challenges in better understanding the ocean. The announcement was timed to add to global celebrations of the UN World Oceans Day, which was organized this year around the theme “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean.” Read more: 
    • Month-long Expedition to Refresh Irminger Sea Array: In late June, a team of 15 scientists and engineers headed to the Irminger Sea, a region with high wind and large surface waves in the North Atlantic. This remote ocean region is one of the few places on Earth with deep-water formation that feeds the large-scale thermohaline circulation. Read more about the expedition here:
  • New Director of the National Weather Service Announced: NOAA announced Kenneth Graham as the new NOAA Assistant Administrator for Weather Services and the 17th Director of NOAA's National Weather Service. Selected by NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, his new position began at the beginning of June. Mr. Graham has been the Director of NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC) since 2018 and has worked tirelessly to build partnerships at all levels of government and emergency managers, building awareness and preparedness for the hurricane program. Ken brings scientific integrity, trusted leadership, and communication prowess to lead the NWS into the future. Read more here: 
  • NWS Partners Webinar -Tuesday, July 19, 2022 - 1pm - 2:30pm Eastern Time: This webinar will provide an overview of proposed updates to the NWS Impact-based Decision Support Services (IDSS) - Service Description Document (SDD). The IDSS SDD describes the NWS plans for providing IDSS to its Core Partners. You can access the existing SDD, Version 1, here, which was published in 2018. NWS will provide a high-level overview of planned SDD content updates and we look forward to engaging in discussion with you and answering your questions about NWS IDSS, including the role that our Enterprise partners play in supporting our mission. Please register here for the 7/19 webinar and plan to join through this GoogleMeet link.
  • Mapping the Gaps in Our Ocean Knowledge with Seabed 2030: We know less about the ocean floor than we do about the surface of the moon and Mars. But by the end of the decade we may know the general outline of our undersea contours and crevasses, thanks to an international project called Seabed 2030. The mapping initiative, called Seabed 2030, launched in 2017 to produce the definitive map of the world ocean floor by 2030. In June 2022, NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad signed a memorandum of understanding that formalizes U.S. participation in the project. Read more: 
  • OCS Hosts Uncrewed System Open House: NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey hosted an uncrewed system (UxS) open house for congressional, NOS, and NOAA staff on June 1 in Annapolis, Maryland. Rear Adm. Benjamin Evans, OCS director, and Capt. William Mowitt, deputy director of the NOAA UxS Operations Center, discussed integrating UxS platforms into OCS and Office of Marine and Aviation Operations missions. The open house also showcased the 8-foot-long uncrewed system from OCS’s Navigational Response Team - Stennis. The Stennis team’s UxS, along with its 30-foot, crewed vessel, acquired data that will be applied to nautical chart updates and storm surge models. Attendees got a chance to use the joysticks to drive the Echoboat, view data in real time during collection, and take a tour of the crewed vessel, while discussing the benefits and value of incorporating UxS systems into OCS data acquisition.
  • Great Lakes Stations Added to Coastal Inundation Dashboard: In the wake of record or near-record Great Lakes water levels in 2019 and 2020, CO-OPS has added 50 Great Lakes water level stations to the Coastal Inundation Dashboard. Real-time and historical water levels are available through the web-mapping application, overlaid upon National Weather Service flood impact thresholds (where available). In addition, users now have the ability to view up to 20 water level stations on a single page via the Multi-Station View feature, allowing them to easily monitor water levels across an entire lake or region. Planned improvements to this feature over the next several months include adding historical top 10 station water levels, integrating NOS Operational Forecast System model guidance, and displaying Army Corps of Engineers six-month, lakewide water level forecast information.
  • New Type of Water Level Sensor Installed: The first real-time radar waves test system was installed at a field test platform in Duck, North Carolina. The system is currently processing and transmitting 6-minute water levels along with real-time hourly wave observations, simultaneously — the first time this has been done using a single sensor. Transitioning from manual post-processing to real-time automated waves processing is an exciting step in CO-OPS’s radar waves system development process.
  • Scientists Train Underwater Gliders to Find, Track Harmful Algal Blooms: The dynamic nature of the ocean, including its many chemical and biological processes, makes it challenging to monitor microscopic marine algae in real time, but NCCOS-funded scientists have shown it can be done. A new publication describes how a group from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute designed an underwater glider that can independently find and follow patches of phytoplankton. The project was funded by the NCCOS Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms Program. Read more here: 
  • Workshop Expands HAB Sampling to the Aleutian Islands: NCCOS scientists from the Phytoplankton Monitoring Network, in collaboration with the Alaska Ocean Observing System and Ocean and Earth Environmental Services, conducted a two-day virtual workshop to introduce tribal and community members to NCCOS’s citizen science methods and techniques for monitoring harmful algal blooms. The Phytoplankton Monitoring Network is now partnering with the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska and the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island as a result of the workshop.
  • Emergency Response Imagery Updated for 2022: NGS released this year’s emergency response pre-event imagery. Coverage includes the East and Gulf coasts, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Images for the West Coast have also been collected and should be available in the next two months. These image releases support emergency response efforts and allow for quick comparisons as responders analyze the areas hardest hit by events such as hurricanes, tornados, and floods. This imagery is also available on the NOAA Open Data dissemination site.

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