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,

November is a heavy travel month for me and I have just returned from the Marine Technology Society’s Ocean in Action meeting in Gulfport, MS. I had the opportunity to speak on a panel discussing NOAA’s initiative on Advancing Research Collaboratively, meet many great marine and ocean technology companies, and participate in the Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) with the Navy’s CNMOC Operational Command. The event brought together Federal, state, local, and private organizations to learn more about emerging technologies and discuss ocean observation needs.

Next week I will head to San Diego to attend the 11th annual BlueTech Week presented by The Maritime Alliance. The theme for BTW2019 is “UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Clusters & the Triple Helix”, with a special focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation, 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy, 14 – Life Below Water and 17 – Partnerships for the Goals.  On Tuesday, November 19th I will moderate a panel on Ocean Observation Applications. There will be over 700 attendees and more than 160 companies represented at BTW2019. For more information and to register for the event, see below in the Upcoming Meetings with IOOS Participation Section.

Best Wishes,

From the U.S. IOOS Office:

  • IOOS Advisory Committee Meeting: The IOOS Advisory Committee will meet in Washington, DC, February 11 & 12, 2020. More information will be made available on the IOOS Website soon. An announcement will be published in the Federal Register Notice as well. 
  • Save the date! 2020 IOOS Spring Meeting: March 4 - 5, 2020: The IOOS Association, IOOS Regional Associations, and the IOOS Program Office will meet for their annual spring meeting March 4-5 in Washington, D.C. Check back for more information. Questions? Contact Katie Liming,

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • Surface Current Mapping: (IOOS PO POC, Derrick Snowden,  
    • AOOS Deploys Second HF Radar in Shishmaref: See the “Delivering the Benefits” Section for more info.

    • No update.
    • ATN Coordinator Attends Ocean Tracking Networks International Data Management Committee Meeting: Bill is a member of the Canadian OTN IDMC (International Data Management Committee) and joined with members from ATAP-So. Africa, IMOS-Australia, MigraMar-Ecuador, Ocean Networks Canada and the OTN team in Halifax on October 29-30, 2019 for their annual meeting. Chaired by Dr. Joy Young, U.S. FACT Network Data Manager, the group presented their ongoing animal telemetry activities and held focused discussions on several themes including i) the effectiveness of the differing data embargo policy options currently in force among the global partners, ii) how can we effectively apply animal telemetry and the information derived from it to help inform GOOS Eco/Bio essential ocean variables, and iii) our response to the acoustic telemetry code-space issues/disputes currently in play in Europe. 
    • ICYMI - U.S. ATN Feature on NOAA’s National Ocean Service Website: Our great article on the U.S. ATN went live October 29 on the NOAA/National Ocean Service website. Many thanks to Kate, Mike, Megan and the NOS editing team for pulling this together:

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

  • October DMAC Tech Webinar: The October DMAC Tech Webinar - Halloween edition - was held on Thursday the 31st and featured Leila Belabbassi of GCOOS.  Leila presented on comparing QARTOD with OOI QC algorithms for real-time and delayed-mode quality control, and discussed OOI plans to meet QARTOD standards in their implementation.  A recording of the presentation is available here:, and slides and Jupyter notebooks presented can be found on GitHub:  
  • IOOS Code Sprint Summary and Outcomes Now Available: The IOOS Program Office, in collaboration with the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), hosted the inaugural IOOS Code Sprint October 8 - 10 in Ann Arbor, MI. A summary and outcomes of the Code Sprint are available on the Code Sprint website:
  • QARTOD (National Coordinator Mark Bushnell,
    • QARTOD Paper Accepted for Publication: The paper Quality Assurance of Oceanographic Observations: Standards and Guidance Adopted by an International Partnership by Mark Bushnell, Christoph Waldmann, Steffen Seitz, Earle Buckley, Mario Tamburri, Juliet Hermes, Emma Heslop and Ana Lara-Lopez has been accepted for publication. See the announcement at Frontiers in Marine Science, Ocean Observations, under the research topic Best Practices in Ocean Observing,
    • Ocean Best Practice System update: Preparations continue for the third Annual Evolving and Sustaining Ocean Best Practices Workshop, to be held at the IOC/IODE offices in Oostende, Belgium during 2-3 December, 2019. The outcome of the OceanObs’19 Ocean Best Practice breakout session, knowledge gained from the OBPS survey (, and your direct input will be used to create the vision and directions for Best Practices for the next decade.

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

  • No update.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

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


    • MBON Portal Links to Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) Infographics: Face-to-face time at the October IOOS Code Sprint resulted in progress connecting the MBON Portal ( with external infographics developed for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Integrated Ecosystem Assessment.  Users are now able to integrate MBON Portal live Data Views into infographics. See it working here: (click on ‘Marine Species’ and look for plots under ‘MBON IOOS Portal’) or go directly to:  The team is excited to have a static site that easily visualizes the latest data.  Next steps include embedding individual charts (data view + time subset and other customizations) and connecting them with Sanctuary condition reports, IEA Ecosystem Status Reports, infographics, publications, and elsewhere.
    • New Publication - Flower Garden Banks Coral Mortality Event: Congratulations to MBON and other partners from the University of Miami, University of South Florida, NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission on publication of a new paper in Continental Shelf Research: “Coral mortality event in the Flower Garden Banks of the Gulf of Mexico in July 2016” (  The article describes the data used to study environmental conditions associated with the mortality event, physical conditions and circulation patterns in the Northwest Gulf of Mexico leading up to the event, and vertical structure of the ocean in that region based on observation data and offers a scenario to explain the observed mortality. This paper builds on discussions held during a mini-symposium hosted by Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) in partnership with the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing in February 2018 (
    • MBON highlighted at Our Ocean 2019: National Ocean Service Assistant Administrator (Acting) Nicole LeBoeuf participated in the Our Ocean 2019 ( conference October 23-24 in Oslo, Norway. A large part of Nicole’s role at the conference was to announce commitments to sustaining the Blue Economy on behalf of the United States. Of the seven NOAA commitments highlighted at the conference, Nicole included the recent announcement of interagency (National Oceanographic Partnership Program) funding for a new round of US MBON projects. See highlights and a summary of Nicole’s trip here:
  • NGS and NIST to Retire U.S. Survey Foot after 2022: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and NGS have co-issued a Federal Register Notice (FRN) to retire the U.S. survey foot as part of modernizing the National Spatial Reference System in 2022. Since 1893, the United States has defined the foot based on the meter. The definition adopted at that time was 1 foot = 0.3048006 meter approximately. In 1959, the definition was revised to 1 foot = 0.3048 meter exactly. This change was made to support U.S. industry and international trade. It resolved a long-standing discrepancy between the definition used by U.S. industries and that used by other countries. The 1959 redefinition of the foot was legally binding and intended for the entire United States. But a single exception allowed temporary continued use of the previous definition exclusively for geodetic surveying. This joint decision by NIST and NGS will end that exception after 2022. For more information, contact, 240-533-9611.

  • NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson tests innovative DriX unmanned surface vehicle: During the month of October, NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson integrated and operated a DriX, an Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) created by the French technology company iXblue. The primary goal of the project was to test iXblue’s unique deployment and recovery solution specifically designed for Thomas Jefferson’s on board survey launch davit. Survey launches are limited to daylight operations and deployment and recovery are the most challenging operations the ship undertakes. Utilizing a DriX for continuous survey operations without having to recover and/or service it for up to four days straight would significantly increase the ship’s efficiency. Read more here:

  • Lessening the Effects of Harmful Algal Blooms: Check out the new article on NOAA’s National Ocean Service’s website from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) on detecting, forecasting, and mitigating Harmful Algal Blooms here:

  • Expressions of Interest Due November 15th - UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development North Atlantic Regional Workshop: Following the First Global Planning Meeting held last May in Denmark, the Ocean Frontier Institute will convene a North Atlantic Regional Workshop 7-10 January, 2020, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The workshop will facilitate regional, interdisciplinary discussions across sectors, such as ocean science and technology, ocean policy and sustainable development, industry, NGOs and civil society, and donors and foundations, to identify concrete deliverables and partnerships to meet the Decade's six societal objectives. More information is available on the workshop website ( including information on submitting an Expression of Interest (due November 15, 2019). The Steering Committee will select diverse subject matter representation for optimal participation. The North Atlantic Regional Workshop will aim to identify:

      • Knowledge gaps and regional ocean science priorities for the 2030 Agenda and the North Atlantic Action Plan

      • Existing relevant partnerships/networks/initiatives and potential interested partners

      • Priorities in capacity-development/training

      • Priority themes and topics to be addressed by the Decade

      • Other regional initiatives and meetings to be aligned with the Decade

  • EMODnet’s Open Sea Lab Legacy: What can you create with marine open data? EMODnet is delighted to announce the release of the film and report of Open Sea Lab II!  We hope that these outputs reflect the openness, creativity and dynamism that was apparent during the three-day event in Gent this September. But the creativity does not have to end with Open Sea Lab. So until Open Sea Lab III provides another opportunity to come together, share ideas and develop even better solutions, we invite you to explore these resources and see what you can create; for your work, your business, your study or even just for fun. They are open, free and there for you to use. We only ask that you tell us what you can (or can’t) do with our open marine data.
  • NOSB Announces 2020 Competition Theme: The National Ocean Science Board has announced its 2020 competition theme - Understanding Human, Economic and Environmental Resiliency in the Gulf of Mexico. The theme is both appropriate given the 2020 National Finals will be hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Ocean Science and Engineering and timely as the Finals will coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. That event exemplifies the challenges in the Gulf but also provided an opportunity for researchers, ocean science institutions, and numerous stakeholders to better understand regional dynamics and support recovery and resilience actions in the “living laboratory” of the Gulf. This theme will be incorporated into multiple aspects of the Finals event, including activities and presentations, as well as serve as the basis for many buzzer and team challenge questions during the 2020 regional and Finals competitions. You can read the entire 2020 theme document here.


  • Grants & Funding Opportunities

    • U.S. IOOS Ocean Technology Transition Funding Opportunity: The U.S. IOOS Program, in conjunction with NOPP, is seeking to fund projects, subject to the availability of funds, which advance new or existing technology-based solutions that address long standing and emerging coastal observing, product development, and data management challenges. The projects will be focused on those technologies for which there are demonstrated operators who commit to integrated, long term use of those technologies and open data sharing. A Transition Manager for the project should be identified and a Transition Plan will be a Year One deliverable. Closes 1/13/2020. View the full notice here
    • DARPA BAA: This new BAA invites proposers to submit innovative basic or applied research concepts in the following technical domains: Frontiers in Math, Computation & Design; Limits of Sensing & Sensors; Complex Social Systems; Anticipating Surprise. The research topics of interest within each domain are described in the BAA. Closes June 12, 2020.

Delivering the Benefits:

  • ACT completes testing on new oxidant sensors: The Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT) just completed a series of laboratory tests in collaboration with the US Naval Research Laboratory and with support from the US Maritime Administration and U.S. Coast Guard, to verify the accuracy, precision and reliability of three different total residual oxidant (TRO) measurement devices for use in ship ballast water treatment and compliance monitoring.  Data is now being analyzed and individual ACT reports drafted, with a planned release of verification reports in early 2020.
  • Increased Resolution for Tutuila Wave Forecast: PacIOOS' wave forecast for the island of Tutuila in American Samoa was recently upgraded to a higher-resolution grid. Previously at 500m, the revised forecast now offers a resolution of 250m within the Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN) model to better describe wave transformation from deep to shallow water and complex nearshore processes. With daily updates, the forecast provides hourly information on wave height, period, and direction for the upcoming 5-days. Zoom into the area of interest and click into the map -- a forecast for the chosen location will be displayed in a graph below. PacIOOS also provides a variety of other wave forecasts at different resolutions for areas in the Pacific Islands region. 
  • Second HF Radar deployed in Shishmaref: AOOS installed a second new High Frequency radar station on September 26 in Shishmaref on the Bering Sea and operated without incident through October 4, when a power issue occurred, stopping the record. The data are providing great coverage all along the northwestern side of the Seward Peninsula. Though data are not currently available due to cell phone modem issues, UAF has developed a project page for these HF radars that will feature information as it becomes available. 
  • Developing Machine-Learning Methods to Quickly Classify Underwater Soundscapes: Underwater soundscape data analysis will soon be a more efficient. Dr. James Locascio, Mote Marine Laboratory, was awarded funding from SECOORA to use previously collected marine acoustic data to develop machine-learning algorithms that identify biological, geophysical, and anthropogenic sounds. Learn more about this project here
  • September CA HAB Bulletin now available: The September California HAB Bulletin is now available here


  • ICOOS Act Update: No update.


  • CARICOOS and K-12 Education: Continuing its efforts to assure the proper interpretation and use of its data and products, CARICOOS has developed, in collaboration with PR Sea Grant, a “Waves Workshop” focused on educating K-12 students and teachers on wave concepts and terminology.  As part of the interactive activities, students have the opportunity to explore the CARICOOS website, specifically breaker and wave heights observations and forecasts, and Pa’ la Playa (beach app). Learn more about this, and the pilot workshop run in October, here
  • VIDEO: How a glider does what it does: During a MARACOOS glider deployment in October, Nicole Waite of Rutgers University explained how scientists launch gliders, collect data, and retrieve the robots. Watch the video here.
  • Board of Fish OA presentations: On behalf of the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network, AOOS's Darcy Dugan organized the first ever ocean acidification presentation to the Alaska Board of Fish on Oct 23. Speakers included Bob Foy (NOAA) who provided the most recent science on species response, and Toby Schwoerer who gave a briefing on a new project looking at ocean acidification and salmon. Later that evening, the network hosted a public presentation in the same venue that was attended by around 40 people. The video recording can be viewed here
  • New Middle School Sea Level Rise Curriculum: Educators from Georgia Institute of Technology created a curriculum for middle school students using the 5E Model of Instruction to actively investigate climate change and the phenomenon of sea level rise. The curriculum provides foundational science principles and allows middle school student to use real data to create data visualizations of sea level rise. Students will spend time brainstorming methods that can be used to mitigate the effects of climate change.  Learn more about this curriculum, including how to get a copy, here.
  • NOAA Planet Stewards 2020 Stewardship Community Applications open: Take this opportunity to make a real difference in your school or community. Join a national community of educators where you can: learn how to write a Federal funding proposal; have the opportunity to receive up to $2,500 to carry out a project responding to environmental challenges in your community; meet educators from around the country who share your interest in STEM education and environmental stewardship.  Find out more about the Stewardship Community and how to apply here.  Applications due by 12/1. 

  • IOOS in the News:

Click here to view the IOOS Association Calendar

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