Bi-Weekly IOOS® Z-Gram – 6 August 2016


ZGram picThe Z-Gram is an informal way of keeping you up-to-date on US IOOS® activities. Pass it on! Please reply with an e-mail with additional addresses or if you no longer want to receive the Z-Gram. Previous Updates


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I am writing this edition of the Z-Gram while watching the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games brings the world together on an athletic stage; in ocean observing, our efforts bring us together all the time – so that must mean it is the Olympics every day!

From the U.S. IOOS Office:

  • My retirement in Jan 2017/Position Posted:  I will retire from NOAA in January 2017.   While a number of factors brought me to this decision, I want to assure you it is not because I have lost any belief or faith in the importance of what we do.  Quite simply, I strongly believe that without our collective services we would not be able sustain our way of life on earth. You know I am passionate about IOOS and sustained ocean observing, and we have a saying – once an IOOSian, always an IOOSian.   I am thrilled that NOAA is able to recruit my position while encumbered to get ahead of the expected moratorium for SES hires with the Administration change.  My job announcement -  Please distribute widely.  If you are thinking about applying, you must provide both ECQs and PTQs.  ECQs can be difficult to write – for guidance:  I will continue to be fully engaged until my departure date.
  • Certification:  MARACOOS’ application for certification was received on July 28th.  
  • IOOS Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) are final: We are excited to share the great news! The PEA and FONSI are available on the IOOS web site in the Environmental Compliance section. I could not say it better than Regina in her email to the IOOS RAs: “I know I said it before, but I will say it again; this was a massive effort here in the office and we could not have done it without you. Your input into the development of these documents was critical to the program's success and I appreciate all of you.  Now the fun part, implementation as IOOS stands up this effort to be the best stewards we can be of the Nation's ocean and coasts.”
  • PacIOOS gets a new Logo:  The new logo combines PacIOOS' focus on oceanic and atmospheric information, and the bright blue color scheme was chosen to remind of the warm climate in the Pacific Islands region. The square shape resembles graphs and data plots relating to PacIOOS' technical expertise in collecting, processing, and serving data. The serif font, typically used in scientific publications, reflects our proximity to academia.  Read more here.


Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • HF Radar/Radio (IOOS national coordinator , Jack Harlan;  
    • Global HFR meeting: Next GEO Global HFR will be at AGU Fall Meeting in SF, Dec 2016.  Submitted abstract.
    • Tsunami:  CODAR & Rutgers rolled out the detection software at the Bradley Beach, NJ site.  After a week of testing there, two more software packages will be deployed at other sites.
  • IOOS participates in NOAA’s Emerging Technologies Workshop: Under the auspices of NOAA’s Observing System Council, we held our first emerging technology workshop.  While this first workshop was limited to NOAA presenters, IOOS and IOOS RA work was featured.  Derrick presented the IOOS glider program and it was well received. The slides can be seen here.  Marc Suddleson, NCCOS/MERHAB Program Coordinator featured the Imaging FlowCytobot (IFCB) and Environmental Sample Processor, which are two emerging technologies to detect and monitor Harmful Algal Blooms.  He spoke to the strong relationship between NCCOS, IOOS’ Ocean Technology Transition Program, and the research community that are resulting in improved HAB monitoring.  
  • Ocean Technology Transition project (IOOS coordinator – Jen Rhodes,  Under the supervision of Dr. Kim Holland, the Shark Research Group from the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology continues to tag sharks in waters off Hawaiʻi to collect valuable behavioral and oceanographic data. Previously, data were solely transmitted through the Argos satellite system whenever the tagged animal surfaced.  However, since Argos satellite availability averages only 6-12 minutes per hour in Hawai'i, land-based receivers are now being installed at high elevations around Maui and O'ahu to augment the satellite array and increase data throughput from fin-mounted tags. Pilot projects in Hawai'i have shown that land-based receivers can significantly increase data recovery - in some cases by a factor of ten.  Receivers, such as the one installed atop of Mount Ka'ala, O'ahu, have the potential to detect signals in a range of 90 km. PacIOOS and the Integrated Ocean Observing System’s (IOOS) Ocean Technology Transition Project is supporting the project.
  • AOOS - Water level report: The synthesis report Coastal and Nearshore Water Level Observations in Alaska; Challenges, Assets, Gaps and Next Steps is available on the AOOS website. AOOS is partnering with the National Weather Service and the State of Alaska to implement many of the recommendations in the report.

Data Management and Communications (DMAC) Subsystem and Tools Built on IOOS data (DMAC list serve – contact Derrick or Rob -,

  • ATN: National Coordinator Bill Woodward,
    • Progress Update to BOEM:  From Dr. Rodney Cluck the Division Director, Jim Price and his team - ‘on course’ and continue moving full speed ahead.
    • Presentation to the MBON Biodiversity Ad Hoc  Committee:  Strongly supports ATN and welcomes exploration on how MBON and the ATN could work more closely together under an umbrella of “U.S. IOOS Biology”
    • IOOS Office, Carl, Gabrielle and Bill, met with the National Marine Sanctuaries (Steve Gittings, Mitchell Tartt). We agreed to the value that MBON and ATN brings to Sanctuaries/MPA/Monument efforts and are looking forward to defining together the specifics of joint IOOS-ONMS actions, especially how ATN can be a valuable tool for Sanctuaries management.
    • Met with Debbie Montagna, VP of Business and Project Development for Ocean Power Technologies (OPT), and Peter Moore, MARACOOS, to discuss how OPT products and capabilities might fit into our ATN vision. Some exciting possibilities that we will continue to explore with our regional teams and ATN partners.
  • QARTOD: National Coordinator Mark Bushnel,
    • Phytoplankton –Mark and Helen met with Dr. Juliette Smith and Dr. Kim Reece at VIMS on July 28th and discussed QC testing as it might apply to the ESP and the IFCB.

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem:
(IOOS PO and IOOS Coastal Ocean Modeling Testbed (COMT) POC – Becky Baltes,   

  • COMT Annual Meeting: Will be held Aug 25-26 at SURA HQ in DC.  In particular we are asking our Federal partners and transition partners to attend.  All are welcome, not received your invite?  Contact

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • US Marine Biodiversity (MBON): National Leads, Gabrielle Canonico, NOAA & IOOS; Woody Turner, NASA; and Jim Price BOEM
    • Congratulations to the U.S. MBON team - Maria Kavanaugh at WHOI: For publication of “Quo Vadimus - Seascapes as a new vernacular for pelagic ocean monitoring, management and conservation” in the ICES Journal of Marine Science (; ICES Journal of Marine Science (2016), 73(7), 1839–1850. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsw086).  The paper describes an important component of the MBON toolkit that is currently under development - adapting tenets of landscape ecology to the pelagic realm to improve our understanding of the dynamic systems influencing ecological systems and species distributions in the oceans.
    • MBON helps to understand the Mortality Event in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary: Sport divers found green, hazy water, huge patches of white mats coating corals and sponges, and dead animals littering the bottom of East Flower Garden Bank in the Gulf of Mexico. The scientists believe that a large-scale mortality event of unknown cause is under way on the bank. A response plan is being developed with partners and a series of cruises will be scheduled to collect water and biological samples from both the East and West Flower Garden Banks.  Dr. Frank Muller-Karger, Digna Rudea Roa and team at USF, and part of MBON, jumped into help by comparting NASA MODIS Chlorophyll-a product “climatology” and some recent MODIS and VIRS chl derived individual passes with methods developed under MBON.  See the images:,  NOAA SUOMI VIIRS image for 16 July 2016:
  • Commercial Sector – GEO needs your input: The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) can strengthen engagement with the commercial sector and is soliciting your views on the kinds of association/engagement that would be of most interest to them.  Seeking feedback from the widest possible range of companies -- in size, scope and geographical location.
  • Non-market Economic Valuation of Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary: The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) has published an economic valuation study designed to provide natural resource managers from the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and the State of Washington with information about which natural resource attributes are most important to the public and how much the public values them.

Delivering the Benefits:

  • OOI Data Now Available from NANOOS: When I began the IOOS Office, OOI was just getting funding and I committed that our DMAC efforts would work together; that commitment has been realized.  NANOOS is pleased to announce it is now serving National Science Foundation Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) data from the Pacific Northwest Coastal Endurance Array through its NANOOS Visualization System (NVS).  Data from the OOI Coastal Endurance OR and WA Line Surface Moorings can now be viewed and downloaded alongside other sources including NANOOS, NSF CMOP, NOAA NDBC, and CDIP. Additionally, one can view various model forecast outputs for the buoy locations and use the "comparator" tab to see how close these forecasts come to the observed data.  The ability to see diverse data streams and to compare model output with observations is a cornerstone of the NANOOS and IOOS approach.  Just navigate to and follow the slideshow links to the data.
  • Alaska launches an OA network:  AOOS has led the effort resulting in the launch of the Alaska OA Network and website.  The network helps connect scientists and stakeholder communities to identify knowledge gaps, recommend regional priorities, share data, and determine best practices for monitoring in Alaska.
    • KUCB – July 29, 2016, New Effort Shines Spotlight on Ocean Acidification,
  • White House/OSTP Blog Site – Nutrient Challenge:  The blog site is now live highlighting the importance of the nutrient challenges and the opportunities for additional competitors.  US IOOS component – Alliance for Coastal Technology, funded by IOOS Office and EPA are conducting the evaluation for this challenge.
  • Thank you to PacIOOS Industry Partner Young Brothers, Ltd.: Every year, Young Brothers, Ltd. Community Support Program assists selected community-oriented organizations with their transportation needs. In addition to providing freight transportation to the PacIOOS wave buoy program, Young Brothers, Ltd. also generously donated approximately 4,250 lbs of anchor chain to PacIOOS. The chain will serve as weight for about five wave buoy moorings. Big Mahalo to Young Brothers, Ltd. for your continued support!


  • No update.


  • Special Report: Weather Buoys on the Great Lakes:  “The five great lakes together are the greatest freshwater resource on the planet, but navigating those waters can get dangerous.  That's why following a weather forecast on the water is important.  To predict the weather on the lake and bay, meteorologists like Mike rely on a variety of weather observations, like on-shore weather stations, and a range of data sites in the integrated ocean observing system, such as mid-lake buoys stationed around the great lakes.”
  • CONGRATS: Congratulations to Julianna Diehl and Andrew Reid for successfully completing their summer internships at the University of South Florida and SECOORA.  Julianna and Andrew are participating in the NOAA Office of Education’s Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship Program.  Julianna, an undergraduate student at the Maine Maritime Academy, completed her project titled, “Deploying Buoys to Monitor and Model Circulation on the West Florida Shelf.”  Andrew, an undergraduate student at East Carolina University, completed his project, “Ocean Observing and Ocean Acidification in the Coastal Ocean.”  Huge thanks to Jay Law at USF’s Coastal Ocean Monitoring & Prediction System for his efforts in mentoring Julianna and Andrew.

Upcoming Meetings with IOOS Participation:

  • IOOS/PacIOOS at the IUCN World Conservation Congress: IOOS and PacIOOS online mapping tools (specifically calling out the EDS model viewer) will be featured during a 30-minute Tech Corner slot on Sept. 7 at the U.S. Pavilion. PacIOOS’s poster with presentation – Sept 3rd, 7:00pm - PacIOOS will support  staffing in the NOAA booth within the U.S. Pavilion.
  • MTS/IEEE Oceans ’16 – Gearing up:
    • QARTOD Session
    • Townhalls:
      • 10:30 am, 21 September: IOOS Office and Monterey Bay International Trade Association  - “The ‘Blue Silicon Valley’ Emerges from the ‘Serengeti of the Sea’’
      • 1:00 pm, 21 September: IOOS Office and Global Ocean Design, LLC – Ocean Innovation and Unique Partnerships
    • IOOS Office and CeNCOOS are teaming up with NOAA for an exhibit booth.
  • Oceanology International Comes to North America:  The OI North America 2017 Conference has a 3 part program that will consist of a series of keynote end-user focused panel discussions, topical technical sessions and a full day dedicated to the Catch the Next Wave conference, all aiming to provide a better understanding of present and future requirements and opportunities of the Blue Economy. Abstracts are being sought now:

View the IOOS calendar:


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