2017 IOOS Spring Meeting Selected Highlights

The eleven Regional Association (RAs), members of their Boards, staff of the IOOS Program Office (IOOS PO) and partners gathered in Silver Spring, MD for the IOOS Spring Meeting on March 14-15, 2017. The first day was a facilitated discussion about the five-year U.S. IOOS Strategic Plan that the PO is developing. The second day was a joint meeting held with the regional data managers, RA Directors and IOOS PO staff. The facilitated discussion focused on the Data Management and Communications (DMAC) mission, vision, and priorities for the next five years. Click here to access the meeting website and materials.

Carl Gouldman welcomed and thanked participants for attending the meeting. As the new Director of the U.S. IOOS Program Office, Carl is committed to visit each RA and develop a new U.S. IOOS Enterprise Strategic Plan (2018 – 2022) that provides a clear vision and priorities for the next 5-years.


Pictured from left to right: Roy Watlington (CariCOOS), Ru Morrison (NERACOOS), Debra Hernandez (SECOORA), Kelli Paige (GLOS), Dave Easter, (IOOS PO), Tiffany Vance (IOOS PO).

Meeting participants separated into breakout teams to review the current U.S. IOOS vision and mission statements (below).

Vision statement (2013)

“IOOS is an innovative public/private enterprise of integrated national and regional ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observations that equips the Nation to face natural and manmade risks to economic growth, prosperity, and survivability, and to ensure a safe, productive, and resilient ocean and coastal zone.” (Source: Federal Advisory Committee)

Mission statement (2008)

“Lead the integration of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observing capabilities, in collaboration with Federal and non-Federal partners, to maximize access to data and generation of information products, inform decision making, and promote economic, environmental, and social benefits to our Nation and the world.” (Source: NOAA IOOS Strategic Plan)


Pictured from left to right: Jackie Ball (NERACOOS), Julio Morell (CariCOOS), Becky Pearson (GLOS), Carl Gouldman (U.S. IOOS PO), Jennifer McWhorter (SCCOOS).

Breakout groups recommended several changes to the vision and mission statements to make them clear, more succinct and exciting.

Pictured from left to right: Francisco Chavez (CeNCOOS), Victoria Kromer (U.S. IOOS PO), Clarissa Anderson (SCCOOS), Becky Baltes (U.S. IOOS PO), Gerhard Kuska (MARCOOS)

Participants continued working in their breakout teams to develop guiding principles and core capabilities on behalf of the U.S. IOOS Enterprise. They were asked to consider the core beliefs or guiding principles that underlie IOOS’ work and to identify those principals and capabilities that are essential to IOOS.


Picture from left to right: Russell Callender (Assistant Administrator, NOAA’s National Ocean Service), Clarissa Anderson (Director, SCCOOS) and Carl Gouldman (Director, U.S. IOOS Program Office)

On Day 2, Dr. Russell Callender Assistant Administrator for NOAA's National Ocean Service provided an update on NOS, including the revised priorities: 1) safe and efficient transportation and commerce 2) preparedness and risk reduction and 3) stewardship, recreation and tourism. Dr. Callender requested success stories from the Regional Associations to showcase.

After the presentation, the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) signed a Memorandum of Agreement officially certifying SCCOOS for the next 5-years as a Regional Information Coordination Entity (RICE). Certification is a key milestone in the establishment of a full IOOS system. Certification means that SCCOOS is providing high-quality observations that meet national and Federal standards. Congratulation SCCOOS!

Pictured left to Right: Jackie Ball (NERACOOS), Katrina Hoffman (AOOS), Dave Easter (U.S. IOOS), Rob Bochenek (Axiom Data Science), Carl Gouldman (U.S. IOOS), Francisco Chavez (CeNCOOS), Rob Ragsdale (U.S. IOOS)

Day 2 was the first joint meeting of the RA Data Managers, RA Directors and IOOS PO. Meeting attendees separated into breakout teams for a facilitated discussion on the IOOS Data Management and Communications priorities for the next five-years.

After a day of discussions and deliberations, attendees brainstormed and then voted on the top three priorities for IOOS DMAC for the next 1-2 years. The top three priorities included:

  1. Improve interoperability across RAs
  2. Better information exchange between IOOS PO and RA
  3. Document use of products through metrics

Pictured left to Right: Derrick Snowden (U.S. IOOS). Rob Ragsdale (U.S. IOOS), and Carl Gouldman (U.S. IOOS)

Rob Ragsdale was honored for his tenure at U.S. IOOS. Rob has been a critical component of the IOOS DMAC team, providing architecture support and leading U.S. IOOS water quality efforts. Thank you, Rob! The team will miss you.