2016 IOOS Spring Meeting Selected Highlights

IOOS Program Office, Regional Associations and NOAA Partners gathered for the IOOS Spring Meeting on March 1-2, 2016 in Silver Spring, MD to discuss the Closing the Gaps Campaign and to collaborate with NOAA partners on address the needs of stakeholders for timely and reliable information. Click here to access the meeting website and materials.

Zdenka Willis, US IOOS Director (pictured here) and Carl Gouldman, US IOOS Deputy Director, highlighted the many achievements of the past year including the awarding of the competitive five-year funding proposals, the launch of a new IOOS logo and website,  development of new manuals for quality assurance for real time data, deployment of ocean acidification sensors, nutrient sensors, the West Coast Anomaly workshop, Marine Biodiversity Workshop and much, much more. 

Closing the Gaps: Next Generation Navigation

Neil Weston, Acting Chief Scientist Office of Coast Survey, Katie Ries, Deputy Director, Office of Coast Survey and Julie Thomas, Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) led a discussion on national and regional navigation needs as larger tankers seek access to US ports.   Katie briefed on NOAA’s Next Generation Navigation initiative, the success of the Under Keel Clearance Pilot Project in the Port of Long Beach and the future plans focusing on the mouth of the Mississippi.  Many regions provided weather and sea conditions for their local ports and harbors. 

Closing the Gaps:  Water Levels

Peter Stone, Technical Director, CO-OPS and Ru Morrison, NERACOOS led the discussion on the gaps in water levels observations and modeling, critical support for resilient communities. CO-OPs has developed a tiered approach for data quality, is establishing community benchmarks to assist landowners understand potential flood risks, expanding their forecast modeling capacity and developing an inundation dash board for selected communities on the east coast.   The regions complement the national effort by deploying water level sensors, developing inundation tools, supporting regional inundation modeling and working with stakeholders. 

Closing the Gaps:  Forecasting Harmful Algal Blooms

Allison Allen, NOAA’s Ecological Forecasting Roadmap and Barb Kirkpatrick, GCOOS led a discussion on developing early warnings for HAB events. Allison noted that the main issue is the lack of observation data to support models in a given area.  In some areas, the gaps are knows while other areas need further research.   Many regions have deployed sensors and are working with regional modelers to forecast and predict events.   

National Surface Currents Network

Jack Harlan, High-Frequency Radar (HFR) Project Manager, and Carl Gouldman led a discussion on sustaining the nation’s only HFR network.  This network of 140 radars provides real-time data on the speed and direction of surface currents.  Issues include understanding long-term operation and maintenance costs, recapitalization of the system, performance metrics and communication.   The IOOS Program Office is working with the National Weather Service to determine if the technology can be used to detect tsunamis and significant wave height – in addition to its uses in search and rescue and oil spill response.  

Dr. Russell Callender, Assistant Administrator of NOS, discussed the recently released FY 17 that includes $570million for NOS.   Dr. Callender stressed the importance of IOOS to the overall mission of NOS.  A major focus for NOS is responding to extreme events.  Russell noted that several RAs had participated in NOAA’s Regional Resilience Grants. SECOORA received a grant for FY 15 and others are expected in FY 16. 

NOAA Partners:  Office for Coastal Management

Miki Schmidt and Keelin Kuipers from Office for Coastal Management provided an overview of the Office, with an in depth look into Digital Coast. Major program initiatives include the National Coastal Zone Management Program, Coral Reef Conservation Program, Digital Coast, and National Estuarine Research Reserve System.  OCM and IOOS work with the local and regional stakeholders addressing issues related to flooding, coastal hazards, and ecosystem health.   

Jan Newton, Director of the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), Molly McCammon, Director of the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) and Melissa Iwamoto, Director of the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS)

Ru Morrison, NERACOOS, George Jungbluth, IOOS Program Office, Josie Quintrell, IOOS Association, Debra Hernandez, SECOORA and Zdenka Willis, IOOS Program Office

Carol Janzen, AOOS and Derrick Snowden, IOOS Program Office