October 2020 IOOS Association News Updates



Senate Passes IOOS Reauthorization by Unanimous Consent

The Senate passed S. 914, the Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act of 2020, which reauthorizes the IOOS Program. We are thankful for the Senate's support and in particular the authorization levels that allow for a steady increase in funding to fill critical gaps and address stakeholder needs. The bill also authorizes the National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, AL. 

The House already passed its version in a larger bill, but with the significant differences in the two bills, the most likely path to passage is if the House takes up the Senate version. We will be working with the House in the next few months in hopes of getting a final bill by the end of the 116th session.

National Academies of Science Hosts Sustaining Ocean Observations Phase 2: Workshop

The National Academies of Science conducted Phase 2 of the Sustaining Ocean Observations activity with a virtual workshop that took place September 16 – 18, 2020. As a follow-up to the 2017 National Academies report, Sustaining Ocean Observations to Understand Future Changes in Earth's Climate, the workshop aimed to explore options for coordination and partnership among research institutions, federal agencies, the private sector, and others, as well as to determine how the community can overcome barriers and contribute to a strong collective impact through communication, governance, and funding. A report is expected to be published on the event website by the end of 2020. 

Dr. Ru Morrison Receives First Caraid Award

The IOOS Association is pleased to announce that the first recipient of the Caraid Award is Dr. Ru Morrison.

Ru Morrison at his Scottish home in North Uist.

The Caraid Award is an annual award recognizing those who have made outstanding contributions to observing and understanding our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes througvision, leadership, friendship, and collaboration. The word “Caraid1” is a Scottish Gaelic word, meaning “care" or "love” and is pronounced like “courage.” These are the attributes - caring and the courage to do what matters - that make IOOS work. Fittingly, Ru, a founding member of the Association, was chosen as the first recipient of the award. With his Scottish heritage and dedicatino to ocean observing, he inspired us to learn about Caraid, not only as a word, but also as an ethos he brings to all of his work.  

Ru is a founding member of the IOOS Association and the first director of the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS). His vision, leadership, and collaborative can-do approach was instrumental in developing a thriving coastal observing system in the northeastern United States, as well as inspiring action at the national and international levels. His commitment and passion for ensuring that stakeholders have access to reliable and timely data and information is central to his successes. Like so much of what makes a difference, his values, dedication and passion are what bring him distinction and what inspires us to this day: the work was done with Caraid.

While Ru lives and works in the United States, he maintains his love and commitment to his Scottish homeland. He is Chief of the Clan Morrison and delights friends and colleagues when he wears his formal Scottish attire to events. Every summer, he returns with his family to their ancestral home on the Isle of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. Caraid honors both Ru's collaborative spirit and his love for his homeland.

Please submit nominations for the 2021 Caraid award by December 11, 2020.

1. To hear the pronunciation: https://forvo.com/word/caraid/

Image: Ru Morrison at his Scottish home in North Uist.    

Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) Observing Network Pilot Projects

In FY20, Congress appropriated $1 million to pilot projects for a national HAB Observing Network (HABON). The five HAB Pilot projects at FY20 will provide a roadmap and lessons-learned for expanding into a sustained, national HAB network. The five projects receiving support include the Great Lakes (GLOS), the Gulf of Mexico (GCOOS), California (SCOOS and CeNCOOS), the Pacific Northwest (NANOOS), and Alaska (AOOS). The goal of the HABON is to ensure tha tobservations needed to support forecasts and warnings are sustained and that the nation has the information necessary to detect and respond to the growing threat of harmful algal blooms. For more information, click here. 

Hurricane Gliders Aid Forecasts

Over 30 gliders are now deployed off the coasts of Puerto Rico, the Gulf of Mexico, and the eastern United States to collect data that scientists will use to improve the accuracy of hurricane forecast models. The IOOS regions, in partnership with NOAA and the Navy, are deploying underwater gliders to measure temperature and salinity, essential for improving hurricane forecast models. 

Gliders are being flown by Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS), Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System (CARICOOS), Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA), and Mid-Atlantic Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS). 
Orange lines show the planned paths of the 30 uncrewed gliders to travel this summer for hurrican intensity predictions. Once launched, gliders will make regular dives along a set course and surface several times a day to send collected data to an available satellite. Warm water has the potential to strengthen storms while cool waters may weaken them, so knowing if a storm will pass over only warm water or areas where cold water may be stirred up from below helps scientists and forecasters to predict whether a storm will intensify or weaken as it travels. Credit: NOAA 
For more information, please see:


IOOS Regions Receive Over $40 Million to Support Observing Activities

NOAA’s U.S. IOOS Program Office has awarded over $40 million in grants to support ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observing efforts on the 11 IOOS Regional Associations (RAs). The IOOS RAs serve the entire coastline of the United States and its territories, covering the Atlantic, Gulf, Caribbean, Pacific, and Great Lakes.

Each RA works with regional partners and stakeholders to understand needs to develop products that address those needs. These awards represent the final year of the five-year cooperative agreement and address a variety of national priorities that manifest differently in each region. The funds will address safe maritime operations, coastal hazards and extreme weather, flooding, ecology, fisheries and water quality, and long-term observations.

Find out more about IOOS in your regions here: http://www.ioosassociation.org

In the Regions

Great Lakes: The Great Lakes Observing System's (GLOS) new robotic glider will travel miles underwater to collect data on organic matter, conductivity, oxygen content, and other data helpful in determining harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, and other events. Funds for the glider were provided by Congress as part of an effort to fill critical observing gaps. To watch a video and learn more, click here. 

Southeast: Commercial fishermen are using Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association's (SECOORA) HF radar data to find fish. SECOORA Intern Natalie Murphy describes how Captain Dave Tilly uses sea surface current to develop models and better identify the Gulf Stream. For more information, click here

Caribbean: NOAA's Ocean Acidification program is working with the Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System's (CARICOOS) to understand the impacts of ocean acidification on corals, fish, and the ecosystem. To learn more, watch this video to learn more

Upcoming Events

October 13 - 15: IOOS/DMAC Meeting (Virtual)

October 19 - 24: SACNAS Conference

October 27 - 30: Members and Board Meeting (Please note: the COL Industry Forum has been postponed and the new date is TBA)

November 18-19: NERACOOS Annual Meeting


Funding OpportunitiesImplementation of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System NOAA-NOS-IOOS-2021-2006475 and Response to Frequently Ask Questions.