November 2020 IOOS Association News Updates

ICOOS Act Update

The House had been expected to vote on the Senate version of the ICOOS Act, the Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act (S-914), in early November. This would have cleared the way for passage in the current session. The Senate bill (S-914) added authorization of NOAA’s National Water Center along with IOOS, including a portion of the bill with technical issues that, while minor, could not be fixed in time for passage by the House on November 16, when they took up several ocean science bills already passed by the Senate.   
We are still hoping that ICOOS can be reauthorized this session. Time is short and the Congressional calendar is full. Please reach out to your Congressional delegation to encourage them to vote for the IOOS bill after Thanksgiving. 

IOOS Association Remembers Dr. Ru Morrison

The IOOS Association remembers Dr. Ru Morrison, former Director of the Northeast Regional Association for Ocean Observing System (NERACOOS) and past Chair of the IOOS Association, who passed away on November 7, 2020. In his memory, IOOS is collecting tributes from colleagues and friends. If you would like to contribute, please add them to this file and IOOS will forward them to his family.

PacIOOS Earns Rice Recertification by United States IOOS

On October 23, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) was recertified by the U.S. IOOS Office as a Regional Information Coordination Entity (RICE), meaning that, once again, PacIOOS meets strict national standards for data management and governance. The PacIOOS obtained its original certification in 2015, when it became the first RA to be certified. To ensure the RAs remain current and up-to-date, they are required to be recertified every 5 years. Congratulations to Melissa Iwamoto, Director of PacIOOS, and her team for ensuring stakeholders throughout the Pacific region have the best available data and information.  

All 11 IOOS Regional Associations are certified by NOAA. Certification provides users with the confidence in the data served by IOOS, enhances efficient integration of federal and nonfederal data, enables researchers and others to fulfill data management requirements, and provides liability protection of the RA. For more information, click here.

AOOS Pilots New Water Level Observation for Remote Areas

Water level observations are essential to flooding and extreme storm preparation and response, ensuring safe navigation, managing sensitive resources, and much more. Delivering this information in Alaska, with over 6,000 miles of coastline and remote villages, is a significant challenge. AOOS is partnering with local, state, and federal agencies, as well as the private sector, in Alaska’s Water Level Watch, to fill critical gaps by testing new technologies that are suitable for remote locations. The collaboration team has worked with NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) on a tiered data policy

that provides access to partner-collected and high quality data at various levels of precision. The data can be used for different applications, many of which do not need the precision data that CO-OPS National Water Level Observing Network (NWLON) stations provide, such as their use in major harbors bringing in supertankers with inches of clearance. The new GNSS-GPS reflectometry sensors, which are land-based, cheaper, and easier to maintain than traditional NWLONs, combined with the tiered data policy and data portal, provide an affordable option for filling gaps in remote areas or small harbors, not only in Alaska but also in other regions of the country.

Coastal Observations Track Warming Trend

Sustained observations are important for understanding changes in our coastal oceans and Great Lakes. This climatology tool from NERACOOS compares current observations with historic averages. Here, the orange dots display the daily means for 2020 compared to the range of observations from 2001to 2019 in yellow, indicating that the Gulf of Maine water temperatures have been exceptionally warm this year.   

U.S. Department of Energy and NOAA Announced Competition Series Within Ocean Observing Prize

On October 19th, the U.S. Department of Energy and NOAA announced the opening of the DEVELOP competition series within the Ocean Observing Prize. The DEVELOP Competition focuses on a single theme, hurricane monitoring, and challenges contestants to develop their ideas into a functioning prototype through three contests: DESIGN, BUILD, and SPLASH. The DESIGN contest of the competition is now open and will close on February 16th, 2021.

The winners of the DESIGN Contest will be invited to the next contest of the competition, the BUILD Contest, where they will build functioning prototypes and test their systems in a controlled environment, such as a wave tank. Winners of the BUILD Contest will be invited to participate in the SPLASH Contest (and the culmination of the first DEVELOP Competition), where they will test their designs at-sea. All three contests together offer $2.4 million in cash prizes.
For additional information and the official announcement, click here.

Welcome to Dr. Jake Kritzer

Dr. Jake Kritzer became the second Director of the Northeast Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (NERACOOS) in June of this year. Jake brings extensive expertise in fisheries science and policy. He graduated from Middlebury College with a B.A. in Biology, earned a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from James Cook University in Australia, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Windsor in Canada. Jake is the author of more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, and senior editor of the milestone book, Marine Metapopulations. Over his career, Jake’s research has focused on spatial dimensions of marine ecology and management, and his recent policy work centered on building technical and management capacity in Chinese fisheries. He also holds adjunct professor appointments at the University of Maine and the University of Massachusetts. Jake lives in New Hampshire with his wife and daughter.

Hurricane Gliders Featured in Forbes Magazine

Yi Chao, founder of Seatrec, wrote a Forbes article about cross-organizational collaboration to improve hurricane forecasts. In the article, he notes that data from below the ocean's surface hinders our ability to forecast storm intensity and states that underwater robots are the key. The article references the partnership between NOAA, Navy, and IOOS to deploy 30 gliders this season, and calls for increased subsurface measurements. To read the full article, click here.

UG2 Welcome to the Community on December 9

Save the date! UG2 coordinators will be hosting a Welcome Webinar on Dec 9th, 2PM-3:30PM EST (Link to GoToMeeting webinar). The Underwater Glider User Group (UG2) is a community-based coalition aimed at bolstering scientific collaboration and information/resource sharing for glider operators, data users, manufacturers, academia, and government agencies. The Welcome Webinar will provide an overview of the UG2 community goals and new website which has been built to support collaboration and information sharing. Other topics covered in the webinar will be: 1) NOAA Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division (AERD) Glider Operations; and 2) IOOS/Partners 2020 Hurricane Glider Efforts.To join the UG2 and stay up-to-date on glider news, sign up here!

Reminder | Submit Caraid Award Nominations Before December 2020

Nominations for the 2021 Caraid Award are still open! Nominees can be an individual, group, or organization that has contributed to understanding the ocean coasts and/or Great Lakes through collaboration, innovation, and/or a commitment to working with stakeholders. 

If you would like to submit a nomination, click here.

Upcoming Events

December 1 - 4: Oceanogology International Connect (Virtual)

December 1 - 17: AGU Fall Meeting (Virtual)

December 4: OceanObs RCN Ocean Decade Actions Networking Workshop (Virtual)

January 10 - 15AMS Annual Meeting (Virtual)

February 15 - 17: Oceanology International Americas (San Diego, CA)

February 18 - 20: OceanVisions - 2021 Summit (San Diego, CA and Virtual)


Funding Opportunities - 
NOAA’s National Sea Grant Office and Ocean Acidification Program announced a new funding opportunity in October 2020. Between two to six projects are expected to be funded for one to three years at a level of $100,000 – 300,000. Proposals must be submitted by March 16, 2021. Click here for more details.
Job Opportunities - 
Lapenta Internship - NOAA: NOAA is currently accepting applications for the William M. Lapenta Internship Program, a 10-week summer internship that allows students to contribute to research advancing scientific understanding of the Earth system, develop new data analysis techniques, code and test data visualization systems, and gain other valuable experiences in the field. The deadline to apply is February 1, 2021.