UGA Skidaway Institute receives funding for regional glider network

University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography researcher Catherine Edwards is leading a team that has received a five-year, $750,000 grant from the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association, or SECOORA, to establish a regional glider network.

Also known as autonomous underwater vehicles, the gliders are torpedo-shaped crafts that can be packed with sensors and sent on underwater missions to collect oceanographic data. Equipped with satellite phones, the gliders surface periodically to transmit their recorded data and to receive new instructions during missions that can last from weeks to months.

SECOORA is a Regional Association in support of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®).

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U.S. IOOS Awards $31m for Ocean Observing

U.S. IOOS announces the awarding of over $31 million in grants to support ocean, coastal and Great Lakes observing efforts throughout the United States, Caribbean and Pacific.

The funds are distributed primarily in the form of five-year cooperative agreements, augmented by funds from other federal offices and agencies, as well as outside groups including: NOAA’s Office Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program (OAP), the National Weather Service (NWS), NOAA Fisheries (NMFS), NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey (OCS), NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), and the IOOS Association. Some additional funding is directed through the Ocean Technology Transition (OTT) project at IOOS, which sponsors the transition of emerging technologies to operational mode.

These cooperative agreements are a fundamental activity for IOOS. It not only fulfills requirements set forth in the 2009 ICOOS Act, which establishes a national-level integrated system, but it also forms the foundation on which the system stands. An integrated system that serves global needs depends on cooperation, clear data standards, shared data, and the development and maintenance of projects and technology that address existing needs to build a system that addresses the needs of the many. By pairing regional systems who are connected to the communities where they work with the national system and working together, we’re able to establish and maintain a network of people, technology, and data, customized to real needs, that helps us understand and forecast changes in our ocean and climate, prepare for and respond to coastal disasters, and balance the needs of resource use, economic development, and environmental stewardship.

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Ocean forecast offers seasonal outlook for Pacific Northwest waters

Researchers from the University of Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have created a seasonal outlook for the Pacific Northwest waters, which would help tell if it’s going to be a great year for sardines or a poor crab season. A paper evaluating the forecast’s performance was published in June in the interdisciplinary, open-access journal NatureScientific Reports.

The tool, called JISAO Seasonal Coastal Ocean Prediction of the Ecosystem, or J-SCOPE, launched in summer 2013. The new paper is the first formal evaluation of how well it works. Analysis of the first three years of forecasts confirms that they do have measurable skill on seasonal timescales.

The seasonal forecasts for water oxygen, temperature, chlorophyll and pH along the coast of Washington, Oregon, Puget Sound and Canada’s Vancouver Island have been posted for the past three years on the UW-based Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS) website. That site now offers a comparison between the forecasted values and the long-term average, and the probability for different scenarios.

NANOOS is a Regional Association in support of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®).

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Global Ocean Data Illuminate Earth’s Future Climate

As global climate change accelerates with increasingly substantial impacts on communities worldwide, the need to understand and make reliable projections of future climate becomes ever more imperative.

The National Science Foundation-funded Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling, or SOCCOM, project is meeting this need by deploying 200 robotic floats in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica to capture real-time biological, geological and chemical (often called “biogeochemical”) data. With the help of CyVerse, the NSF-funded and University of Arizona-led national data management project, SOCCOM hopes soon to expand the network of floats to monitor carbon cycling throughout the world’s swiftly changing oceans.

SOCCOM is a coalition led by Princeton University and includes the UA, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of Washington, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), Climate Central, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NSF and NASA.

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GLOS announces challenge to commemorate 10 year anniversary

The Great Lakes Observing system (GLOS) is offering $9,500 in prizes to people who develop interesting uses for Great Lakes data. The non-profit data hub recently announced a challenge to commemorate its ten year anniversary. Challengers must make use of at least one publicly available data set to help the Great Lakes region.

The final products could be as diverse as apps that show swimmers and boaters wave heights and currents, help plan a visit to the beach, or provide a map revealing changes in algal blooms over time.

To enter, register with GLOS. You have until August 15 to submit a written description, directions for use and a quick YouTube demonstration of your product. The requirements are here.

GLOS is a Regional Association in support of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®).

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