Program Update: Interagency Ocean Observation Committee – July 2014

2016-06-28T19:29:44+00:00 August 7, 2014|


The IOOC Modeling Task Team met on June 18 in person in order to decide on an approach to developing a national modeling strategy/framework. Sub-Groups have been stood up and are currently working to develop different components of what will ultimately be a coordinated strategy to network modeling activities among federal agencies. The meeting notes were finalized, distributed by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership Staff, and reviewed by IOOC members at the full July 28 meeting.

The Biological Integration and Observation Task Team (BIO-TT) is working to improve the availability of existing IOOS core biological variables and identify and prioritize additional cross-cutting biological and ecosystem observation needs. They have closed a survey to federal agencies on existing core biological variable datasets and are now in the process of analyzing results and tailoring outputs for use by the IOOS Program Office and the ocean observing community at large. The team is currently holding calls to develop the workshop format and identify participants. In addition, the team has made significant progress towards completing analysis of the survey results which will feed into a final report to the IOOC that will aim to inform next steps in terms of biological variables.   The team has set a definite time for the meeting of November 5-7, 2014 and is currently discussing a three-day format to be held in person at Ocean Leadership. Significant progress has been made on the development of an agenda for the meeting and a draft of an invite to participants has been created, including a vision for the products that will be developed during the workshop. These products will align closely with the kinds of variable prioritization activities engaged in at similar conferences (e.g. Expert Workshop for the GOOS Biology and Ecosystem, and GOOS Biochemistry Panels).

The Data Management and Communications Steering Team (DMAC ST) was officially restructured at the July Full IOOC Meeting held at Ocean Leadership. The new structure will involve maintaining key DMAC liaisons, but will then bring together smaller acting teams on an ad hoc, project basis, with funding applied as needed. The proposed projects will likely build on the existing management and project structure utilized by the IOOS Program Office for workflow related to the systems integration test. Ocean Leadership Staff are currently working with IOOC members in order to identify and reach out to liaisons to develop a core group and to develop next generation projects for the system integration test. Ideas discussed so far include developing a series of iPython notebooks focused on individual federal agency projects and data needs. Additional ideas include developing educational modules focused on utilizing ocean data in the context of iPython notebooks.

The IOOC held a full Committee meeting at Ocean Leadership on July 28, 2014. At the meeting, the Committee officially stood up the Animal Telemetry Network (ATN) Task Team. This team has been in existence and has a robust membership, but will now be supported by the Committee and by Ocean Leadership Staff. In addition, the Committee heard from the IOOC BOEM representative as part of an ongoing series of presentations from individual agencies on the types of ocean and coastal data with which particular agency missions align. The Committee also discussed FY 2015 Funding opportunities as well as the structure of the Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES), which involves an ecosystem based approach both to the project structure and funding through BOEM.

After working to redesign the IOOC Website, Ocean Leadership staff have taken some initial steps to update materials and the look of the website to better reflect current Committee Activities as well as news items related to interagency ocean and coastal observations and data integration efforts. Staff have also been working on developing improved visualizations to represent ocean and coastal administrative structures. Examples of these efforts can be seen here.

The next full IOOC meeting will be Monday September 22, 2014 at Consortium for Ocean Leadership. The in person BIO TT meeting will be held November 5-7, 2014 at Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

More information about the IOOC can be accessed on the IOOC website, which contains updated information regarding commenting opportunities on committee activities, information on upcoming and past events, and relevant scientific, technical, and policy publications. If you have any additional questions, please send an email to