Program Update: Interagency Ocean Observation Committee – September 2014

2016-06-28T19:29:34+00:00 October 2, 2014|


The Interagency Ocean Observation Committee (IOOC) Modeling Task Team met on June 18th 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. Significant progress has been made in terms of outlining the content for the final strategy, developing an approach to collecting and maintaining information on current modeling activities at the federal and regional scales, and developing a vision statement for the strategy as a whole.

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. The team has set a tentative time for the meeting of November 4-6, 2014 and is currently discussing a three-day format to be held in person at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. Drafts of the agenda, read-aheads, and a full draft of the survey outcomes, including figures, have been completed and are in revision processes. Outcomes of the workshop will include a list of next generation, prioritized biological variables that will help inform the IOOS PO about needs in the context of both federal agencies and the overall IOOS community. 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 presented an update on IOOS Systems Integration test outcomes and tools at the September 22, 2014 IOOC meeting and 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. Discussion during the September IOOC meeting centered around better quantifying the outcomes of the Systems Integration Test to help inform next steps for the Committee.

The IOOC held a full Committee meeting at Ocean Leadership on September 22, 2014. At the meeting, H. Dean presented on IOOS Systems Integration Test outcomes and updated the Committee members on the BIO TT outcomes and products. E. Lindstrom, the NASA representative on the Committee, provided an overview of ocean observing activities at NASA. J. Quintrell provided an update on regional IOOS meetings and retreats that have helped to socialize information and approaches across the regions in terms or organizational structures and tactics.

Ocean Leadership staff continues to update and improve content on the IOOC website, such as updating federal presentations and maintaining an up-to-date news feed on interagency, international, and national ocean observing activities. In addition, Ocean Leadership staff has started to support the TPOS 2020 activities in coordination with A. McCurdy. This has included developing and structuring a website hosted by Ocean Leadership, developing content, developing file organizational structure and visualizations for the website, attending webinars and providing notes, and helping to develop a logo for the project to brand ongoing work products. The TPOS2020 website is still under construction, but is complete in terms of structure and Ocean Leadership staff has made significant progress towards developing and posting appropriate content.

Upcoming Meetings:

  • The in person BIO TT meeting will be held November 4-6, 2014 at Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
  • The next full IOOC meeting will be Monday November 24, 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 questions, please visit the committee’s website or send an email to