NFRA News September 2012

National and Regional
Coastal and
Ocean Observing News


NFRA and IOOS News

NFRA has successful meetings in Washington, DC
On Thursday, September 20, representatives of the NFRA Board of Directors spent the day in Washington, DC.  Representatives included NFRA Board Chair, Julie Thomas and NFRA Board members, Ru Morrison, Molly McCammon, Frank Kudrna, Gerhard Kuska and NFRA Executive Director, Josie Quintrell.  NFRA held its first formal meeting with Dr. Jane Lubchenco, the NOAA Administrator.  Dr. Lubchenco started the meeting commenting on the contributions IOOS made during the response to the Gulf Oil Spill and the accomplishments in the Great Lakes addressing harmful algal blooms.  NFRA provided examples of how IOOS is making a difference to regional users in line with NOAA's mission.  It was a productive session and Dr. Lubchenco appreciated hearing the stories about how coastal observations and products are making a difference to people around the country.  

Additional meetings included a briefing with Deerin Bobb-Bratt the Director of the National Ocean Council,  Paul Bradley of the Office of Management and Budget and with the IOOS Program Office.


IOOS Federal Advisory Committee Holds First Meeting
IOOS Advisory Committee members and DFO/staff (Image Credit:
 The newly appointed members of the IOOS Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) met in Washington DC on August 29 and 30th.   Chris Ostrander from PacIOOS, Ann Jochens from GCOOS and Eric Terrill from SCCOOS are members of the FAC that is chaired by Dr. Rick Spinrad from Oregon State University.  Josie Quintrell of NFRA provided brief remarks during the public comment session.  The FAC will be developing recommendations for the first 100 days of the next administration related to IOOS.  The next meeting will be in January in Denver, CO.  For more information, see:


IOOS at MTS/IEEE Oceans 12, Hampton Roads, VA 
IOOS will be highlighted at the upcoming Oceans12 Conference.  In addition to regional and national booths and a technical program featuring over 20 IOOS papers, there will be an IOOS Town Hall and Ignite Session.  US IOOS IGNITE THE CROWD on Tuesday afternoon will have nine high-profile panelists speaking to automatically advancing slides that will highlight the benefits of ocean observations from their various perspectives.  Ignite sessions are designed to be fun and informative with 5-minute presentations of 10-20 slides that advance automatically. The motto of IGNITE is "enlighten us, but make it quick."

US IOOS Town Hall on the Future of Integrated Ocean Observing is a 90-minute panel discussion on the future of ocean observing.  Former NOAA Administrator VADM (ret.) Conrad Lautenbacher will moderate a panel of six distinguished senior leaders from government, academia and industry. The session will address the value and use of ocean observations to the nation from several different perspectives - national security, commerce, protection of lives and livelihoods, ocean and earth science, ecosystem health and others - particularly in the context of the upcoming IOOS Summit Nov 13-16, 2012. The session will begin with a short but dramatic demonstration on collaboration technology for accessing and sharing ocean observations data in a decision-making context.  View all the details about the conference.



IOOS Summit November 13-16, 2012, Herndon, VA  
The IOOS Summit will celebrate the accomplishments of the last decade and chart the path forward for the next decade.  Over 100 community white papers were submitted that are forming the basis for the Summit Proceedings.  A draft of the Proceedings will be reviewed and discussed at the meeting.  Learn more about the Summit.

IOOS Summit
What is in a Name?  NFRA?  IOOS Association?  Regional IOOS?
The National Federation of Regional Associations for Coastal and Ocean Observing is a mouthful.  The NFRA Board has been discussing options for a new name and recently settled on two options: 
IOOS Association.  This would be similar to  other organizations such as the Sea Grant Association.  It would also broaden the organization's mission to encompass the full IOOS enterprise, not just the regional aspects. 
Regional IOOS.  This would retain the focus on regional IOOS and provide a forum for the regions to identify commonalities and to foster coordination. 
We're interested in your thoughts and feedback.  Please contact Josie Quintrell with your thoughts or ideas.
NFRA Welcomes New Program Coordinator
Michelle Hohensee joined NFRA as a part-time program coordinator.  Michelle has an MBA from the University of Colorado and most recently worked as Operations Manager for Save Our Shores in Santa Cruz, CA -  a small non-profit which required her to perform a range of duties from administrative details to policy work.  Michelle will engage in many aspects of NFRA, including web updates, support to the Board, and attending to financial matters as well as other varied tasks required to operate a small non-profit.  Michelle will attend the NFRA Board Meeting November 12th in Washington, DC and looks forward to meeting many NFRA members.

New Website for NFRA
NFRA is developing a new Website and we would like your thoughts about it's appearance, ease of navigation and content.  The site will champion the accomplishments of the regions, provide easy access to the Regional Association websites, serve as a resource for Board and community members, and provide information about upcoming events and activities.  The new site will be easier for staff to update and revise.  Please contact Megan Treml if you are interested in participating in a review of the site.
Regional Spotlights
This section of the newsletter highlights various activities across the regions. 


CaRA Buoys Track Storm (from  

Tropical Storm Isaac passed through the CariCOOS region in late August passing within 90 miles of the south coast of Puerto Rico, bringing strong winds and heavy swells.  CariCOOS data buoy B, located off the south coast of the island, recorded maximum wave heights close to 21 feet and sustained significant wave heights of 12 feet. Wind gusts to 50 mph and sustained winds of about 30 mph were recorded in its passage across the eastern Caribbean on August 23.  The CariCOOS web page experienced a five-fold jump in hit rate.  More than one thousand unique visitors accessed the CariCOOS webpage for up-to-date information on sea conditions during the storm.


SECOORA Scientists in the News

SECOORA members Mitch Roffer, Nick Shay and Robert Weisberg are quoted in recent article:  Hurricane Isaac May Stir Up Oil From BP Spill.


SECOORA Helps Move IOOS Parameter Vocabulary Forward

The Regional Associations and National Data Assembly Centers (DACs) are actively engaged in aggregating and integrating physical, meteorological, biological and geological observations. Recognizing the importance discovery and proper usage of these data in research and other applications, SECOORA allocated funds and resources to move the IOOS Parameter Vocabulary forward. IOOS Parameter Vocabulary V1.0 term names and definitions were reviewed, and were provided unique definitions, units and references. This Vocabulary work was registered on Marine Metadata Interoperability (MMI) Ontology Registry and Repository (ORR) recently as the IOOS Parameter Vocabulary V2.0 (  A paper titled "IOOS Vocabulary and Ontology Strategy for Observed Properties" was submitted for publication in the upcoming Oceans 2012 MTS/IEEE conference proceedings, and accepted for oral presentation at the conference. The paper also outlines the need for the sub-regional, regional, nationals and global ocean observing community engagement to provide input to the on-going activity to move it forward.


GCOOS Responds to Boater Needs
GCOOS Boat AppBoaters on the Gulf of Mexico need quick, ready access to weather and ocean conditions while they are on the water.  Responding to this need, GCOOS has launched a new web-based products that are easily accessed from mobile devices.  Log on to the GCOOS website to find wind forecasts, pop-up window with weather information along with the nautical chart station information and other information. 


CeNCOOS Sets Priorities
On October 24th, the CeNCOOS Governing Council will convene a facilitated working meeting hosted at the Liquid Robotics, Inc. headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. The purpose of this meeting is to advance CeNCOOS' strategic planning efforts . The intended product of the meeting is a compilation of planning process concepts and proposed program priorities to be shared and discussed at a subsequent Council meeting on December 10th.


GLOS welcomes Dr. Marvourenn Dolor
Welcome to Dr. Marvourneen Dolor who has joined the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) as the Program Coordinator for Outreach and Communications. Dr. Dolor's primary role will be to promote iterative communication among GLOS and US and Canadian resource managers, researchers, industry, and NGOs.

Job Opening
AOOS has posted an announcement for a Program Coordinator for Operations & Development.  This full-time position is based in Anchorage and involves working with the AOOS Executive Director and staff to develop major elements of the AOOS vision and plans, with a focus on observing and modeling system components.  View the details.
About NFRA
NFRA is a non-profit organization formed by the Regional Associations for Coastal and Ocean Observing in support of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). 


The NFRA mission is to:

  • Develop Regional Associations for coastal and ocean observing to deliver scientific data and information on the nation's oceans;
  • Promote the integration and coordination the regional systems into a integrated national system to enhance observational and predictive abilities in ocean science;
  • Develop regional programs through capacity building, exchange of technical information, and sharing of facilities and infrastructure; and
  • Educate the public about ocean observing and its importance to the nation.

Please contact Josie Quintrell, NFRA Director, for more information.

Upcoming Events


PacIOOS Council Meeting

October 16-17, 2012

Honolulu, HI


MARACOOS Annual Meeting

November 1-2, 2012

Baltimore, MD



October 14-19, 2012
Hampton Roads, VA


NFRA Board Meeting

November 12, 2012

Herndon, VA


IOOS Summit

November 13-16, 2012

Herndon, VA


SECOORA Board Meeting

December 5-6

Atlanta, GA