December 2012

National and Regional
Coastal and
Ocean Observing News


NFRA and IOOS News

NFRA Changes Its Name!
The NFRA Board of Directors voted to change the organization's name to the IOOS Association on November 12th.  This more inclusive name reflects the connectivity between the regions and the federal components. We will be rolling out a new web site and logos in the coming months. 
2012 IOOS Summit a Success
Over 200 representatives from the global, national and regional components of IOOS gathered at Dulles Hyatt on Nov 13-16 to celebrate the first decade of IOOS and to chart the course for the next 10 years.   The Summit focused on reviewing the draft chapters of the report and developing specific implementation recommendations.   The reports are still be finalized and will be made available on the IOOS Summit website   A more detailed update will be coming shortly.
IOOS at MTS/IEEE Oceans 12, Hampton Roads, VA 
MTS hosted several IOOS sessions. Many IOOS Regional Associations gave papers in IOOS technical track. The IOOS Town Hall discussed options for ensuring the success of IOOS in the future. One of the most interesting and unique sessions was the IOOS IGNITE. The IGNITE session featured 10 speakers who spoke for 5 minutes with 20 slides that advanced automatically. The topics included inundation, ocean acidification, gliders, the maritime transportation system and more. The talks were fun, informative and very well received. You can view many pictures from the conference on the Facebook page. 

The IOOS Booth at Oceans 2012. Pictured from left to right are Peter Moore (MARACOOS), Gerhard Kuska (MARACOOS), Vembu Subramanian (SECOORA), Ray Toll (Oceans12 Chair), Josie Quintrell (NFRA), Ru Morrison (NERACOOS), and Jennie Lyons (US IOOS)

Image Source:  Oceans2012 Facebook Page

Congratulations Nancy Rabalais
We would like to congratulate Dr. Nancy Rabalais, Executive Director and Professor at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium on receiving a 2012 MacArthur Genius Award! Since the mid-1980s, she has led a long-term monitoring program to study the occurrence of dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and analyzed the relationship between the extent of hypoxia and the increase of nutrients flowing into the Gulf from the Mississippi River watershed. Nancy has been a long time supporter of IOOS, is a GCOOS Board member and has served on the NFRA Board. This award from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named her one of the 23 recipients of this year's MacArthur Fellowships. She will receive $50,000 over the next five years for her work on studying the ocean "dead zones" that occur in the Gulf of Mexico and other coastal systems.

Feature Article: IOOS, NANOOS and SECOORA DMAC Project Advancing IOOS International Partnerships

The U.S. IOOS Program Office, NANOOS (IOOS Northwest) and SECOORA (IOOS Southeast) have collaborated with the European Environment Agency (EEA) and ESRI to develop a pilot presentation of IOOS data subsets on the EyeOnEarth online platform developed by EEA (
Originally developed with a European scope, EyeOnEarth was later expanded beyond Europe and is described as a "global public information network for creating and sharing environmentally relevant data and information online through interactive map-based visualisations. The overall goal is to improve the environment by sharing information and knowledge." This pilot provides an international audience enhanced access to U.S. data and information on marine and coastal environmental conditions. The IOOS Program Office is leading the overall project and provided support for NANOOS and SECOORA to lead the technical design and implementation components. As the NOAA Principal to the US Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and US Representative to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) Coastal Regional Alliances, U.S. IOOS Program Office Director Zdenka Willis presented on the project at the international GEO-IX Plenary Session on Nov. 22-23, 2012.


Figure 1. NANOOS asset KML pop-up window, shown on ArcGIS Online. The SECOORA and NANOOS pop-up presentation layout, format and content elements are identical and use common templates and resources.
The EyeOnEarth platform is built on top of the ESRI ArcGIS Online ( and Microsoft platforms. Early in the project discussions with EEA and other partners, the team agreed to focus on a common IOOS presentation of the latest observations for a limited subset of IOOS data: specifically, data for water levels and near-surface water temperature and salinity, from the SECOORA and NANOOS regions. SECOORA and NANOOS collaboratively developed a common KML template for the data presentation, sharing code and resources throughout the project. Each of the two RA's generated an RA-specific KML file from its own DMAC system, using common asset icons and content layout and formatting, with links and acknowledgments to IOOS, the RA, and the original data provider (Fig. 1). These two KML's are merged in ArcGIS Online into a single presentation (Fig. 2), which are ingested in an EyeOnEarth application hosted by EEA.
Figure 2. In-situ observational assets from the NANOOS and SECOORA regions, presented  on ArcGIS Online using common asset-type icons.
The IOOS Program Office will assess an extension of this demonstration project to all IOOS data services adhering to DMAC standards. This collaborative project has demonstrated the strength of partnerships between the IOOS Program Office and RA's, even in advancing international collaborations. For more information, contact Rob Ragsdale (IOOS), Emilio Mayorga or Jan Newton (NANOOS), and Dan Ramage or Dwayne Porter (SECOORA).  Check out the
application at
Regional Spotlights
This section of the newsletter highlights various activities across the regions. 


GLOS (IOOS Great Lakes) Project to support Great Lakes Regional Priorities  The Council of Great Lakes Governors (CGLG) and GLOS have begun work on a project focused on the regional implementation of the National Ocean Policy priorities. This will be achieved through the advancement of the foundational Great Lakes physical data related to quantity, flow, and lake levels, which will in turn support the five-year cumulative impact assessment under the Great Lakes St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and Agreement, as well as other adaptive management efforts over time. For more information, contact Jen Read at or Dave Naftzger at


PacIOOS (IOOS Pacific) News


Image Source: PacIOOS Web Site


  • PacIOOS released a new data visualization and exploration tool, the Voyager (  
  • The PacIOOS Governing Council convened for a 2-day meeting in Honolulu, October 16-17th.  Jen Rhoades from the IOOS Office attended. 
  • Three new Waverider buoys were deployed:  Saipan, Guam and Kaneohe Bay (Oahu). 
  • The Hawaiian Islands prepared for a potential tsunami on October 27th.  View sample data from assets in the region during the event from the PacIOOS Voyager.

West Coast Ocean Observing Systems West Coast Governors Alliance on Ocean Health (WCGA) MOU

The West Coast Ocean Observing Systems (SCCOOS, CeNCOOS and NANOOS) and the West Coast Governors Alliance on Ocean Health (WCGA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2012 to advance the effective management of coastal and ocean resources on the West Coast.  The MOU, signed by the state governments of California, Oregon and Washington and by the directors of SCCOOS, CeNCOOS and NANOOS, provides a formal mechanism for ensuring that the organizations' collaborative efforts are responsive to the comprehensive West Coast stakeholder community and incorporate the best available ocean observation-based information.  Learn more.


SECOORA (IOOS Southeast) Educates the Public About HF Radar

On October 26th, 2012, George Voulgaris (University of South Carolina) presented at an IOOS/SECOORA supported High Frequency Radar (HFR) station located in Georgetown, SC to the DeBordieu Colony Community Association.  The presentation was to inform community members about the mission of IOOS and SECOORA and to explain the HF Radar system, data collection and its use and value to the community. Voulgaris also discussed the utilization of these type of data for creating climatologies and for providing the information required by coastal communities in addressing smaller scale problems like coastal erosion. The Georgetown HFR station is on the Baruch W. Belle Foundation property located adjacent to Debordieu Colony. Residents and management of the community have been very helpful in providing access to the site and individual residents have occasionally provided invaluable assistance in troubleshooting operational problems on site.

SECOORA Member George Voulgaris speaks to members of the
DeBordieu Colony Community Association.


The Beginnings of an Animal Tagging Network for Alaska 

Image Source: AOOS Web Site
We can learn a lot from animals, and AOOS is looking at adding animal telemetry observations into the AOOS data system. Focusing first on marine mammals, telemetry was initially used for studies of individual species. The data gathered, however, also samples the marine environment - so making this data more accessible can lead to greater ecosystem understanding. Because an animal's location can be related to oceanographic parameters (such as currents and up-welling zones or patches of ice), marine mammals can be another type of mobile "sensor". As has been demonstrated in other marine systems, we expect to gain insights into animal migration, distribution and interactions with their environment, and, ultimately greater use of marine mammals as mobile platforms for oceanographic studies. This approach could be especially useful in the ice-dominated Arctic where the vast scale, remoteness and extreme conditions often limit sampling. A steering committee is now designing a workshop to be held in spring 2013. 
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


RA/IOOS Spring Meeting

March 6-8, 2013

Washington, D.C.