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January 2009 SECOORA Newsletter

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Spotlight * SECOORA * Subregional * National

Spotlight: A Message from the Executive Director ::: SPOTLIGHT: Global Ocean Observing System :::  Board of Directors Meeting ::: Membership Meeting ::: Data Management ::: BOB Workshop :::  NOAA Comments on SECOORA Efforts ::: News To Contribute?


 SPOTLIGHT: A Message from the Executive Director

Happy 2009 and I hope you are all refreshed from a relaxed holiday and looking forward to the start of the new year! This year promises to be one of change, and hopefully opportunity for the SECOORA family. I'm am very excited to be settled in and looking forward to my first Board meeting as the SECOORA Executive Director. The last several weeks have been very hectic; full of meetings, conference calls, briefings and document reviews all geared toward learning as much as I can as fast as I can so that 2009 can be the most productive and successful year yet for SECOORA. I have been doing my best to get out in the region (and SECOORA is a big region!) to meet with as many of you as possible, so if you haven't seen me yet, expect to hear from me soon.

Improved communication is a priority for SECOORA this year. Transparency, openness and inclusiveness are the values that serve as the foundation of our communication efforts. Jennifer Dorton, Susannah Sheldon, Sam Walker and I will be working with our Program and Policy committee chairs to develop workplans for the year that include engaging our stakeholders and regional experts. I am actively looking for suggestions to improve communication and collaboration in our region. If you have ideas for improving communication, thoughts about the website or news and information you would like to pass along, please contact me. I welcome input from all sectors and look forward to working with as many of you as possible during the coming year. I can be reached at or 843.906.8686.


 SPOTLIGHT: Global Ocean Observing System

The December issue of SOUTHWINDS Magazine contains an article highlighting the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and related efforts of SECOORA members and partners. GOOS is the oceanographic component of the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS). To read more, follow the link to the current issue of SOUTHWINDS Magazine.



 January Board of Directors Meeting – The Board of Directors will hold a meeting on January 20th, 2009 in Tampa, FL. The venue is the Embassy Suites Tampa-Airport/Westshore.  With the exception of Executive sessions, Board meetings are open to all members. 

 May Membership Meeting – The dates for the meeting have changed to May 12-14, 2009, location to be determined.

 SECOORA Data Management Efforts – The Ocean Data Partnership Information Management Coordinator (ODP IMC) has maintained consistent communications between the Data Management Coordinating Committee (DMCC) and the DMAC-ODP Program Committee. In addition the IMC has overseen the implementation of the technical requirements process for decision-making related to data management issues within the RA. The second annual DMCC meeting was held 10-11 December in Georgetown, SC to address ongoing and future technical data and information management operations. The ODP has continued engaging existing and prospective regional data providers/stakeholders through a series of on-site visits and attendance at several conferences (e.g., NFRA/IOOS; Regional Modeling Testbed Workshop; Ocean Innovation, etc.)). New data partners and resources have been identified at NOAA-AOML, the Georgia Coastal Research Council, NOAA-CCEHBR, USGS, FWRI, Florida Atlantic University, University of North Florida, and via Sea Grant’s Long Bay Focus Group. SECOORA staff have continued to work with with counterparts in other RAs (including GoMOOS, MACOORA, GCOOS, and CaRA) to address national-level data integration/standardization issues, and has been participating on the IOOS Common Identity Working Group, and serves on the IOOS DIF Regional Implementation Working Group. Several smaller groups have been established within the Data Management realm as well, including the Data Hub Architecture, Web Support, and Portal working groups. SECOORA has developed a current asset inventory and it progressing with work on other inventory-based products (e.g., hardware/software assets; data archives) that will serve to promote operational aspects of the RA.

 BOB Workshop – SECOORA and partner COSEE-Southeast are pleased to announce a collaborative workshop to demonstrate Basic Observation Buoy (BOB) construction and deployment. The workshop promotes and extends coastal ocean observing information, technology and societal benefits using a scaled down, but operational, Basic Observation Buoy (BOB)--a floating buoy anchored to the bottom, or FLO (Fixed Local Observations)--a device fixed to a piling or dock structure. The workshop will be held at Skidaway Institute of Oceanography from January 29-30, 2009.



 RAs Receive NOAA Feedback – In April, SECOORA representatives briefed Zdenka Willis, Director of the NOAA IOOS Program Office, at a meeting held in conjunction with the Gulf Coast and Caribbean Regional Associations. A follow-up letter in November provided feedback to SECOORA's Chair, Mr. Richard DeVoe. Director Willis made several key point in her communication:

  • There is concern that IOOS activities in the Southeast region are not well-coordinated through the Regional Association. She encouraged cross-regional collaboration, sharing best practices and expertise with regional partners, and building off existing efforts in the region.
  • The Regional Association was commended for efforts to connect with the NOAA Southeast and Gulf Coast Regional Collaboration Teams, and was encouraged continued coordination with NOAA's regional teams.
  • In particular, it was noted that the transition of Carolinas Coast to the Southeast National Weather Service Portal is a good example of a product developed by a region to meet user needs and make them available in venues that users routinely utilize.

A summary of findings from all of the regional assessments will be made available upon completion, and detailed input provided by each RA in PowerPoint is available on the NOAA IOOS website.


 News to Contribute? – The SECOORA newsletter is published in the middle of each month and focuses on regional, subregional, and national ocean observation topics, events, and success stories. Please email your comments or suggested new items to SECOORA's Program Coordinator, Susannah Sheldon, by the tenth day of each month.

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