Coordinated Regional Benefit Studies of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems

Lead PI: Dr. Hauke L. Kite-Powell

The Marine Policy Center at WHOI, working with academic and private sector economists in major US coastal regions, is conducting a set of coordinated regional studies to assess the expected economic benefits of sustained, improved coastal ocean observing systems. To ensure that results from regional studies can be compared and aggregated to national levels, these studies will be based on a common set of assumptions and economic methodologies. The study will first produce for each region an “inventory” ocean observation user sectors, including information about the physical and economic scale of their activities, how products from improved ocean observation might be incorporated into their decisions, and a rough estimate of the potential value of improved decisions. Once the inventories are complete, investigators will select sectors with significant expected benefits for more detailed analysis. The final product will be a set of internally consistent inventories that together cover the major uses of ocean observing information for the nation as a whole, plus a set of region-and sector-specific studies that quantify likely benefits and costs in some detail and permit more reliable estimates of quantitative benefits for ocean observation at the regional and national scales.

Number of Years: 2

Partners:

  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of South Florida
  • Louisiana State University
  • University of Wyoming
  • K. Wellman
  • Delta Research Inc.
  • University of Southern Maine

FY 2002 PI Report
FY 2003 PI Report
FY 2004 PI Report


Operational Utilization of High Resolution Ocean Surface Wind Vectors (25km or better) in Marine Forecasting and High Resolution Regional NWP Models.

Lead PI: Dr. Paul S. Chang

This project seeks to further exploit currently and soon to be available satellite ocean surface vector wind data in the operational weather forecasting environment in order to build upon an ongoing effort to quantify the impacts of QuikSCAT ocean vector wind data in the operational short-term warnings and forecasts issued by the NWS Marine Prediction Center (MPC). This effort aims to operationally generate and distribute a gridded wind vector analysis and forecast product out of the MPC to end user participants (US Coast Guard and OCENS Inc.) who will provide feedback on the product impacts and utility. The project will also assimilate the highest resolution satellite ocean vector wind data available into the NWS Environmental Modeling Center’s regional ETA model. In addition to evaluating the data impacts on the ETA forecasting skill, these forecasts will be provided operationally to MPC to be used as guidance in generating the gridded wind field products for distribution, and will also seek to investigate improvements to the currently available standard wind vector product that will yield positive impacts in its operational utilization. In particular, ambiguity removal processing and quality flagging improvements in adverse weather conditions will be studied along with the potential of retrieving higher resolution (< 25km) wind vector products. Additionally, the launch of WindSat in January 2003 will represent the first polarimetric radiometer in space designed for retrieval of the ocean surface wind vector. After WindSat’s calibration/validation period, the ocean vector wind data retrieved from it will be compared and integrated with the scatterometer wind vector products. Attempts will also be made to improve the spatial resolution of WindSat products where it is feasible.

Number of Years: 3

Partners:

  • NOAA-NESDIS-Office of Research and Applications
  • NOAA-NWS-NCEP-Marine Prediction Center
  • NOAA-NWS-NCEP-Environmental Prediction Center
  • Brigham Young University
  • Naval Research Laboratory
  • OCENS

FY 2002 PI Report
FY 2004 PI Report
FY 2005 PI Report
FY 2006 PI Report


Developing Gene-Based Remote Detection

Lead PI: Dr. Kelly Goodwin

This project aims to develop remote, gene-based detection for species-specific identification of organisms. Remote, in situ sensing is a valuable oceanographic tool that can be used to monitor coastal water quality and understand basic ecological processes, such as plankton population dynamics, organism monitoring, and coral reef health. However, the utility of remote sensing has been constrained by the need for species-specific information, which has continued to require shipboard collection and intensive manual processing of samples. This project aims to apply advances in biotechnology to address the critical need for species-specific remote sensing. This funding request covers Phase I of the study, which focuses on two components critical to biosensor development — remote extraction of DNA and direct electrical DNA detection without using PCR amplification.

Number of Years: 2

Partners:

  • Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies
  • NOAA-AOML
  • University of Miami

FY 2004 PI Report


Multi-disciplinary Ocean Sensors for Environmental Analyses and Networks (MOSEAN)

Lead PI: Dr. Tommy D. Dickey

The Multi-disciplinary Ocean Sensors for Environmental Analyses and Networks (MOSEAN) project addresses the need for increased observations that are essential for solving a set of diverse interdisciplinary problems of societal importance. These include: biogeochemical cycling, climate change effects, ocean pollution, harmful algal blooms, ocean ecology, and underwater visibility. The new MOSEAN interdisciplinary sensor suites will be capable of measuring key chemical and biological/bio-optical variables to complement physical data suites on time scales as short as minutes and space scales down to a meter. The sensors will be designed for interfacing to a variety of autonomous sampling platforms and for real-time or near real-time data telemetry. The first phase of the effort will focus on development and testing of proto-type sensors utilizing four testbed moorings: nearshore (Santa Barbara Channel), coastal (Monterey Bay), open ocean Atlantic (off Bermuda), and open ocean Pacific (off Hawaii). The second phase will also include interfacing and testing of sensors that will be integrated with autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and other autonomous sampling platforms. The project will involve broad participation of the oceanographic community. It will include multi-platform, multi-disciplinary, real-time sampling at four sites and initiate efforts toward synthesis and predictive modeling of 4-dimensional interdisciplinary data sets.

Number of Years: 5

Partners:

  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • NOAA-AOML
  • Bermuda Biological Station for Research
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
  • NOAA-PMEL
  • University of Hawaii
  • University of South Florida
  • WETLabs

FY 2002 PI Report
FY 2004 PI Report
FY 2005 PI Report
FY 2006 PI Report
FY 2007 PI Report


The Environmental Sample Processor (ESP): A Device for Detecting Microorganisms In Situ Using Molecular Probe Technology

Lead PI: Dr. Christopher A. Scholin

Molecular probes are extremely useful tools for identifying water borne microorganisms and the substances they produce, even when those targets are very dilute and embedded in a taxonomically complex and organic-rich matrix. Application of such technology outside of a laboratory poses many technological challenges, particularly if unattended, real-time synoptic analysis of multiple locations for extended periods of time is desired. The Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) is a novel instrument developed in an effort to overcome these challenges. The ESP collects discrete water samples, concentrates microorganisms and automates application of DNA (or other) molecular probes to enable identification and quantification of particular species captured. The instrument transmits results of DNA probe array-based assays in real-time to a shore-based location for processing, interpretation and dissemination. In addition, the ESP archives discrete samples for nucleic acid, microscopic and toxin analyses for verifying real-time data from the probe arrays as well as facilitating discovery-based analyses in the laboratory. This proposal seeks funds to enhance this on-going instrument development program by constructing and deploying a suite of second generation, internet-accessible ESPs, and by developing real-time toxin detection capabilities. Identification of specific nuisance, harmful or toxic algal species that pose widespread economic concerns and/or are known to negatively impact the health of humans and wildlife is emphasized. Field tests of the ESP will take place in Monterey Bay, California.

Number of Years: 3

Partners:

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
  • NOAA-NOA

FY 2004 PI Report
FY 2005 PI Report
FY 2006 PI Report


Accelerating Electronic Tag Development to Track Free-Ranging Marine Animals at Sea

Lead PIs: Dr. Barbara Block, Stanford University and Dr. Daniel Costa, University of California Santa Cruz

The objective of this proposal is to complete the development and testing of archival and satellite tags for the Tagging of Pacific Pelagics (TOPP) pilot program of the Census of Marine Life (CoML). TOPP will use electronic tags to describe patterns of movement and behavior of marine vertebrates and large squid in the North Pacific. Electronic Tags will provide this program with the tools necessary to address fundamental questions in biological oceanography concerning the distribution, behavior and critical habitats of pelagic organisms. Tag-bearing animals have been used as autonomous ocean profilers to provide oceanographic data in key ocean regions. When the biological and physical data are merged a new understanding of the relationship between the movements and behaviors of marine organisms and oceanographic processes is apparent. The new animal-collected oceanic data will complement more traditional methodologies for assimilation into oceanographic models. This proposal is specifically aimed at completing the testing of existing tags as well as developing new gas and sensor technologies. This grant will provide funds to beta test two novel electronic tags, a CTD tag that will improve oceanographic sampling and GPS archival data logger. We propose to improve the precision of geolocations and temperature measurements and thus define our data sets with finer temporal and spatial resolution as well as accuracy. The temporal and spatial data generated by this project will provide an “organism-eye” view and detailed understanding of how marine animals from several trophic levels use distinct oceanic regions in the eastern Pacific. TOPP will develop the tools and the conceptual framework necessary for using electronic tags by other CoML programs in other ocean basins.

Number of Years: 3

Partners:

  • Stanford University
  • University of California Santa Cruz
  • Oregon State University
  • University of St. Andrews
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Wildtrack Telemetry Systems
  • Wildlife Computers
  • Lotek
  • National Marine Fisheries Service

FY 2003 PI Report
FY 2004 PI Report
FY 2006 PI Report

For more information on this project, click here.


Digital Archival of Marine Mammal/Bird/Turtle Data for OBIS

Lead PI: Dr. Andrew Read, Duke University

As part of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), we will create a digital database of marine mammal, seabird, and sea turtle distribution and abundance, and develop a web-based system to allow the interactive display, query, and analysis of this database in conjunction with environmental data. Our intended audience includes educators, students and researchers, so we will provide a wide variety of products on the web. We will create data summaries including species range maps and descriptions available through an interactive outreach component. Additionally, the web-based data query tools and explicit documentation of survey methods will enhance the potential for research applications of this database. These products will augment our understanding of the distribution and ecology of marine mammal, bird and turtle populations by: (1) facilitating study of potential impacts on threatened species; (2) enhancing our ability to test hypothesis about biogeographic and biodiversity models; and (3) supporting modeling efforts to predict distributional changes in response to environmental change. The major strengths of this proposal are our demonstrated ability to address temporal and spatial variation of the distribution of upper trophic level organisms with large, complex datasets, and integration of rigorous scientific research with a strong public outreach component.

Number of Years: 3

Partners:

  • Duke University
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of Washington
  • Sir Alistair Hardy
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • College of the Atlantic
  • St. Andrews University
  • British Antarctic Survey
  • NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Fisheries Science Center
  • Cascadia Research Collective
  • Clymene Enterprises
  • E.S.R.I.
  • Systems Science Applications

FY 2003 PI Report
FY 2004 PI Report


A Prototype System for Improving Satellite-Derived Sea Surface Temperature Through Enhanced In Situ Validation Measurements

Lead PI: Dr. Andrew T. Jessup and Dr. William J. Emery

The pilot project will demonstrate the degree to which the accuracy of satellite retrievals of SST can be improved through the availability of regular, widespread in situ measurements of the oceanic radiometric skin temperature. The activity will consist of in situ measurements and operational applications. In the field, we will collect coincident in situ skin and bulk SST measurements with high accuracy on a continuous basis from a geographically and environmentally diverse set of conditions. These measurements will be made initially using existing radiometers on research vessels. We will also develop and deploy a new radiometer to operate on merchant ships of opportunity with no involvement of the vessel crews. Coincident with the radiometric measurements, we will make environmental measurements for use in developing relationships between skin and bulk SST. These measurements will be integrated into an operational system to form real-time matchups with satellite measurements. Algorithms for the retrieval of skin and bulk SST from satellite data will be developed and evaluated based on the in situ measurements. The resulting SST products will be used by project partners to evaluate the impact of coincident skin and bulk SST products when assimilated into operational atmospheric and oceanographic forecast models.

Number of Years: 3

Partners:

  • Applied Physics Laboratory – University of Washington
  • University of Colorado
  • NOAA Environmental Technology Laboratory
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • NAVOCEANO
  • Naval Research Laboratory Monterey
  • NOAA National Coastal Data Center
  • University of Maryland
  • United States Coast Guard
  • Heitronics Germany Corporation
  • Wintronics USA Corporation

POSITIV: Prototype Operational System – ISAR – Temperature Implementation for the VOS Fleet

Lead PI: Dr. Peter J. Minnett

A set of high-accuracy infrared radiometers, and supporting sensors, will be integrated into an existing network of ships undertaking long-duration cruises to demonstrate the ability of VOS vessels to make accurate skin sea-surface temperature (SST) measurements, in addition to bulk SSTs, on an operational basis. The data will be transmitted in near real-time for inclusion in weather forecast models. The accuracy of the measurements will be assured by using the NIST-traceable calibration facilities at RSMAS, and by periodic co-deployments with the M-AERI. The skin SST measurements will be used to validate the SST retrievals from a wide range of spacecraft radiometers, thereby establishing the accuracy of these space-based measurements for use in operational forecasting. The consequences of using skin SST instead of the more conventional bulk SSTs will be demonstrated in several operational environments. The influence of removing the effects of unresolved near-surface vertical temperature gradients, implicit in bulk SST measurements, by using skin SST fields, derived from the satellite data, on estimates of air-sea heat fluxes will be explored in the operational and research environments, using coupled atmospheric models in forecast and research modes.

Number of Years: 3

Partners:

  • University of Miami
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Remote Sensing Systems
  • Royal Caribbean International
  • International SeaKeepers Society
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • NOAA-NESDIS
  • NAVOCEANO
  • United States Coast Guard
  • Joint Research Centre, Italy
  • Southampton Oceanography Centre, UK
  • Meteorological Office, UK
  • Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK
  • University of Leicester, UK
  • Brittany Ferries, UK
  • Wallenius-Wilhelmsen Lines, Sweden

FY 2004 PI Report
FY 2005 PI Report
FY 2006 PI Report


Incorporation of Sensors into Autonomous Gliders for 4-D Measurement of Bio-Optical and Chemical Parameters

Lead PI: Dr. Mary Jane Perry, University of Maine

Oceanographers would like a detailed, 4-D view of the ocean. Moorings and ships cannot provide it. Conventional autonomous underwater vehicles might, but are too expensive and too limited in duration and range. We have developed and deployed Seaglider, a small (1.8 m, 52 kg) underwater glider that moves horizontally and vertically using buoyancy and wings. It can perform several hundred dive cycles to 1000 m depth per mission, report data in real time via Iridium satellite telemetry, and accept control commands from shore. Under current NOPP support, we have developed and expanded Seaglider’s capabilities to measure dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll fluorescence, and optical backscatter at two wavelengths in addition to physical parameters. We did this by developing small, hydrodynamically unobtrusive, low power sensors and incorporating them in our small glider fleet. Our partnership seeks to extend Seaglider’s capabilities by building on the newly developed NOPP sensors to provide measurement capability for additional optical properties; augmenting the interpretation of the optical signals; extending Seaglider’s range by as much as 75%; and demonstrating the capability of a squadron of Seagliders in an offshore environment.

Number of Years: 2

Partners:

  • University of Washington
  • University of Maine
  • Wet Labs, Inc.
  • Washington Department of Ecology

A Proposal to Assess and Expand the COOL Classroom: A Web Site to Bring Real-time Data from the Long-term Ecosystem Observatory (LEO) to 6-12 Grade Classrooms

Lead PI: Mr. Michael P. De Luca

With past NOPP support, a series of web-based, hands-on lesson plans were developed by an interdisciplinary team of scientists and K-12 educators (see www.coolclassroom.org). Lesson plans or educational modules were designed to capitalize on the cutting edge technology and real-time data streams available from the Long-term Ecosystem Observatory (LEO-15) operated by Rutgers University to develop critical thinking and analytical skills among middle and high school students. This proposal seeks continued support to address four key educational needs identified by the educators and scientists that participated in the previous NOPP effort. These are: 1) implementation of a regional scale classroom pilot of the COOL Classroom site in selected middle and high schools, 2) development of an additional Internet module that capitalizes on an innovatice research effort to understand the population dynamics of economically important fish species with expansion of biological sampling at the LEO-15 underwater observatory, 3) enhancements to the COOL Classroom site based on a beta pilot, and 4) continued evaluation of web-based learning by teachers and students. Significant co-funding from NOPP partners (including Rutgers Marine and Coastal Sciences, the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, Mid-Atlantic Bight National Undersea Research Center, Center for Improved Engineering and Science (CIESE) at Stevens Institute of Technology, and the Center for Advanced Information Processing at Rutgers (CAIP) will be provided for all four tasks.

Number of Years: 2

Partners:

  • Rutgers University
  • National Estuarine Research Reserves
  • National Undersea Research Center
  • CIESE at Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Cooperative Marine Education and Research Program
  • Virginia Institute of Marine Science
  • American Meteorological Society
  • U.S. Naval Academy
  • National Science Teachers Association
  • Principals Center for the Garden State
  • Mid-Atlantic Eisenhower Consortium
  • Lawrence Hall of Science
  • Ocean Life Center
  • WordCraft, Inc.
  • Tuckerton Seaport

FY 2002 PI Report


The BRIDGE

Lead PI: Ms. Frances Lee Larkin

The BRIDGE is a novel, web-based research center and clearinghouse that brings together marine educators, academia, the private sector, and government in support of quality ocean education. The BRIDGE provides educators with a comprehensive source of accurate and useful information on global, national, and regional marine science topics, and provides researchers with a contact point for their educational efforts. Project partners, the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA), the National Sea Grant Program (NSGP), the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (VIMS), and the proposed Central Coordinating Office (CCO) of NSF’s Centers of Ocean Science Excellence in Education (COSEE), together with a network of ocean science websites, bring to the BRIDGE a national presence and collaborative infrastructure in ocean education, a suite of complementary resources, and ready access to current scientific and educational information and to the nation’s teachers.

Number of Years: 1

Partners:

  • Virginia Sea Grant
  • Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences
  • National Marine Educators Association
  • COSEE Central Coordinating Office
  • National Sea Grant Program
  • Sea Grant National Education Network

FY 2002 PI Report