New Committee Will Advise Federal Leaders on Integrating Ocean Observation Systems

August 21, 2012 - via NOAA

A new committee to advise federal leaders on integrating the nation’s ocean observing systems  that collect and deliver ocean information will meet for the first time later this month in Washington. The meeting will be open to the public.

The U.S. ntegrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Federal Advisory Committee was created to evaluate scientific and technical information related to design, operation, maintenance and use of IOOS including how to improve it in the future. The committee will provide its expert advice to Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, as well as to the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee, a separate group comprised of federal agency partners who collectively oversee IOOS development.

IOOS is a federal, regional and private-sector partnership working to enhance the nation’s ability to collect, deliver and use ocean information. IOOS delivers data and information needed to increase understanding of our oceans and coasts, so that decision-makers can act to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect our environment.

“Everyone relies on ocean and coastal data and information, whether they realize it or not,” said Richard Spinrad, Ph.D., chair of the committee and vice president for research at Oregon State University. “These data inform daily weather reports, ensure national and homeland security, help us determine if seafood is safe, and guide cargo ships loaded with goods we will buy at the store. Leading this committee is an important and exciting task to take on.”

Lubchenco appointed 13 inaugural members to the committee who were chosen to represent diverse areas of expertise across different sectors and geographic regions. “This committee is made up of some of the best minds from all sectors in the field of ocean observations and with the committee’s energy we’ll take a major step forward to increasing access to and improving the way our nation does business in regards to ocean observations,” said Zdenka Willis, U.S. IOOS program director, who serves as the committee’s designated federal officer. “I’m really looking forward to working with this group to serve the nation and improve citizen safety, the economy, and environment.”

Committee members:
●          Rick Spinrad – Oregon State University, former NOAA assistant administrator for National Ocean Service and assistant administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (committee chair)
●          C.J. Beegle-Krause – Environmental Research for Decision
●          Terence Browne – Collins Engineers, Inc.
●          Tom Gulbransen – Battelle Memorial Institute
●          Ann Jochens – Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System
●          Val Klump – Great Lakes WATER (Wisconsin Aquatic Technology and Environmental Research) Institute, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
●          Lynn Leonard – University of North Carolina at Wilmington
●          Justin Manley – Teledyne Benthos, Inc.
●          LaVerne Ragster – University of the Virgin Islands
●          Tony MacDonald – Urban Coast Institute at Monmouth University
●          Chris Ostrander – Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System
●          Emily Pidegon – Conservation International
●          Eric Terrill – Scripps Institution of Oceanography

NOAA established the committee in July as outlined by the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act. For more information on the group and the upcoming meeting on August 29 and  30, visit

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