Newsletter September 2014

CeNCOOS Fall 2014 Newsletter

Sep 15, 2014

Program Updates
Call for Expressions of Interest

We are pleased to announce the annual CeNCOOS call for expressions of interest.  CeNCOOS is issuing this call in order to develop and maintain a portfolio of projects of interest to member organizations and other stakeholders.

We encourage anyone who wishes to work with CeNCOOS to submit an EOI.  EOI may be submitted by past, present and prospective data and/or information providers and users.  Those who submitted last year and were unfunded are encouraged to re-submit if they are still interested in working with CeNCOOS.  This call is of particular importance as we will begin preparations in early 2015 for drafting our next 5-year IOOS funding proposal.  We will be going through an extensive scoping process for that proposal, but the first step will be assessing our received EOIs.

Full details on submission requirements and evaluation criteria can be found here:

If you have questions regarding this call, please direct them to
Voluntary Donations Call

This year CeNCOOS is making its inaugural call for voluntary donations. We have a need for some external funds to cover costs which cannot be paid with grant funds and to help defray other costs.

Several of our nation's regional ocean observing systems charge dues for membership. In order to keep CeNCOOS membership as inclusive as possible, the Governing Council has chosen to pursue voluntary donations rather than mandatory dues. 

For more information on how donated money will be used and the specifics on how you can make a donation, click here.
CeNCOOS 5-year Strategic Plan
A web version of the CeNCOOS five-year Strategic Plan is now available.  A newly formatted version will go up in the next few weeks, but the content of the plan will not change.  View the plan on our website.
HAB Modeling Update

With NASA funding, UCSC researchers and CeNCOOS have been working to operationalize a predictive Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) model for the region.  The forecasts from this model of Pseudo-nitzschia (a marine diatom) blooms and Domoic Acid (the potentially harmful biotoxin Pseudo-nitzschia releases) probabilities along the California coast are still in a beta form, however, we are posting some initial products from this project at the link below.  This interface is still in flux; new capabilities will be added in the near future so keep checking back!
View currently available HAB modeling products

Model evaluation & crowdsourcing:
There was a large Domoic Acid (DA) event in the spring of 2014, particularly in the Monterey Bay and the Northern California region.  Our models worked well in predicting the rise in DA associated with that event.  The models have also been working well at capturing the periodic rise and fall of Pseudo-nitzschia concentrations this past June and July, but we have not seen the concurrent spikes in DA in the models nor at our pier sampling stations.  Sea lions, however, are continuing to strand with DA exposure symptoms.  The outstanding question is where are they acquiring DA?  We need help validating the models, and one way we are doing this is through crowdsourcing of mammal stranding data (in addition to what the Marine Mammal Center kindly provides us).
Report Stranded Marine Mammals on JellyWatch!

To assist with the crowdsourcing of marine mammal strandings (which helps with the evaluation of our HABS model), UCSC & CeNCOOS have partnered with JellyWatch.  JellyWatch is a website and mobile app that allows users to report sightings of marine organisms.  For our HAB modeling project, they have added a new category to their sightings list for mammal observations!  So, please help us spread the word about using JellyWatch to log marine mammal strandings and sightings.
If you see a stranded marine mammal:
  1. Maintain a safe distance
  2. Report it to the local marine mammal stranding hotline: 415-289-SEAL
  3. Take a picture of the animal (optional)
  4. Use the JellyWatch website or mobile app to report the sighting, including a summary of the condition it is in (alive, unhealthy, dead)
These reports will help us evaluate the accuracy of our models and hopefully lead us to answering some important questions about how these animals are being exposed.  The more people that are making these reports, the more valuable this tool will be!
Discussion on California Ocean Acidification

Recently, CeNCOOS OA expert John Largier joined Terry Sawyer of Hog Island Oyster Company (a CeNCOOS Partner), Congressman Jared Huffman, and others to discuss the impacts of ocean acidification on Northern California. The conversation took place on KQED’s “forum” program and is available on KQED’s website.

Personnel Updates
New CeNCOOS Director Hired

We are pleased to announce that David Anderson will be taking over as Director of CeNCOOS, effective October 13. 
David Anderson has been the Director for the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology and Chief of the Paleoclimatology Branch of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center since 2005. Additionally,  he has been an Associate Professor Adjoint at the University of Colorado since 2003 and a faculty  member there since 1993.  He has served on national and international advisory committees for data management issues, paleoclimate research, and ocean research, and contributed to national reports on abrupt climate change and climate extremes. Dr. Anderson received a B.S. degree in Biology in 1981 from Tufts University, an M.S. in Marine Science from San Jose State University, and an M. S. and Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Brown University in 1991. David began his career in marine science as part of MLML’s Vertical Transport and Exchange of Ocean Particulate program (VERTEX) in 1983. 
Leslie Rosenfeld will continue to be available as former Director until approximately end of October to help with the transition, and will remain an MBARI collaborator for the duration of the IOOS Modeling Strategy effort.
A Message From the Outgoing Director
As I complete my third year at CeNCOOS and prepare to turn it over to a new director, I’d like to reflect on some of the major accomplishments of the past three years.  We’ve added about a half dozen each of new projects, new principal investigators, and new CeNCOOS members.  We have worked hard to be a more inclusive and transparent organization, including codifying diverse representation on our governing council and introducing a new strategic plan, framework for decision making, and annual calls for expressions of interest.  We made a major transition in our data management and introduced a new state-of-the-art data portal.  In the next few weeks, we will introduce our new website.  Most importantly, CeNCOOS has continued to operate a distributed observing/modeling system serving data and information to numerous stakeholders in our region.
This has been accomplished through the good will and cooperation of the CeNCOOS principal investigators and their staffs, the governing council, program office staff, and members.  Of course CeNCOOS doesn’t exist in isolation, but rather as part of the larger U.S. IOOS enterprise and I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with the IOOS office, the IOOS Association, and the other regional ocean observing systems.  It has been my privilege to lead CeNCOOS, and now it is time for me to leave it – to spend more time with my family, to travel for pleasure not business, and maybe even get back out on the ocean a bit.  Even though there are challenges ahead, I feel confident that CeNCOOS is in good financial shape, has great program office staff, and with your help will continue to prosper and grow under the new director, Dave Anderson.  I will miss working with all of you (although I won’t miss the 100+ e-mails per day) and wish you well.
Karina Nielsen Becomes the  New Director of SFSU Romberg Tiburon Center

A couple of weeks ago, CeNCOOS Governing Council member and PI Karina Nielsen began her tenure as the new Director of San Francisco State University’s Romberg Tiburon Center.  Congratulations to her, and we look forward to continuing to work with Karina in her new capacity.

Funding Update
CeNCOOS received $2,337,252 for the fourth year (1 June 2014 – 31 May 2015) of the current five-year award from the U.S. IOOS program.  These funds are distributed among 15 different institutions to carry out the CeNCOOS mission.  About 65% of our IOOS funds go to ocean observations and modeling, 20% to our centralized data management and communications (DMAC) and product development, and 15% to governance and administration.  While the IOOS program is likely to be level funded by Congress over the next couple of years, CeNCOOS will be able to sustain and expand its activities through its participation in several other projects to be announced shortly.

Updates from IOOS®
  • Congratulations to VADM (Ret.) Conrad Lautenbacher on being appointed as the new chair of the IOOS Advisory committee. The next meeting of the Advisory Committee will be held October 2-3, 2014, at the Large Lakes Observatory in Duluth, MN. For further information visit the advisory council website.
  • A paper on a framework for a Marine Biodiversity Observing Network/MBON has been published in Oceanography. The paper highlights the efforts of the IOOS in this area.  The full article can be found at:
  • In June, Carl Gouldman became the new Deputy Director of the IOOS Program Office.  Carl had served as the IOOS Office’s Division Chief since 2009.
  • U.S. IOOS is now on Twitter: Follow them to stay updated on U.S. IOOS activities, news, and announcements.
  • Get the latest IOOS news at the News Splash and IOOS Director’s Z-Grams.

  • Congratulations to CeNCOOS Executive Committee member and PI Francisco Chavez, who was elected to the 2014 class of American Geophysical Union Fellows.
  • If you are running a monitoring program on the Central Coast, and have not already done so, please fill out OST’s Central Coast Monitoring Survey by Sept. 26th.
  • Notes from the SCCOOS/CeNCOOS Symposium held in July, Ocean Observing along California’s Central Coast in a Changing Climate, are now posted on our website.  Symposium Notes