Extended Task Sheet:

Individual contributions:

IEEE Committee on Earth Observation (ICEO) workshop summary: GEOSS Workshop XXVII – Understanding the Integrated Ocean Observation Systems

Workshop Recommendations

The workshop breakout sessions occupied most of the second half of the afternoon. The following overall recommendations were provided by the three workshop breakout groups:

A. Ocean Information Systems. (Group Lead: Phil Weaver)

To move beyond the state of the art in ocean observing systems the first breakout group offered the following suggestions:

  • Focus on the problems involved in getting developmental systems to operational status e.g. dockable AUVs, biological sampling devices
  • Improve endurance of AUVs by extending maintenance schedules for some sensors (e.g., optical) sensors.
  • Evaluate event response versus duration requirements. Do we always need an observatory, or are AUVs or gliders acceptable?
  • Improve ability to upgrade/modify/maintain gliders.
  • Develop compatibility criteria for different sensors/measurements that potentially interfere.
  • Focus complex sensor development (e.g., pH sensors) in certain key areas.
  • Provide rewards for observation ocean scientists for (e.g.) taking long term risks in making observations. Count digital object identifier (DOI) downloads for data sets so scientists get credit for observations.
  • Develop a science plan for addressing the key questions Regarding the mix of ocean resources needed the first breakout group suggested to:
  • Maintain abroad mix of technology, including cabled and stand-alone observatories. A large, high cost program can detract from many other programs.
  • Consider leveraging win-win linkages to industry (e.g. hydrocarbon industry platforms, wind energy platforms, etc…)

Monitoring of the Arctic presents a particularly pressing concern due to the high rate and large and imminent impact of global change there. It was suggested that since Arctic change represents a key societal issue it would be valuable to identify what to measure and to determine means of immediate measurements, including those under the ice cap.

B. Architecture, Standards & Data Policy. (Group Lead: Robert Thomas)

The second breakout group provided a number of responses to the posed questions. The desired features of ocean data sets and ocean information systems for interoperability include metadata, standardization of output, semantics (ontologies), error bars, and quality flags. A best practices wiki was proposed to facilitate quality control. For archived data a processing flag is needed to indicate processing, and a measure of service supervision needed. The question has been raised regarding how data that are not adequately flagged shall be treated. It was suggested to publish them in real time but to not archive them.

Regarding how observations and model output can be generalized to be used in workflow compositions, the group recommended storage of both models and raw data. To make ocean data more readily available to users across a wide community with highly diversified interests recommendations included easy plug-ins and tools and “cook book” guides for interoperability. Funding agency support was listed as a concern.

The group recommended that GEOSS data sharing principles can be encouraged by adding value to data through GEOSS (e.g., fusion of data streams, provision of reference data sets, etc…).

C. Engendering Collaboration and Support. (Group Lead: Bob Weller)

Several recommendations were provided by the third breakout group on how to engender international collaboration in ocean observing on a sustained basis. These included:

  • Promoting common demonstrations, demonstration experiments, and common interests in ocean data science and quality assurance.
  • Agreeing upon commonality in observing plans, standards, and back bones, and capacity building; It was questioned why the ocean observation community was not joining with other systems and parts of the earth observing network.
  • Placing more emphasis on uses for industry, energy and applications, collaboration with industry (e.g., in surface wave measurements)
  • Focusing observing system development on education, politics (recreation, fisheries), and safety
  • Sharing ideas and design through collaboration and training
  • Providing more real time data to promote open access.
  • Engaging main oceanographic centers owning ocean systems?

Regarding how to engender international collaboration in ocean observing on a sustained basis it was suggested that the oceanography community needs to learn more about societal benefits to the extent that they convert their message to societal benefits. For example, people need to be further educated about the effects of sea level rise.

As to how GEO/GEOSS can help in achieving the needs of the oceanographic community, the following was offered

  • GEO should help with the formulation of an ocean community of practice
  • GEO should support intergovernmental formalization of interoperability and coordination of an operational mission for ocean observations. This could include coordinated funding
  • GEO support is requested for Identification and coordination of societal benefits from ocean data.

Last edited 02 December 2016

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