Monday, 18 March 2013

UK ocean glider workshop

The British Oceanographic Data Center (BODC) are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a UK ocean glider workshop on Thursday 18 April 2013, in Liverpool.
A deployment of Seaglider 'Talisker' ©

The aim is to bring together UK researchers and technicians to share expertise and experiences acquired through specific involvement with gliders and glider data.
The workshop, endorsed by the UK Integrated Marine Observing Network (UK-IMON) initiative, will
  • showcase scientific achievements and technical advancements within the growing community
  • disseminate recent developments regarding the long-term stewardship of UK glider data
If you are interested in attending the workshop, please email either Justin Buck or Mark Hebden.
The workshop will be preceded by a meal on the evening of 17 April 2013 and all workshop participants are welcome to attend this event.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

IODE Achievement Award

We are proud to announce that Dr Roy Lowry, Technical Director of the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC), has received a prestigious Achievement Award from the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE), part of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
Sissy Iona, Co-Chair of IODE, presents Roy Lowry with his award. ©
Established in 1961, the IODE programme has grown through the hard work of hundreds of experts from around the world to become an active global network of data centres and information centres. Since 2009, IODE has bestowed Achievement Awards in order to express special appreciation of those experts who have contributed time and effort to the programme.
Roy has made major contributions over the past three decades. For example
  • In the 1980s the General Format 3 (GF3) was developed. This provided a generalised formatting system for exchange and archival of data within the international oceanographic community. The software package, GF3-Proc, written by Roy to accompany this first attempt at interoperability, was a major undertaking.
  • Later, Roy's efforts were spent on compiling integrated data sets from major multidisciplinary oceanographic field programmes for UK, European and international projects. This included leading the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) Data Management Task Team and involved substantial work on developing controlled vocabularies.
  • Controlled vocabularies went on to become one of Roy's main areas of interest and impact. In particular, over the last 10 years or so, he has focused on the development of semantic infrastructure in terms of both technical and content governance. He was part of the joint IODE and International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Study Group on MarineXML, he instigated and led the IODE Steering Group on MarineXML and set up the SeaVoX email discussion forum for vocabulary content governance.
  • Under Roy's tutelage in the semantic arena, a lot of progress has been made. Roy is responsible for the semantic framework that underpins the EU SeaDataNet project (which includes IODE) and has led the ontologies work package for the EU Open Service Network for Marine Environmental Data (NETMAR) programme.
  • Finally, we must mention Roy's influence on the emerging subject of data publication and citation. He has played a leading role in workshops and case studies concerning the joint project established between the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), the Marine Biology Laboratory / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (MBLWHOI) and IODE to investigate this topic.
Fittingly, Roy was presented with his award at the first Ocean Data Interoperability Platform (ODIP) Workshop, hosted by the IODE Office in Oostende in February 2013.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Near real-time sharing of ocean glider data

The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) are pleased to announce the delivery of near real-time oceanographic measurements from ocean gliders to the climate modelling community.
Surface salinity from the Forecasting Ocean Assimilation Model (FOAM) ©

Ocean gliders are autonomous platforms that travel through the water column by altering their buoyancy and making subtle changes to their internal weight distribution, collecting oceanographic measurements as they go. They are becoming a popular tool for scientists to monitor our oceans.
They can operate for months at a time following commands sent via satellite from a glider pilot. Each time a glider surfaces, the oceanographic data collected from its sensors during the previous subsurface journey are transmitted back to the glider pilot. These data are highly sought after by climate specialists, particularly for assimilation into forecast models.
BODC are currently developing streamlined protocols for managing data collected by gliders. Integral to this is the dissemination of near real-time data to the modellers via the Global Telecommunication System (GTS).
BODC are responsible for the downloading, encoding and daily delivery of glider data to the GTS for various communities, including NERC’s Ocean Surface Mixing, Ocean Sub-mesoscale Interaction Study (OSMOSIS) and Fluxes Across Sloping Topography of the North East Atlantic (FASTNEt) consortia and through our laboratory liaison partnerships.
Gliders are a welcome addition to BODC's growing portfolio of near real-time data streams. Our glider GTS feed compliments those from other platforms, including the Argo floats and seal-tag instrumentation.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Data management for the FASTNEt consortium

The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) announces the launch, on its web site, of the data management area for the Fluxes Across Sloping Topography of the North East Atlantic (FASTNEt) consortium.
UK Shelf as shown by GEBCO (the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans) ©

The pages provide background information about FASTNEt, as well as inventories of the research cruises and associated datasets. These are designed to encourage data sharing and collaboration between consortium participants and the wider scientific community.
FASTNEt is a four-year study that started in 2011. It will combine traditional research cruise measurements with autonomous sampling strategies, such as ocean glider deployments. It was funded to deliver NERC’s Ocean Shelf-Edge Exchange programme, which aims to develop an improved understanding of physical and biogeochemical exchange at shelf edge environments.
These regions of the world’s oceans are thought to play a role in the cycling of nutrients and carbon between shallow coastal seas and the deeper ocean, with potential implications for regional resources and global climate. The FASTNEt observations will feed into and help improve computer models predicting future environmental scenarios.
BODC's role involves the quality control, dissemination and stewardship of FASTNEt data, as well as facilitating data exchange within the FASTNEt community. We are also providing onboard data management support for the two main research cruises funded as part of the project.