23-24 February 2009
Renaissance Orlando Hotel-Airport, Orlando, FL

The report can be downloaded as a PDF.

Monday, 23 February 2009:

1.0     Opening of Meeting

Vembu Subramanian, Chair of the GCOOS-RA Data Management and Communication Committee (DMACC), welcomed everyone to the third DMACC meeting. The attendees (Appendix A) introduced themselves. Subramanian reviewed the two objectives for the meeting. One was to provide input on the capabilities and direction of the GCOOS Data Portal to the Data Portal development team. The other was to create the GCOOS DMACC Action Plan for 2009. He called for comments on the agenda, which was adopted (Appendix B). Appendix C lists the acronyms used in this report.

2.0     Updates on National DMAC Activities

2.1     IOOS DMAC Activities Update

Matthew Howard, GCOOS DMAC Coordinator, reviewed the many Data Management and Communication (DMAC) activities related to the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). The NOAA IOOS Office is working on development of the Data Integration Framework (DIF). The DIF project is focused on developing codes to harvest data using Sensor Observation Service (SOS). Data consist of seven IOOS core variables: currents, temperature, salinity, water level, winds, waves, ocean color (chlorophyll). These will support the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) forecast system, Integrated Ecosystems Assessment (IEA), and Coastal Inundation and Hurricane Intensity projects. The NOAA IOOS Office plans to have five of the eleven Regional Associations (RAs) serve up the seven IOOS variables using DIF by the end of fiscal year 2009. The GCOOS-RA will be one of them. Most GCOOS data nodes already have deployed the  OOSTethys flavor of the NOAA IOOS DIF Sensor Observation Service under the Local Data Nodes project. Howard (GCOOS-RA), Sam Walker (SECOORA), and Rob Surmac (Alaska Ocean Observing System) are on the NOAA IOOS DMAC team to move toward the goal of having all 11 RAs serve up in NOAA IOOS DIF.

The Interagency Working Group on Ocean Observations (IWGOO) is considering how best to move the DMAC standards process forward. Meanwhile, the IOOS DMAC Steering Team met in November 2008 to work on adoption of OPeNDAP, standard vocabularies, and best practices. The next DMAC Steering Team meeting is planned for May 2009, with the use of netCDF, CF, OPeNDAP, and aggregation for regular gridded products a likely agenda topic. The IOOS DMAC also is considering ways to retrieve biological data sets and to develop standards for radar-derived surface currents and their quality control.

OOSTethys/Oceans-IE is working on an end to end system, service-oriented architecture approach for ocean data. The Oceans Interoperability Experiment is the test bed. Phase I of the Oceans-IE produced OOSTethys Sensor Observation Service (SOS) install kits in Java for OpeNDAP and NetCDF, Perl for ASCII and RDBMS, and Python for RDBMS. The team is moving into a Phase II. In a related matter, DMACC member Brenda Babin of LUMCON is working on an ASP cookbook.

In the follow-on discussion, Jeremy Cothran of USC reported that, at the 20090220 meeting of the OOSTethys/OCEANS-IE development team, the decision was made to use the Xenia Database Schema as a relational database management system (RDBMS) of preference for OOSTethys. He noted that the Regional Association for the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), is adopting Xenia for their new collections. Cothran is working to update Xenia with an SOS following OOSTethys best practices.

Julie Bosch mentioned that the IOOS DMAC standards process includes the capability of registered users to submit a standard, guidance, or best practice for consideration by the DMAC Steering Team.

Two meetings were identified for which the DMAC community might submit abstracts: the MTS/IEEE Oceans 2009 meeting on 26-29 October 2009 in Biloxi, MS (http://www.oceans09mtsieeebiloxi.org/) and the Ocean Obs Symposium on 25-29 September 2009 in Venice, Italy (http://www.oceanobs09.net/).

2.2     NCDDC GCOOS-related Data Management Activities

Julie Bosch, IOOS Program Manager for NCDDC, provided an overview of the GCOOS-related data management activities of the NCDDC. NCDDC supports NOAA’s ecosystem management by providing access to coastal and ocean data resources. It covers diverse coastal data from a variety of sources and creates ways for users to access data via the Internet. NCDDC has programs involved directly with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) and the federal Ocean and Coastal Mapping Program project. It has established the Regional Ecosystem Data Management (REDM) and participates in the Qartod to OGC (Q2O).

The Ocean and Coastal Mapping Program project was established under Bush’s Ocean Action Plan. The goal was to improve the efficiency of the nation’s ocean and coastal mapping activities. The Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping has responsibility. Membership includes the USGS, NOAA, USACE, and MMS. Focus is primarily on elevation, shorelines, surface characterizations, and seismic data.

GOMA is a partnership of the 5 Gulf states with the goal to increase regional collaboration to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico. It has selected six issues as priority. NCDDC is involved with two overarching GOMA efforts: (1) to participate in the Gulf of Mexico ocean and coastal mapping and monitoring master plan, which is a 5-year project lead by the USACE, and (2) to develop a data management system useful to each of the GOMA Priority Issue Teams (PITs). Two portals have been constructed in support of the GOMA effort: the Priority Habitat Information System (PHINS) Digital Library and Spatial Data Viewer, built by the USGS, USACE, and NOAA, and the Ecosystem Data Assembly Center, build by NCDDC and others. The EPA-supported GAME feeds into the PHINS data set. An issue for all these catalogues and data tools is metadata accuracy, which is a problem that must be resolved by the organizations that actually provide data.

The NCDDC REDM project is an architecture that supports the NOAA Ecosystem Goal Team and IEAs. GCOOS is a source for some of the data. REDM also is being planned for use in management of the data from the GOMA PITs. Capabilities of the REDM are evolving based on the needs of the projects it supports. Vocabulary issues, such as establishing related terms and ontologies, are not yet resolved. There is a need to improve catalog capabilities. Helen Conover offered to demonstrate how the University of Alabama at Huntsville’s meta search engine and resource aggregator, NOESIS, works to capture ontology. Sam Walker commented that SECOORA has a similar issue. Most of the data in the SECOORA portal have no metadata or standards because the data comes from so many different sources. In fact, he argues that too many filters would impede success.

Q2O (Qartod to OGC SWE) is considering what common quality control tests that could be applied to some of the data streams (e.g., waves, pressure, velocity, dissolved oxygen) and how to best convey information to data users. It is a 3-year, NOAA-funded project. Q2O tests and describes QA/QC processing in web enablement structure; for example how an XML file is conveyed. The goal is to convey information on the quality of the data and the criteria used in the QA/QC processing.

Discussion ensued on the confusion to many data users of having both GCOOS and GOMA portals. Close collaborations are key and achievable since GCOOS is a GOMA partner. For example, there should be different types of data portals that are focused on different niches. GCOOS is focused more on regularly produced data sets, while GOMA is focused more on episodic/campaign type data. Confusion also occurs with data providers. An additional issue is how to provide the recognition of the data providers in the portals to avoid confusion with funders. To handle issues of who owns the data, “submission agreements” to contribute data should be made.

There also was discussion on whether GCOOS would include other sorts of data, such as from ecosystem groups, and how these groups would contribute data to GCOOS. At some point, the GCOOS-RA needs to consider how to incorporate information other than in situ, near-real-time, physical data. Howard reported that the GCOOS-RA intends to do so as the portal evolves.

2.3     The IOOS Data Assembly Center Data Quality Control Effort

Bill Burnett, NDBC Data Management and Communications Branch Chief, reported on the efforts of the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) to build the IOOS Data Assembly Center (DAC). A major consideration is the level of data quality control that is provided under NDBC’s IOOS DAC. The IOOS DAC provides QA/QC on the data it receives and distributes it via the Global Telecommunications System (GTS) in realtime. NDBC applies automated quality control algorithms before releasing the data in realtime; data that are suspect are not sent over the GTS. Burnett described the capabilities of the DAC and presented numerical information on IOOS data station reporting.

An NDBC team of 10 meteorologists monitor the incoming data. There has been substantial growth in the number of stations that the team is handling. Originally developed to support about 100 platforms, the DAC now handles 745 stations, including NDBC, IOOS, MMS, NERRS, NOS, TAO, DART, PSOS, Experimental, and C-MAN stations. There are approximately 180 stations reporting from the Gulf of Mexico from at least 16 data providers, including NDBC’s buoys. Additionally, other nations have begun to ask NDBC to support QA/QC for their programs. An increase in support is needed for NDBC to handle this increasing growth. In response to a question, Burnett reported that NDBC often will set up special data transmittal mechanisms for individual data providers. There followed a discussion of the status of standardizing methods for transmitting data and the many different groups that are working on codes. NDBC is not yet certain which software implementation would be best.

3.0     Reports on Data Management Activities of Meeting Participants

James Koziana, SAIC, provided an overview of IOOS data QA/QC and described the elements of a system for Automated Data Quality Assurance for Marine Observations that is being developed by SAIC. Development of tools for the system is being done through the Calypso project of NASA. The issue of who should be responsible for QA/QC of the regional data was discussed. This is an example of the need for standards for each step on the path from data generation to dissemination and final archival.

Tammy Small, NERRS Central Data Management Office (CDMO), reported on the System Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS). She described the NERRS, which is a national network of protected reserves. Each reserve is being instrumented with a standard suite for monitoring the reserves. This includes water quality monitoring. Data are available through the Central Data Management Office. The relation of the NERRS to IOOS was described. Examples of projects using the data were given. There was discussion on whether and how data will be provided in near-real-time to the NDBC or others.

Sam Walker, SECOORA Information Management Coordinator, discussed the data management system for the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA). SECOORA has three regional data coordinating hubs, which are located at the University of South Florida, University of South Carolina, and University of North Carolina-Chappell Hill. Although these have some distributed responsibilities, the hubs are evolving toward providing redundancy. The need to balance the regional infrastructure with national expectations for infrastructure is developing into a burden of responsibility. Collaborations with other RAs may be a way to ease that burden. Walker described the process for developing and finalizing DMAC Technical Requirements. He then reviewed the data integration activities of the region as well as those associated with the national standardization of the Xenia relational database, netCDF, and data feeds and mapping. The issue of how to handle archived data versus near-real-time data sets needs to be considered and an approach developed. Walker suggested this should be thought of as a matrix: Data Types (e.g., real time, model output) versus Forms (static, dynamic) versus Users (e.g., academic wanting an archived data system; recreational boater wanting hourly iterations/daily checks). It is difficult to make decisions on how to balance the various interfaces with limited funding. One activity is to use common tools to help improve relay of data or products, e.g., Google. Walker mentioned the Ocean Data Partnership (ODP) and summarized remaining challenges. He recommended that GCOOS-RA, SECOORA, and CaRA should consider and quantify what would be gained by having one full time person versus several part time people working on the DMAC issues. He also provided suggestions on potential areas where the three RAs can collaborate and suggested that the DMAC committee should identify and prioritize the areas of collaboration.

In the follow-on discussion, Steve Anderson of Horizon Marine mentioned that the data provider wants to know, not just how many internet hits the data receive, but who is downloading the data and how are they using that information. He asked whether this tracking is a DMAC responsibility. Walker expressed the view that it should be a DMAC responsibility because it helps IOOS and the entire organization sell itself. This is something that could be standardized across RAs. Eight of the eleven RAs are using Google Analytics; presumably this could be moved to the data provider level also. Another tool would be needed to quantify more specific information. Both academic modelers and public users are important, but each has different needs. Metrics are needed to support decision making. Use of a registration process is one way to get at information. So a set of metrics ranging from registrations to Google Analytic or other web metrics could track web use. The benefits of passive and active feedback mechanisms are varied. To avoid being intrusive, one solution would be to allow people to click through a few links and then obtain information on the user. Customizable start up pages, such as IGOOGLE, also are valuable.

Jeremy Cothran, University of South Carolina, gave a presentation on the Marine Weather Portal (MWP). The MWP is a web-based portal that combines diverse coastal and marine observations and information for the Southeast U.S. and Gulf of Mexico region. The MWP had its origin in the SEACOOS project when three people were each tasked with obtaining different data sets; the MWP is the result of their compilation of these into a database. The MWP originally was targeted towards recreational users, but can be used by many. The data are disseminated in partnership with the local NOAA National Weather Service’s Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) because the targeted audiences already rely on these offices for marine observations and forecast needs. The MWP, which is experimental, provides marine observations, forecasts and short and long-fuse warnings for the coastal waters. The data and information products are easily accessed through tabs and windows. The data are from fixed platforms; there are no ship observations because these add a level of complexity. VOS ships want to know why they should collect the data if they are not going to be used; the VOS information was removed because, when the data are being transmitted, the GPS position is identified and that puts the ship at risk of being a target for piracy.

Jorge E. Capella, CaRA DMAC Coordinator, discussed the data management issues of the Caribbean Regional Association (CaRA) and the Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System (CarICOOS). CaRA is a user rather than a contributor to the development of the schema, vocabularies, and standards of DMAC. So, CaRA is getting DMAC advice from the GCOOS-RA and SECOORA, as well as the IOOS DMAC documentation and guidance. He outlined several problem areas. Use of the NCEP ETA winds was difficult because the broad band connections to the Caribbean are not good. CaRA has no structured grids, and there are problems associated with using OPeNDAP for unstructured grids. CaRA encompasses two different areas in the Caribbean–the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico–each with unique needs. For example, the Virgin Islands have two sites designated as Marine Protected Areas, whereas Puerto Rico has none. Presently, CaRA modeling activities are research-oriented rather than operational. The high priority forecast needs of CaRA are coastal winds, waves, currents, and inundation. Because Puerto Rico is a mountainous area with a short coastal area with many shear effects, forecasts are difficult. An additional challenge is that there are errors in the available bathymetry data. The first CaRA buoy will be operational by early summer 2009, and the data system is being prepared to have an operating SOS data system in place. The buoy will be deployed off Puerto Rico and will provide realtime data on winds, waves, currents, seawater temperature and salinity. WeatherFlow is deploying hurricane-hardened weather observation stations in the Virgin Islands. An HF Radar has been installed on Puerto Rico with coverage out to 40 miles. As a common RA issue, CaRA suggests there is a need for media-consistency in messaging. For example, a 50-year projection of sea surface temperature by Jorge Corredor indicates that there will be annual coral bleaching if the temperature continues to increase–a message that needs dissemination. Additionally, IOOS RAs are in a perfect position to tackle issues and provide real solutions. For example, disagreements on the current rate of sea level increase in Puerto Rico is causing uncertainty that is negatively impacting development.

Shawn Smith, COAPS at FSU, gave a summary of the Northern Gulf Institute Ocean Observing System at Florida State University. The project consists of monthly hydrographic surveys, which also recover data from three mooring sites that are instrumented with wave and current sensors, as well as a suite of additional data types. Data are recovered monthly, although plans are being implemented to transmit the data in real time to NDBC. Additional data are obtained through the SAMOS project, which is a shipboard, automated, meteorological and oceanographic system for transmitting research vessel data in real time.

Virgil Zetterlind, EarthNC, described the products under development at EarthNC. The company is designing Google Earth products for the boating community. One product is the linkage of the NOAA vector chart to Google Earth. Additional data of interest to boaters are assembled and put into Google Earth map layers (e.g., NDBC buoy data on winds, background on wave height, flags pennants for wind, trend plots, marine forecasts). EarthNC teaches a Google Earth design course. Sharing code may be a possibility. The group then discussed the value of private sector-metric-driven reporting. An excellent metric is that opportunities are created for additional revenue for private companies. IOOS reporting should include these outcomes: saving lives, improving safety, and benefiting the economy. There was agreement that there need to be KML and remote style sheets for web use tracking, so the value can be quantified.

Alex Rybak is Research Scientist/GIS/Database Manager at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF). The SCCF is a small, privately-funded organization dedicated to preserving the natural resources and wildlife habitat on and around the Sanibel and Captiva islands off west Florida. In 2007, the SCCF launched a major water quality science mission, "River, Estuary & Coastal Observing Network" (RECON), to track changes in water quality from Lake Okeechobee west to the Gulf of Mexico. Fund raising efforts resulted in the purchase of 8 water quality sensors, which monitor conductivity/salinity, nitrate, chlorophyll a, turbidity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, depth, and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM). These sensors has been deployed throughout the Caloosahatchee river and estuary to provide real-time, water quality data to scientists, policy makers, and the general public. The RECON network can detect the presence of algal blooms and nutrient hotspots. The major cost of this water quality sampling network is not the cost of the instruments themselves, but the cost of maintenance, as the instruments need to be retrieved approximately monthly for cleaning and annually sent to the manufacturer. One set of sensors is in a mobile unit used to respond to events. As a small, privately funded organization, the SCCF has reservations about giving general open access to the raw data. They have a process that requires a formal request for data before it is given out; any change to the process would have to be carefully considered and approved. However, they are willing to consider the possibility of sharing data in alternative ways. They are interested in seeing how their data fits into other Coastal Ocean Observing System programs (including consideration of standards, dissemination, QA/QC). Concerns associated with data sharing are (1) possible liability due to lack of QA/QC, (2) degree of expectations of users for the data, and (3) protection of ongoing proprietary research.

4.0     Local Data Nodes and GCOOS Data Portal: What is Next?

Matthew Howard discussed the two GCOOS data projects: local data nodes and data portal. Felimon Gayanilo, RSMAS Univeristy of Miami, who is programming the Data Portal architecture, also provided information. Most observational systems in GCOOS were operational long before the advent of the DMAC or DIF. The systems were built for purposes other than IOOS and without the budget needed for IOOS-type data management, which requires a broad IT skill set. To overcome this, the local data nodes project was designed to foster collaborations that would result in the interoperability of the data from different data providers (nodes), the training of IT personnel in the DIF/DMAC methods, and a regional approach to DIF/DMAC problem solving to avoid duplication of effort. The data portal project handles the data aggregation and fusion aspects, as well as providing appropriate products for stakeholders. Felimon Gayanilo, GCOOS Data Portal programmer at RSMAS, described the portal. There was discussion about how the data portal would be used and its long term benefits, how changing data nodes would be handled, and what will happen as funding comes and goes for data providers as well as the regional data portal. Discussion then turned to how to populate the portal with products useful to users and what characteristics such products might have (e.g., contoured products and analytical tools to provide user with basic statistics in graphic, map, or tabular form). The group recognizes that some value-added products should and will be left to the private sector to provide. However, the efforts to standardize, add new data sources, and provide a measure of assurance of the QA/QC level of the data were regarded as important values of the regional portals.

5.0     "What Users What" Results from GCOOS Stakeholder Workshops

Chris Simoniello, GCOOS Education and Outreach Coordinator, provided an overview of the need of the GCOOS stakeholder community for understandable, easily accessed, timely ocean information. She summarized the 2009 Recreational Boater Workshop, reviewed the data and product needs identified at that workshop, and provided information on the type of graphics and web sites that are most helpful to the types of people from this sector. She also summarized the data and product needs identified at the 2005 Oil and Gas and Related Industry Workshop and the desired capabilities of HAB sentinel stations from the perspective of coastal resource managers. There were two main conclusions to be drawn from these three examples of the data and product needs of various user sectors: (1) there is much overlap in the type of information desired by different audiences, and (2) the level of complexity desired in the delivery varies greatly.

The group discussion returned to ideas for consideration for the data portal. These included: making customized, tailored web pages; identifying and securing data sources not yet part of the portal (new participants); obtaining and serving up drifter data; incorporating USGS data; and adding a “getting started as a data provider” section on the website. Building the online step by step instructions for the web is a possible area for joint RA collaborations.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

6.0     DMAC Discussion Topics

Vembu Subramanian opened this part of the meeting by identifying topics to be discussed. He reminded the committee that the goal was to set up a 2009 DMAC Action Plan. Discussion ensued on many points. To entrain additional Gulf Coast data and their providers in to the GCOOS, a mechanism that makes it easy for data providers to share data is necessary. Discussion on QA/QC focused on what should be done to have a comprehensive, yet easily implemented process to assure the data provided meet the IOOS DMAC standards. There should be a schema for tracking the provenance of the metadata. For an operational DMAC system, one full time employee to maintain the system likely would be better than a few part time people. The concept of a national level Data Assembly Center (as in WOCE) was raised as a good way to develop data integration. One idea associated with metrics was to consider how many in private industry are using the RA data. A tool to identify gaps in a network of stations that was created from disparate sources would be to map the stations and examine the results. There was general agreement that there should be collaboration on GOMA data management activities and the GCOOS DMAC activities to avoid duplication and to leverage resources. It was suggested that strong relations with the military should be built and potential areas for collaboration should be identified and implemented.

Turning to the specific issue of how the three RAs might collaborate on DMAC issues, the list of potential multi-RA collaborations, prepared by Sam Walker, was considered. The list and discussion notes are:

  1. User-Defined Applications Areas (e.g., Water Quality)
    For example, what is needed for nearshore water quality reports and how can we enable that type of application? For example, what core IOOS variables are required for gridded model output and how can we resolve QA/QC issues for those core variables?
  2. Shared DB Schema and Data Dictionaries
    Distributing the total archive, with multiple copies in different locations, provides a safety net for catastrophes in storms. NODC should be considered in any discussion of distributed servers. For CaRA, the backup would need to be in the continental U.S. because there is no safe back up in the Caribbean. NCDDC facilitates the movement of data to be stored at NODC. The RAs could be a point for funneling data to feed into the archive. A challenge to bringing an archive up after a catastrophe is lack of manpower. Any archiving aspect of IOOS needs to incorporate the data providers whose data are involved. Sharing and submission agreements are needed.
  3. Links to Existing Data Streams
  4. Evaluate GCOOS Data Portal
  5. Archival and Mirroring
  6. Shared Virtualization Costs
    Some model executions would be an enormous strain on resources.
  7. Development of QA/QC Protocols
    This should include both data QA/QC processing and evaluation of the sensors. What could the RAs do to move QA/QC forward? Currently, the data providers do basic checks of data quality and then send to RAs.
  8. Development of DM-Oriented Metrics
    Walker recommended that RA collaborations begin here. An outcome metric might be to determine whether commerce has been generated as a result of the RA activities.
  9. HF Radar Data Synthesis
  10. Management of Model Outputs
    Presently, there is no specific registry where model output can be submitted, but it is likely that this capability will need to be accommodated. Issues include how to handle metadata, visualization, and minimizing server costs. On the issue of how to mesh the models (larger to smaller grid), the DMAC role is provide modelers with information they need and to assist them in dissemination of appropriate final products. It was suggested that the Products and Services Committee be asked to find out what modelers need. Users want a finished product showing, e.g., water quality measurements for today; most are not interested in the analysis behind the products, but in having timely products on a web site. GCOOS-RA should consider tailoring products to the GOMA priorities, which are already identified and accepted. Additionally, GCOOS-RA should support the use of ESRI GIS software, which is the most used GIS for state agencies and other (instructions on how to get GCOOS data into a user’s GIS system). SECOORA offers the same shape files in 5 different formats.
  11. Proposals for DM Operations
  12. Share Lessons Learned with DMAC Personnel
  13. Shared Communication Tools and Documentation
  14. Shared Training and Workshop Hosting

There was discussion on a data inventory and whether or not the GCOOS Data Portal should include the capability for data archival of stations that go offline. Bill Burnett request that GCOOS-RA review the “Partner platforms” and tell him if these are accurate. NDBC is interested in determining how they should tailor their sensor list to meet the GCOOS need to alert data managers that there are issues with data sets. It was suggested that a data provider working group be established. The existing data providers would need to be identified to determine which of those not yet entrained into the GCOOS should be approached for inclusion (a gap analysis on data providers). There also needs to be “how to” guidance developed for potential data providers.

7.0     GCOOS DMAC Committee Session

7.1     Brief Summary of previous two DMAC meetings

The committee reviewed the DMAC Terms of Reference and past action plans.

7.2     Committee Membership Issues

The committee then considered the expansion of the membership, which was at 12 members, to up to 20. Of the invited guests to the meeting, several expressed willingness to serve on the committee (Helen Conover of The University of Alabama Huntsville, Kathleen O’Keife of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Virgil Zetterlind of Google EarthNC; and Eric Stabbinaeu of the National Park Service). The recommendation to nominate these individuals to the DMAC Committee will be sent to the GCOOS Board of Directors for consideration and approval.

The committee then considered who would serve as the DMAC committee liaisons to the other GCOOS Committees and Councils. These are: Bill Burnett (NDBC) for the Observing System Committee; Jay Ratcliff (USACE) for the Products and Services Committee; Lei Hu (DISL) for the Education and Outreach Council; and Virgil Zetterlind (EarthNC) for the Stakeholder Council. Chris Simoniello agreed to serve as the Education and Outreach Council representative on the DMAC Committee.

The committee also considered the possibility of cross-RA liaisons. Matt Howard (GCOOS-RA), Sam Walker (SECOORA), and Jorge Capella (CaRA) already are working together and occasionally attending each others’ meetings. The committee then considered the possibility of liaison to the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. Connecting the GOMA data activities with the GCOOS DMAC work would help to avoid duplication and to leverage activities. Because there are a number of GCOOS members participating in GOMA activities, including Matt Howard, no action was taken.

The committee voted unanimously to retain Vembu Subramanian of the University of South Florida as the DMAC Committee Chair. Brenda Babin of LUMCON was elected the Chair Elect.

7.3     Strategic Planning and Creation of 2009 Action Plan

After extensive discussion of what activities should be undertaken by the DMAC Committee for the coming year, the committee identified eight areas on which to focus and then prioritized them. The details on who will be involved in each activity and when it will be initiated and completed are to be determined. Actions 6, 7, 8, and 9 might be good areas for collaborations between the RAs.

GCOOS DMAC Committee Action Plan for 2009

  1. Identify candidates to expand the membership from 12 to approximately 20 and recommend the nominees to the Board of Directors for review and approval. (Subramanian with input from the committee members)
  2. Identify cross-committee representatives. (committee members)
  3. Identify and recommend data sets with associated data provider for entrainment into the GCOOS.
    1. Prepare an inventory of existing data providers and data assets in the GCOOS domain.
    2. Identify data types to entrain into the GCOOS with priorities for implementation (e.g., real-time, non-real-time, and/or legacy data; specify physical, chemical, biological, fisheries, geological data types and priority for inclusion).
    3. Prepare definitions for the elements of the GCOOS Data Management System (definitions, terminologies, and hierarchy of terms for what constitutes, e.g., a platform, sensor, real-time, QA/QC).
    4. Provide a streamlined way for providers to participate in sharing their data with GCOOS and prepare the necessary guidance documents.
  4. Prepare a recommendation to the Board on possible metrics for the data portal in terms of data, products, and dollar-value.
  5. Review the GCOOS Data Portal and provide recommendations for improvements to the GCOOS Office and the Board (committee members). Recommendations could include suggestions on additional existing data and products to be entrained into the Data Portal. Another is that there should be a tool on the web site that can support ESRI GIS users as well as Google Earth users.
  6. Explore ideas for a continuous process by which data can be evaluated to be sure they meet with appropriate scientific and DMAC standards (to provide a level of confidence that data are meeting standards). To start, since NOAA IOOS Office is considering the Capability Mature Model Integration (CMMI) process and NDBC is working with it, the DMAC Committee should review the associated metrics and recommend whether or not this might be an approach for the GCOOS-RA. Bill Burnett and James Koziano will provide relevant documents.
  7. Explore methods for data archival. There should be long-term storage at a trusted repository, e.g., NODC.
  8. Explore methods for data redundancy. There should be sites that mirror the data and system elements as a fail-safe against catastrophes and as a means to provide the ability of the data providers to restart after a catastrophe.
  9. Identify and recommend potential areas for good collaborations of the GCOOS-RA with SECOORA, CaRA, other RAs and/or GOMA. See suggestions in Walker on potential collaboration topics.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately noon.



Appendix A: GCOOS-RA DMACC Meeting
23-24 February 2009, Orlando, FL

List of Participants

Name Affiliation
GCOOS DMAC Committee Members
Steve Anderson Horizon Marine
Brenda Babin LUMCON
Julie Bosch NCDDC/NOAA
Bill Burnett NDBC/NOAA
James Davis TAMU – Corpus Christi
Matthew Howard GCOOS-RA, TAMU
Lei Hu Dauphin Island Sea Lab
James Koziana SAIC
Jay Ratcliff USACE
Robert Raye Shell
Vembu Subramanian USF
GCOOS Education and Outreach Council
Chris Simoniello GCOOS-RA, USM
GCOOS Data Portal Development
Felimon Gayanilo RSMAS, UM/GCOOS-RA
Invitees for GCOOS DMACC
Helen Conover UAH
Kathleen O’Keife FWC/FWRI
Alex Rybak SCCF
Shawn Smith COAPS/FSU
Virgil Zetterlind EarthNC
Invitees from neighbor RAs and NERRs
Jorge Capella CaRA
Jeremy Cothran USC/SECOORA
Tammy Small CDMO, NERRS
Samuel Walker SECOORA



Appendix B: GCOOS-RA DMACC Meeting, 23-24 February 2009, Orlando, FL

Meeting Agenda


  • To provide input on capabilities and direction of the GCOOS Data Portal
  • To create GCOOS DMAC Action Plan for 2009
Monday, 23 February 2009
8:00 Coffee, Juice, Bagels, etc.
8:30 Opening of Meeting
Welcoming remarks, introductions, logistics, adoption of agenda – Vembu Subramanian, Chair, GCOOS DMAC
9:00 IOOS DMAC Activities Update
Matthew Howard, GCOOS DMAC Coordinator
9:20 NCDDC Regional Ecosystem Data Management (REDM), Q2O and GOMA
Julie Bosch, IOOS Program Manager, NCDDC
9:40 National Data Buoy Center DMAC/QARTOD update
Bill Burnett, Data Management and Communications Branch Chief
10:15 Automated Data Quality Assurance for Marine Observations
James Koziana, SAIC
10:35 System Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Data Management Activities
Tammy Small, Central Data Management Office (CDMO), NERRS
10:55 SECOORA Data Management Activities Update
Samuel Walker, Information Management Coordinator, SECOORA
11:20 Southeast Marine Weather Portal
Jeremy Cothran, University of South Carolina
Jorge E. Capella, DMAC Coordinator, CaRA
12:00 Lunch (Catered)
13:00 Brief update as to DMAC updates from other GCOOS DMAC committee Members/Participants
* Shawn Smith – COAPS, FSU
* Virgil Zetterlind – EarthNC
* Alex Rybak – SCCF
13:45 Local Data Nodes and GCOOS Data Portal: What is Next
Matthew Howard, Felimon Gayanilo, GCOOS
15:00 "What Users Want" Results from GCOOS Stakeholder workshops
Chris Simoniello, Education & Outreach Coordinator, GCOOS
15:15 BREAK
15:30 DMAC Discussion Topics

  • Entraining additional Gulf Coastal data (example: NERRS and other agencies that are engaged in monitoring activities in the Gulf Coast region), including remotely sensed (satellite and shore-based HF Radar) and modeling data types
  • QA/QC
  • Data Archival
  • Metadata–Create and Publish to appropriate catalogs (IOOS Registry)
  • GCOOS DMAC collaboration efforts with other RA DMACs and Federal DACs
  • Gap Analysis/Pilot Projects
17:30 Details of Mardi Gras DMAC parade and ADJOURN FOR DAY
18:30 DMAC Mardi Gras Parade (King Cake???) around Hotel Complex
Tuesday, 24 February 2009
8:00 Coffee, juice, etc.
8:30 GCOOS DMAC Committee Session

  • Brief Summary of previous two DMAC meetings
  • Committee Membership
    • Election of Chair Elect
    • Cross Committee/Councils Nominations
    • New members recruitment
  • Strategic Planning and Creation of 2009 Action Plan



Appendix C: Acronyms and Abbreviations

ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange
ASP Active Server Pages
CaRA Caribbean Regional Association (one of 11 RAs)
CariCOOS Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System
CDMO Central Data Management Office for NERRS
CDOM colored dissolved organic matter
CF climate forecasting
C-MAN NDBC Coastal-Marine Automated Network
COAPS FSU Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies
DAC Data Assembly Center
DART NDBC Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis technology
DB database
DIF Data Integration Framework project of the NOAA IOOS Office
DM data management
DMAC IOOS Data Management and Communication program
DMACC GCOOS Data Management and Communication Committee
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
ETA NCEP Weather Model (includes wind at +10m)
FMRI Florida Marine Research Institute
FSU Florida State University
GAME Geospatial Assessment of Marine Ecosystems
GCOOS Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System
GCOOS-RA GCOOS Regional Association (one of 11 RAs)
GIS Geographical Information Systems
GOMA Gulf of Mexico Alliance
GOOS Global Ocean Observing System
GTS global telecommunications service
HABs Harmful Algal Blooms
HF Radar High Frequency Radar
IEA NOAA Integrated Ecosystem Assessments
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
IGOOGLE customizable Google homepage
IOOS Integrated Ocean Observing System (U.S. contribution to GOOS)
IT Information Technology
IWGOO Interagency Working Group on Ocean Observations
KML Keyhole Markup Language
LUMCON Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium
MERMAID Metadata Enterprise Resource Management Aid
MMS Minerals Management Service
MTS Marine Technology Society
MWP Marine Weather Portal
NASA National Aeronautical and Space Administration
NCDDC NOAA National Coastal Data Development Center
NCEP NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction
NDBC NOAA National Data Buoy Center
NERRS National Estuarine Research Reserve System
netCDF network Common Data Form
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NODC NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center
NOS NOAA National Ocean Service
OCEANS-IE Oceans Interoperability Experiment
ODP Ocean Data Partnership
OGC Open Geospatial Consortium
OOSTethys community developing open source tools to integrate ocean observing systems
OPeNDAP Open-source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol
OpenIOOS demonstration portal for the SCOOP test bed infrastructure and related initiatives
PHINS Priority Habitat Information System
PIT GOMA Priority Issue Team
PSOS NDBC’s Profiler Surface Observing System
QARTOD Quality Assurance of Real-Time Ocean Data
Q2O Qartod to OGC SWE
QC Quality Control
QA/QC Quality Assurance/Quality Control
RA Regional Association
RDBMS relational database management system
RECON SCCF’s River, Estuary and Coastal Observing Network
REDM Regional Ecosystem Data Management
RSMAS Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami
SAIC Science Applications International Corporation
SCCF Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation
SCOOP SURA Coastal Ocean Observing and Prediction (SCOOP) program
SEACOOS Southeast US Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing System
SECOORA Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association
SOS Sensor Observation Service
SURA Southeastern Universities Research Association
SWE Sensor Web Enablement
SWMP NERRS System Wide Monitoring Program
TAO Tropical Atmosphere Ocean
USACE U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
USF University of South Florida
USC University of South Carolina
USGS U.S. Geophysical Survey
VOS Voluntary Observing Ships
WFO NOAA National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office
WMO World Meteorological Organization
XML Extensible Markup Language