GCOOS Data Management & Communications Committee meeting
26-27 April 2006
Ocean Springs, MS
The first annual meeting of the GCOOS Data Management and Communications Committee was held at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, MS, on 26-27 April 2006. Dr. Sharon Walker, Director of the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium, hosted the meeting. Attendees, their affiliations, and their GCOOS roles are given in Appendix A. The agenda for the meeting is given in Appendix B.
1.0 Opening of Meeting
1.1 Welcome, introductions, and logistics
The Data Management and Communications Committee met in plenary session with the Products and Services Committee and the Observing Systems Committee during the morning of 26 April 2006. Ann Jochens, GCOOS Regional Coordinator, welcomed the participants, introduced the Board members present, and explained logistics for the meeting. Participants then introduced themselves to the group.
1.2 Objectives of the meetings
Ray Toll, Chair of the GCOOS Board of Directors, gave a brief introduction and an overview of the purpose of the meeting. One major purpose of the meeting was to provide committee members with an overview of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) that constitutes the U.S. implementation of GOOS, and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) and the GCOOS Regional Association (GCOOS-RA). The second major purpose was to organize each Committee, including election of the Committee Chair, development of its action plan for the coming year, and set up of its methods for conducting its work and its interactions with the other GCOOS-RA Committees and Councils and Board.
2.0 Overviews of the Observing Systems
2.1 Overview of GOOS and the U.S. IOOS
Worth Nowlin gave a presentation reviewing the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), with a focus on the National Backbone. Questions and discussion followed. In the discussion, Nowlin mentioned that the global component of GOOS was working well, but that the coastal component of IOOS needed sharper planning before it would be likely to receive substantial funding.
2.2 Overview of GCOOS
Jan van Smirren, GCOOS Board member, presented an overview of GCOOS. It was suggested that a list of acronyms should be developed. Discussion centered on the relationship of GCOOS with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. As a coordinated effort by the Governors of the five Gulf states, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) plays a prominent role in the broad community of stakeholders in the GCOOS. Within the range of activities that will help realize the seven societal goals of the IOOS, the GOMA has identified five priority topics for the Gulf of Mexico. Ties are being developed between GOMA and GCOOS to ensure that these topics are being adequately addressed.
2.3 Synopsis of GCOOS workshops
Ann Jochens then gave a synopsis of the eight past GCOOS workshops and plans for future targeted sector workshops. Some of the past workshops and these future workshops are intended to develop prioritized measurements and products thought to be needed by specific private sector stakeholders, to provide estimates of economic benefits of such measurements or products to the sector, and to provide suggestions of pilot projects that might lead to new priority measurements and products.
2.4 The roles of the private sector in GCOOSâ€”a personal perspective
Finally, Nowlin gave a presentation on his views of the roles of the private sector in GCOOS.
3.0 Data Management and Communications Committee Working Session
The plenary session was followed by break-out sessions for each committee. This document constitutes the minutes of the Data Management and Communications Committee (DMAC). There are separate minutes for the Product and Services Committee (PSC) and the Observing Systems Committee (OSC). Interactions are planned with the Education and Outreach Council (EOC), which had met 24-25 April 2006.
Matt Howard, GCOOS Data Coordinator, made a presentation on DMAC that was given also at a SEACOOS meeting on data sharing and data quality for the southeast region. He then challenged the GCOOS DMAC members to come up with ways to advance DMAC in the Regional Associations without funding. The Committee discussed the need for a GCOOS web portal that pulls data into products for general use.
The The Committee agreed that the meeting goals were to:
- Review Terms of Reference and Membership
- Establish the Action Plan for Year 1 (May 2006 – April 2007)
- Assign Working Sub Groups/Sub Committees
- Develop Committees and Council Communications Plan
- Share Action Plans
- Monthly Reports
- Email & Telephone
- Elect Chair
3.1 DMAC Committee Terms of Reference
The DMAC Committee reviewed its Terms of Reference (Appendix C). The Committee recommends the following changes (additions in bold;
deletions in strike-through):
“The DMAC Committee will oversee development of the data management and communications component of GCOOS and ensure its alignment with the IOOS DMAC Plan. The DMAC Committee will make recommendations to the Board on
research or DMAC pilot projects that are needed to sustain and enhance IT infrastructure of the coastal ocean observing system and associated data use. The DMAC Committee also is responsible for recommending to the Board annual updates to the business plan for data management and communications activities. The DMAC Committee will be appointed by the GCOOS Board of Directors and the chair will be elected by the members of the Committee.”
3.2 DMAC Committee Plan of Action and Committee Structure
The Committee considered a strawman Action Plan. Bill Burnett asked that this action plan be prioritized. Following further discussion, the prioritized DMAC Committee Action Plan for May 2006 through April 2007 that was agreed on is:
- Revise DMAC parts of GCOOS Business Plan
- Implement National DMAC in the GCOOS-RA (create implementation plan)
- Establish data standards committee
- Consider/Recommend DMAC-related pilot projects
- Build a GCOOS data portal
- Demonstrate interoperability by pushing GCOOS data and model output from GCOOS providers to OPENIOOS
- Review the regional operations center concept
- Identify potential new DMAC committee members
It was agreed that the Committee should have smaller groups working on these action items. Volunteers were identified to lead/coordinate each action item. The Committee members agreed and made the following assignments:
#1 – All DMAC members contribute edits to Matt Howard and Susan Starke
#2 – All DMAC members contribute edits to Matt Howard and Susan Starke
#3 – Bill Burnett (lead), Scott Duff, Brenda Babin
#4 – Steve Beaudet, Ed Kearns
#5 – Vembu Subramanian, Brenda Babin, Scott Duff, Matt Howard
#6 – Vembu Subramanian, Ed Kearns, Matt Howard
#7 – Bill Burnett, Steve Beaudet, Susan Starke
#8 – Everyone feeding information to chair who reports
3.3 DMAC Committee Chair
To maintain continuity, the Committee decided that there be a past-chair to advise, a chair to lead, and a chair-elect to learn. Steve Beaudet was elected chair; he will serve one year as chair and one year as past-chair. Pending his acceptance, Ed Kearns was elected chair-elect to serve next year as chair and the following year as past-chair.
3.4 Pertinent Upcoming Meetings
The Committee considered its activities given that the GCOOS funding at present is primarily for meetings and workshops. The Committee considered whether its members should attend relevant meetings and share information. Matt identified some upcoming meetings where the DMAC message can be spread:
- DMAC Steering Team (May 2006)
- NOAA/CSC Inventories (June 2006) Jim Boyd is orchestrating this particular activity. This forum may be away to advance the notion of getting an inventory into a living document which we could search (e.g., MBARI initiatives Sensor ML and Sensor XML – also being addressed in ORION).
- QARTOD QA/QC (21-23 June 2006 @ WHOI) Could be a sub working group to focus on something to advance the existing data streams.
- Ocean.US DMAC RA-Caucus (before November 2006) Matt has $20K for face-to-face meeting.
- OOSTECH (web Services? TBD) Phil Bogden organized previous OOSTECH.
- NSF/MMI (metadata – TBD) Proposal currently in for funding. Matt is on proposal.
- GCOOS-RA meetings
- There is limited funding available through the GCOOS-RA to send folks to meetings. Contact Ann Jochens (firstname.lastname@example.org) for approval.
3.5 Recruiting, Training, and Retaining IT Staff
Retaining talented IT staff for Regional Associations is difficult because of the more lucrative job opportunities elsewhere, typically in industry. How do we address this issue? Intern programs should be used to bring them in. Contact high schools and college students for internships. Recruit students in computer science and geography to arrange class projects to help increase interest. SAIC, NDBC, NOAA will address this issue at future job fairs which they attend. Job openings, internship opportunities will be put on GCOOS web site; it will not be just GCOOS, but all regions. This committee will provide information to the Committee chair who will pass to Susan Martin for posting on the GCOOS web site.
Specific skill sets desired for DMAC IT staff include:
- object-oriented programmers
- GIS expertise
- XML, SOAP
- database management (SQL)
- physical science background
- problem solving ability
There exist courses or degree programs in ocean observations at University of South Florida, Texas A&M University, Rutgers, and University of Southern Mississippi among other universities.
IT staff levels at some of the relevant institutions were reviewed:
- COMPS has two data management folks. One is a manager of offshore buoy data (who also does system administrative work); the other is Vembu who does all other types of data management. There are two post docs who maintain nowcast/forecast model.
- LUMCON has two who do data management.
- TABS has one to two.
- TCOON has two.
- Data management staffing at Shell is one.
- NDBC has approximately 15.
3.6 Communication and Collaboration
Mechanisms to communicate among the committee members and other IT folks were considered. Wiki can be a good tool for editing if the group is active. The DMAC Committee plans to establish one for committee activities.
NOAA’s Community Information Repository may be a useful resource for the regional associations and their partners.
Susan Martin will check on dmac.gcoos.org as a domain name for DMAC information to be displayed rather than as a subpart of www.gcoos.org.
Appendix A: GCOOS Data Management and Communications Committee (DMAC) Meeting Attendees
26-27 April 2006
Ocean Springs, MS
|Attendee||Affiliation||GCOOS Role||Day 1||Day 2|
|Steve Beaudet||Science Applications International Corp.||DMAC Chair||X||X|
|Bill Burnett||NOAA NDBC||Member||X||X|
|Scott Duff||Texas A&M Universityâ€“Corpus Christi||Member||X||X|
|Matt Howard||Texas A&M University||Member||X||X|
|Robert Raye||Shell International Exploration & Production||Member||X||X|
|Erik Stabenau||National Park Services||Representing Ed Kearns||X|
|Vembu Subramanian||University of South Florida||Member||X||X|
|Susan Martin||Texas A&M University||Reporter; GCOOS Office||X||X|
|Ray Toll||Science Applications International Corp.||Chair of GCOOS Board||X|
|Attendees to the Plenary Session Only|
|Landry Bernard||National Data Buoy Center, NOAA||GCOOS Membership Committee||X|
|Terry McPherson||NASA||GCOOS Membership Committee||X|
Appendix B: Provisional Agenda for GCOOS Data Management and Communications Committee Meeting
26-27 April 2006; Ocean Springs, MS
26 April 2006
|0830||Coffee and Juice|
|Plenary Session with other GCOOS Committees|
|0900||Welcome, Introductions, Logistics (Ann Jochens, GCOOS Regional Coordinator)|
|0915||Introduction and Purpose of the Meetings (Ray Toll, Chair of GCOOS-RA Board)|
|0930||Introduction to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS)–with a focus on the National Backbone
(Worth Nowlin, GCOOS-RA Board)
Questions and discussion
|1015||Overview of GCOOS (Jan van Smirren, GCOOS-RA Board)
Questions and discussion
|1100||Synopsis of GCOOS workshops, results, and actions (Ann Jochens)|
|1130||Roles of Private Sector in GCOOS (Worth Nowlin)|
|Data Management and Communication Committee Committee Sessions (Reporter: Susan Martin )
Interim chair, Steve Beaudet, presiding
|1300||Presentation of Terms of Reference and Charges to Committee – This includes suggested tasks to be worked on by the Committee (Matt Howard)
Following discussion of the terms of reference given in the GCOOS-RA MoA, the following principal committee tasks will be suggested:
|1345||Introduction and discussion of background materials
|1415||Election of Chair|
|1430||Discussion of and decisions regarding Committee’s foci and approach|
Suggested topics for consideration at this meeting include:
|1730||Adjourn for day 1|
|1800||Icebreaker at Sharon Walker’s house|
27 April 2006
|0700||Breakfast of committee chairs and reporters to compare notes|
|0830||Coffee and juice|
|0900||Committee meeting continues|
|1045||Conclusions from the meeting|
Appendix C: Terms of Reference Data Management and Communications Committee
GCOOS Memorandum of Agreement Section VI.b.8
The DMAC Committee will oversee development of the data management and communications component of GCOOS and ensure its alignment with the IOOS DMAC Plan. The DMAC will make recommendations to the Board on research or pilot projects that are needed to sustain and enhance the coastal ocean observing system and associated data use. The DMAC also is responsible for recommending to the Board annual updates to the business plan for data management and communications activities. The DMAC Committee will be appointed by the GCOOS Board of Directors and the chair will be elected by the members of the Committee.