Members of CeNCOOS’ Executive Committee wish outgoing CeNCOOS Program Coordinator, Heather Kerkering, good luck in her new position as Deputy Director of PacIOOS. (Pictured L - R: Pat Coulston, CDFG; Raphe Kudela, UCSC; Francisco Chavez, MBARI; Heather Kerkering, CeNCOOS; John Largier, UC Davis; and Toby Garfield, SFSU).
The value of strong collaboration among U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing Systems was demonstrated by the Central and Northern California Association of the Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (CeNCOOS) Annual Meeting on January 9 and 10, 2012. Collaboration among CeNCOOS, the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Systems (NANOOS) and the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) is resulting in sustained High Frequency Radar operations, tests and evaluations of wave gliders, and advancements in research of Ocean Acidification and Harmful Algae Blooms.
Zdenka Willis, U.S. IOOS Program Director, and Jenifer Rhoades, U.S. IOOS Program Regional Program Analyst, attended and provided a national overview of U.S. IOOS during the meeting. More than 50 stakeholders attended the meeting, which focused on reviewing the efforts of CeNCOOS partners and developing a new strategic plan for the Regional Association. The still-emerging strategy is focused on improving Harmful Algae Bloom forecasting, standardizing data and observations, and continuing the successful partnership with SCCOOS and NANOOS to advance common areas of interest, such as the development of a state-wide atmospheric model.
Heather Kerkering, CeNCOOS Program Coordinator, highlighted CeNCOOS’ accomplishments over the last two years. These included the use of High Frequency Radar, a technology started in CenCOOS, in support of the COSCO Busan (2007) and Deepwater Horizon (2010) oil spills, as well as for Search and Rescue efforts. It is estimated the search area is reduced by 65% over 96 hours and up to 50 lives are saved annually as a result of data supplied to search and rescue agencies.
Also, highlighted were improved water quality, coastal hazard data and forecasting for inundation and tsunami, and outreach and education offerings.
Tom Evans, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Monterey, CA, Forecast Office, described the importance of CeNCOOS provided data and information for decision making. He mentioned the importance of Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) buoy data in providing wave height and swell train information to develop marine forecasts.
Heather Kerkering was also recognized by CeNCOOS for her dedicated efforts to coordinate and support the advancement of CeNCOOS. She recently accepted a position with the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) as its Deputy Executive Director.