Eighth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), 16-17 November 2011, Istanbul, Turkey.
During the week of November 12-18, U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) director, Zdenka Willis, traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lead representative for the Eighth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). GEO is a voluntary partnership of governments and international organizations coordinating efforts to build a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). The goal of GEOSS is to provide decision makers with scientific information that can advance societal benefit areas such as human health, ecosystems, climate change and air and water quality. The plenary session fostered a better understanding of global earth observing needs and collaboration among the various components of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) Regional Alliances, to which IOOS contributes.
Dr. Steve Fetter, Principal Assistant Director of Environment for the White House Office of Science Technology and Policy served as U.S. Principal and Lead of the U.S. delegation. Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction served as the Alternate U.S. Principal/Lead of the U.S. delegation. The U.S. delegation also included representatives from the State Department, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Yana Gevorgyan joined Ms. Willis as NOAA’s GEO alternate.
"As we bring the sixth year of GEOSS to a close, we can see that our collective goal of a system of systems is being met,” said Dr. Sullivan. “While there is still a lot to do to make data accessible, open, timely, and usable, we can look back on the beginning of GEO with satisfaction.”
GEO advances include the implementation of data sharing principals, the creation of the GEOSS Data Collection of Open Resources for Everyone (CORE), progress in GEOSS Architecture development, and collaborations and partnerships in many tasks at the local, regional, and substantive levels.
“Within the United States, we continue to work to make our data free and open, accessible to all in a timely manner and with analytic tools which make use easier, assist with analysis, help us understand processes and trends on earth, and indeed, open up more research questions,” said Dr. Sullivan. “The U.S. is working internationally to develop standards and communities of practice to share and utilize data; Data from space, from airborne sensors, from the ground, and the oceans.”
The U.S. Government strongly supports GEO through participation in initiatives such as:
Ms. Willis briefed IOOS at the User Engagement Workshop. The U.S. GEO booth also featured IOOS as one of its presentations. IOOS presentations are available at in the Communication Section.
Presentation by Zdenka Willis, Director, U.S. IOOS Program Office
GEO Plenary: User Engagement Session, 15 Nov 2011 (pptx with notes)
Hyperwall Visual Introducing U.S. IOOS at the GEO Plenary
Snapshots of the Hyperwall Visual to Introduce U.S. IOOS at the GEO Plenary