Program Update: Interagency Ocean Observation Committee – March 2014



The Interagency Ocean Observation Committee (IOOC) held a full membership meeting on March 24, 2014. One of the major highlights of the meeting included the announcement of the formation of a new IOOC Modeling Task Team that will develop a data modeling strategy that uses ocean observations to inform science managers and decision makers of past, present, and future/forecasted conditions. The effort will provide specific technical input to the IOOC, U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Program Office and IOOS Association over the next 5-8 years. The modeling strategy also addresses the National Ocean Policy implementation plans. 

The IOOC has been working steadily with National Ocean Council (NOC) staff on fulfilling the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plans. The next official progress reports are due mid- to late June. Following a successful pilot for January reporting, the NOC will engage the IOOC in online (Share Point) reporting in June. The NOC Office is developing brief written highlights using input on success stories from subgroups. The online components will provide an update on each NOP action based on progress reports from the IOOC.

The Biological Integration and Observation Task Team (BIO-TT) is working to improve the availability of existing IOOS core biological variables and identify and prioritize additional cross-cutting biological and ecosystem observation needs. They disseminated a survey for federal agencies to determine whether existing core variable datasets are fully integrated under IOOS. Survey results are to be completed by mid-April. The team will synthesize their results and organize an expert workshop in the fall to determine an implementation strategy.

The IOOC also established the Post-Summit Task Team, a multi-agency effort to prioritize the Summit Recommendations and determine work plans. The team is currently in the process of developing a response for a path forward on each recommendation. This includes inputs from each of the IOOC subgroups. Once the information is complete, the IOOC will identify projects to initiate. More information about the Summit, including the final report and community white papers, can be found in the U.S. IOOS Summit Report released this summer at

The Data Management and Communications Steering Team (DMAC ST) had its fall meeting in November where they addressed many priorities, including National Ocean Policy Actions and Summit Recommendations. Notably, the team is engaging in a new project called the Data Accessibility Testing and Evaluation (DATE) Project. The goals are to contribute to DMAC ST priorities, including how to accelerate the adoption of standards, improve compliance and use of metadata, and establish DMAC as a federated network of data providers and catalogs. The objectives are to develop a capabilities assessment, which includes defining scenarios and identifying community best practices. It will report on data format, access methods and documentation (Metadata). Ultimately, it would be an assessment at the level of dataset/metadata/service for member agencies with recommendations for closing identified gaps. The DMAC ST will hold their next meeting in June or July.

Upcoming Meetings:

The next full membership meeting takes place on Monday, May 19, 2:00-4:00PM ET at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

More information about the IOOC can be accessed at, which contains updated information regarding commenting opportunities on committee activities, information on upcoming and past events, and relevant scientific, technical and policy publications. If you have any questions, please visit the committee’s website or send an email to

Consortium for Ocean Leadership