February 2021 Issue
Director's Article
Upcoming Events & Program Updates
Stratus Ocean Reference Station Deployed off Coast of Chile
New Tide Gage Station Built in Chuuk, Micronesia
Successful Workshop: 'Integrating Ocean Observations to Improve NOAA’s Hurricane Intensity Forecasts'
NPR Covers 2020's Record Heat and NOAA's Arctic Research
Job Announcements
Call for Spotlight Presentations
News from Around NOAA
New Publications
Director's Article

As I write this, multiple cruises are underway to maintain long-term ocean mooring sites and carry out equally important ocean research. Getting these cruises underway required enormous coordination across NOAA and with our partners who are participating as members of the science crew, supporting cruise preparations, and/or arranging logistics (which have become even more complicated under COVID-19). Scientific and ship crews are sheltering in place for 7-14 days in advance of each cruise to maintain safety – separated from families and colleagues in hotels far away from home. Our hats off to the many who are sacrificing more than usual in support of GOMO and NOAA ocean observing. OMAO safety practices implemented to maintain safety have resulted in zero cases of COVID-19 at sea, and logging over 550 sea days to date since last March. We still have a long way to go in returning to sea and properly maintaining our long-term time series sites; sampling the ocean to discern key changes; deploying floats, drifters, and atmospheric samplers in support of regional and global monitoring; and testing new technologies. We must continue to note the significant challenges (and costs) for continued observing of the ocean, especially during the pandemic!
Congratulations to Sid Thurston and Cheyenne Stienbarger (and their planning team from across OAR, NOAA, and the research partners) for a stimulating workshop “Integrating Ocean Observations to Improve NOAA’s Hurricane Intensity Forecasts.” This is an emerging new area for GOMO activities. Workshop results are stimulating a number of follow-up actions and plans for future ocean observing activities.

-David Legler
Upcoming Events & Program Updates
Upcoming Events

February is Black History Month!
(or National African American History Month) Read the stories about some prominent NOAA figures in Black History:

  • The Research Vessel Ron Brown is named to honor the late Ronald H. Brown, the first African American to serve as Secretary of Commerce. Brown made it his mission to generate jobs and provide opportunities for ordinary Americans. Learn more about Ron Brown's life and career.

  • AOML oceanographer and Miami native, Evan B. Forde (pictured right) was the first African American scientist to participate in research dives aboard a deep-sea submersible in 1979, and completed successful dive expeditions in several submarine canyons utilizing three of these vessels. He is currently the Vice Steward of the employee union for AOML and President of the Miami Chapter of the American Meteorological Society. Read his interview.

Welcome New GOMO Members!
2020 Knauss Sea Grant Fellows Join GOMO in New Roles:
Ann-Christine Zinkann is joining GOMO as an International Ocean Science Program Specialist where she will be working on the All-Atlantic Observing System (AtlantOS); Global Ocean Observing System Observations Coordination Group (OceanOPS); U.N. Decade; and GOMO Data Strategy. Ann defended her dissertation at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Marine Biology in December 2019. Her research was part of the AMBON (Arctic Marine Biodiversity Observing Network) project in which she focused on Arctic food web dynamics using stable isotope analysis and food web modeling. She has a Master of Science degree in Biology from University of Hamburg, Germany, working on the ecology of holothurians along the Southern Polar Front using fatty acid and stable isotope measurements. During her academic career she has participated in a variety of research cruises in the Arctic, Antarctic and Atlantic Ocean.
Cheyenne is joining GOMO as a Program Manager supporting the Tropical Pacific Observing System (TPOS) 2020 Project coordinating cross line office activities as the project transitions towards implementation. Additionally, she is coordinating the advancement of GOMO’s activities focused on ocean observing under extreme events.

Cheyenne defended her Master's thesis at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington in December 2019. Her research primarily focused on the effects of microplastics across multiple life stages of the commercially valuable black sea bass. She is originally from Salem, Missouri, and received her B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science from Evangel University. Cheyenne is known for her love of iced coffee and animals of all kinds, especially her golden retriever (Aspen) and leopard gecko (Voldemort).
Global Ocean Monitoring and Observing News
On January 28, 2021 the 19th deployment of the Stratus Ocean Reference Station (ORS) was accomplished using the Chilean Navy Ship AGS 61 Cabo de Hornos. The Stratus ORS is located about 800 nautical miles off the coast of northern Chile where the ocean depth is 4,230 meters, or more than 2.6 miles. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has been working with the Chilean Navy, or Armada de Chile to service the Stratus mooring since 2015, and on this mission, they were able to recover the 18th mooring and deploy the new one. Moorings are typically replaced every 12 months, and the 18th Stratus ORS had been deployed in April 2019, meaning it was stationed for almost 2 years before it could be replaced. The Status ORS deployment and recovery was originally scheduled for March 2020, but due to COVID-19 pandemic, this cruise was rescheduled two times. When the Cabo de Hornos became available in late January 2021, NOAA and WHOI moved swiftly to plan for travel, quarantine stays, and COVID-19 testing to meet WHOI, NOAA, and Armada de Chile protocols. The cooperation of the Armada de Chile and of the ship’s officers and crew was essential to the mission’s success. Read more about this mission.
New Tide Gauge Station Built in Chuuk, Micronesia
Chuuk, Micronesia has not had an active tide gauge for many years. In partnership with KIOST, the University of Hawaii Sea Level Center (UHSLC) was able to coordinate and help get a station built during the pandemic. Since travel was restricted, the technicians at UHSLC built the station in their shop, and then disassembled it and shipped it to Chuuk. They then talked the KIOST techs through the process of reassembling and installing the station. The new station is now online and data is available here. Island tide gauges provide critical points of data to help validate our satellite altimetry and for the global signal for sea level. Having an additional tide gauge in the Pacific affords NOAA and the global community more precise data to understand how sea level is changing. Read more.
GOMO, along with NOAA's U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), recently held the virtual workshop "Integrating Ocean Observations to Improve NOAA’s Hurricane Intensity Forecasts." This workshop brought together leaders in the observational and modeling communities to discuss ways to improve integration, coordination, and communication across NOAA ocean observing and modeling activities as it relates to hurricane intensity forecasting. Attendance averaged 115 participants, and up to 150 each day. This workshop was a great example of cross line office collaboration and engagement within NOAA, as well as with external partners. This workshop was an important step in progressing coordination to improve extreme event forecasting. Stay tuned for next steps!
Chukchi Sea in Oct. 2020
NOAA's Arctic research is highlighted in the NPR story: 2020 May Be the Hottest Year on Record. Here's the Damage it Did. NOAA scientist Jackie Grebmeier is quoted talking about the Norseman II cruise that was delayed to October of last year, when record heat was detected. Read the full story or listen to the 3-minute highlight here. 

Image: Chukchi Sea in October 2020
Job Announcements
The program specialist will be working with NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) to provide interagency affairs capacity in support of NOAA’s requirements under the Federal Ocean Acidification Research & Monitoring Act (FOARAM Act) and the Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act of 2020 Act (ICOOS Act).

DEADLINE: Sunday, 28 February 2021
We would like to let you know that the Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI) is hiring an Optics Research Assistant to support the Ocean Ecology Laboratory (OEL) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in the quality assurance and quality control of oceanographic optical measurements including the collection, processing, and evaluation of measurements of apparent and inherent optical properties. The position will involve extensive interaction with OEL scientific staff and managers as well as scientists from a variety of government agencies, research institutions, and other organizations. This is a full-time contractor position intended for long-term, renewed on annual basis based on performance and available funding.
DEADLINE: Wednesday, 31 March 2021
The Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia (UVA) seeks a Lab Specialist to contribute to computational research on ocean biogeochemistry using data analysis, remote sensing, and numerical modeling techniques. The candidate will work directly with Prof. Scott Doney in the Department of Environmental Sciences. This is a restricted position contingent on continued funding.

Call for Spotlight Presentations

Are you looking for a way to build excitement and support for your research? Consider signing up to deliver a Spotlight Presentation at an upcoming Senior Management Meeting! During each weekly NOAA Research Senior Management Meeting, there is an opportunity for scientists and program managers to showcase their research with a high level (virtual) presentation. The NOAA Research Communications team offers a guided practice session to help you prepare. Please contact your program manager and/or our Communications Specialist, Jessica Mkitarian to sign up.
News from Around NOAA
“If we’re wrong about the Southern Ocean being a strong sink, then where’s all that carbon dioxide going? The answer is important for understanding how the Earth system is responding to climate change,” said Adrienne Sutton, an oceanographer with NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, who is investigating the discrepancy between ship and float data. Read the full story.

“This is a great example of how important early warnings from observational systems can be. It’s pretty hard to solve a problem you don’t know exists,” said NOAA scientist Stephen Montzka, who led the research team that first documented the problem in 2018. Read the full story.
The Ocean Decade is Here!

Check out the official Ocean Decade website, and watch the replay of the high level kickoff event, A Brave New Ocean.

NOAA 2020 Knauss Fellow Taylor Goelz is hosting the Ocean Decade Show, a monthly podcast featuring behind-the-scenes information about the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Give it a listen!
Recent Publications
Karnauskas, K. B., Jakoboski, J., Johnston, T. M. S., Owens, W. B., Rudnick, D. L., & Todd, R. E. (2020). The Pacific Equatorial Undercurrent in three generations of global climate models and glider observations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 125, e2020JC016609. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JC016609
Thank You for being a part of the GOMO Community
Do you have news to share with the GOMO Community, or beyond? 
Contact Jessica Mkitarian: [email protected] or (301) 427-2472.
Subscribe or unsubscribe to GOMO's monthly community newsletter.