Happy Holidays from the IOCCG

The Chairman and staff of the IOCCG Project Office extend their best wishes to the ocean-colour community over the festive season.


IOCCG Report 7 Released

The IOCCG working group on Operational Ocean Colour recently completed their report (IOCCG Report 7), entitled "Why Ocean Colour? The Societal Benefits of Ocean-Colour Technology". Currently the report being printed by the Indian Space research Organisation (ISRO), which is gratefully acknowledged, and it will be mailed to all members on the IOCCG mailing list as soon as it is available. In the meantime, a PDF version of the report can be downloaded from the Publications & Reports section of the IOCCG web site. An accompanying brochure on this topic has also been produced (sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency), and will be mailed together with the report.

The report illustrates the many applications of data acquired by remote sensing of ocean colour, in both the research and operational arena, and demonstrates the benefits to society of investment in ocean-colour technology. The benefits are many and varied, and taken together make a very impressive case for making ocean colour a key requirement in earth observation.

Geostationary WG meeting

The working group examining Ocean Colour from a Geostationary Orbit, chaired by David Antoine, met for the first time on 1 November 2008 in South Korea, following the GOCI PI workshop. KORDI sponsored some of the IOCCG working group members to attend the workshop, which is gratefully acknowledged.

The WG addressed a number of topics, including the value of the GEO orbit for ocean-colour observations (research and operational uses) and the complementarity between LEO / GEO missions. GEO mission requirements were also discussed and a number of recommendations (both technical and programmatic) were made. The minutes of the meeting, as well as copies of all presentations are available at:

BIO-Argo WG Meeting

The working group on Bio-optical Sensors on Argo Floats, chaired by Hervé Claustre, met for the second time from 20-21 November 2008, in Villefranche (France). The group is examining the scientific and strategic challenges of designing a program based on Argo float technology equipped with bio-optical sensors. Current scientific activities related to bio-optical / bio-geochemical floats were reviewed at the WG meeting, including new activities that were not presented at the previous meeting. Various sections of the draft report were also refined, and the group hopes to have a draft report ready for external review by the end of March 2009.

New IOCCG Committee Member

The IOCCG Committee would like extend a warm welcome Dr. Tasuku Tanaka who was recently nominated as a member of IOCCG to replace one of the 3 scientific experts who will rotate off Committee next year. Dr. Tanaka represented NASDA as one of the first agency representatives to the IOCCG in 1997. He is currently a Professor on the Faculty of Engineering at Yamaguchi University in Japan, and will serve as a scientific expert on the IOCCG committee for a three-year period.

14th IOCCG Committee Meeting

Plans are underway for the 14th IOCCG Committee meeting, which is scheduled to take place from 20-22 April 2009 in Hangzhou, China. A meeting of the recently-established CEOS Ocean Colour Radiometry-Virtual Constellation (OCR-VC) study team (composed of space agency representatives), will also take place during this time. The study team will discuss details of the OCR-VC implementation plan, which aims to provide Essential Climate Variables (ECV) for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), and will also address a number of GEOSS tasks. The Committee will also review the status of the various IOCCG scientific working groups and discuss proposals for new working groups and capacity building initiatives. Following the Committee meeting there will be a two-day international ocean-colour workshop.

Employment Opportunities

A number of new positions in remote sensing have been added to the Employment Opportunities section of the IOCCG web site.

Third GlobColour User Workshop

ESA's Third GlobColour User Consultation Meeting was held jointly with the "Medspiration" user consultation meeting (another ESA-DUE project merging SST data), in Frascati, Italy on 19-20 November 2008. ESA's GlobColour Project has successfully merged data from MERIS, SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua ocean-colour sensors to provide a long time-series (1997-2007) of consistently calibrated, global ocean-colour data with the best possible spatial coverage. Positive user feedback was received during the workshop and fruitful exchanges occurred between the Medspiration and GlobColour communities, as well as with the user community (scientists and end user organisations interested in the products and NRT service). A special session was devoted to the new ESA initiative Global Monitoring of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) - an ESA contribution to GCOS within the framework of GMES. Eric Thouvenot (CNES) represented the IOCCG at the workshop and gave a presentation on the international perspective of GlobColour.

Time Series Workshop

Current and past IOCCG Chairs, James Yoder and Trevor Platt, represented the IOCCG at the International Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Time Series Workshop held at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on 5-7 November 2008. Prof. Yoder gave a presentation entitled "What are Satellite Measurements of Ocean Color Radiometry Telling Us About Change in the Ocean?" and Dr. Platt gave a talk entitled "Time Series of the Ocean Ecosystem by Remote Sensing". One of the goals of the meeting was to highlight the critical research that can only be carried out using time series (both ship-board and autonomous) observations. The workshop also assessed the future of time-series observations in an age when it is becoming technically feasible to develop basin- and global-scale networked arrays of ocean time-series stations, offering a new tool with enormous potential to cover a range of spatial and temporal scales never before possible. All presentations can be downloaded from the workshop website.

OceanObs-09 Conference

The OceanObs’09 conference will be held in Venice, Italy, from 21 to 25 September 2009. For the first time in history, the world’s oceans are being observed routinely and systematically by means of satellite and in situ techniques, and it is now important to establish an international framework that will sustain the present system and evolve it to respond to increasing needs. The core input of the conference will be solicited Community White Papers on various elements of in situ or satellite observing systems, data systems, and services (see current list of CWP Proposals). The IOCCG has submitted a Community White Paper on the Ocean Colour Radiometry-Virtual Constellation (OCR-VC). The conveners are also soliciting nominations for Plenary Paper lead authors. The Plenary Talks will draw on the Community White Papers and additional contributions.

SAFARI Workshop

The SAFARI Project (Societal Applications in Fisheries & Aquaculture using Remotely-Sensed Imagery) recently conducted a one-day International workshop on the Use of Remote Sensing Applied to Fisheries and Marine Resources, at the 2008 SPIE Asia-Pacific Remote Sensing Symposium (17-21 November 2008, New Caledonia). The SAFARI Project, funded primarily by the Canadian Space Agency with additional support from the IOCCG, aims to expand the use of satellite ocean-colour radiometry in fisheries research and ecosystem-based fisheries management. The workshop was attended by local experts in fisheries science as well as international specialists in remote sensing and fisheries. A report will be published in the Proceedings of the SPIE Symposium.

Traineeship in Observational Oceanography

The Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) is pleased to announce a second year of support from the Nippon Foundation for the NF-POGO Centre of Excellence in Observational Oceanography. The Centre will offer a 10-month Programme of study at BIOS on Observational Oceanography. Tentative Programme dates are from 1 August, 2009 to 31 May, 2010. Travel and living expenses of the trainees will be covered by the NF-POGO Programme. Full details are available at:

Material for possible inclusion in the IOCCG Newsletter should be submitted to the Project Scientist, Dr. Venetia Stuart.

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