9th IOCCG Committee Meeting

The 9th annual IOCCG Committee meeting took place on 15-17 January, 2004 in Hyderabad, India and was attended by 25 participants, representing various Space Agencies and Research Institutes. At the meeting, the progress of the various IOCCG working groups was reviewed (see IOCCG website for updated reports). The Committee was pleased to learn that the final report of the Ocean Colour Data-Binning working group has been drafted, and will be published by the IOCCG later this year. The title of the working group on Biogeographical Provinces had been changed to "Global Ecological Provinces". In addition, it was proposed to form a new IOCCG working group to examine requirements for an ocean-colour sensor for the coastal zone.

Participants were informed of the status of current and planned ocean-colour sensors, and their plans for delivery of data. Discussions also took place on the desirability of climate quality data records for ocean colour.

Lastly, past training courses were reviewed and a number of new training initiatives discussed. The final minutes of the meeting will be posted on the IOCCG website in due course.

BEAGLE Cruise Ends

The six-month circum- navigation of the Southern Hemisphere by the Japanese research vessel, Mirai, will end on 19 February 2004 when the vessel completes its final leg (Leg 6, Fremantle, Australia to Kerguelen return). The voyage, called the BEAGLE (Blue Earth Global Expedition) 2003, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Japanese Marine Science and Technology Center (JAMSTEC).

The main objectives of the cruise were to detect and quantify temporal changes in the Antarctic Overturn System corresponding to global warming, through high-quality observations along the WHP lines. In addition, a comprehensive suite of bio-optical measurements was also undertaken throughout the cruise. These measurements can be used to validate satellite ocean-colour data, and can also be used to improve satellite-derived estimates of phytoplankton standing stocks and primary production. JAMSTEC offered to accommodate up to three trainees, plus one bio-optical specialist on each leg of the cruise. Accordingly, IOCCG, POGO and IOC awarded a limited number of scholarships for young scientists to participate in any one leg of the cruise, and to receive hands-on training on bio-optical and other oceanographic measurements on board the R/V Mirai. Further information on the cruise, as well as the students reports, can be found on the IOCCG training webpage .

MODIS Ocean Colour Products

According to a recent announcement, NASA Earth Science management has decided to temporarily cease processing Terra MODIS Oceans data and focus the PIs' and discipline processing team's efforts on Aqua MODIS data. The document that describes the current issues in the Terra MODIS Oceans calibration is available on the MODIS website. NASA's goal is to refine MODIS/Aqua Oceans data to climate research quality, and integrate SeaWiFS and MODIS/Aqua into a seamless, climate research quality time series. Data products in this time series will be community-reviewed and selected. Once the integration of high-quality SeaWiFS and MODIS/Aqua oceans data is complete, NASA may then choose to revisit the MODIS/Terra Oceans data for further analyses. See full announcement for further details.

Interim plans call for the Sea Surface Temperature data from both MODIS instruments to continue to be produced as they have been, and will continue to be, distributed from the Goddard Earth Sciences DAAC while the transition strategy is developed.

All these issues will be discussed at the NASA Town Hall meeting at the ALSO/TOS meeting (Hawaii, February 16-20, 2004), with further discussions planned for the Ocean Color Research Team meeting (mid-April 2004). Please direct any questions to Gene Feldman.

NASA's New "OceanColor Web"

NASA's new "OceanColor Web" site is intended to serve as the entry point into all of NASA's ocean colour-related activities as part of the evolution of the individual ocean mission-based activities into an integrated ocean measurement-based program. The site offers access to data sets from NASA's ocean-colour missions as well as many other useful links and services.

Science Focus!

A recent Science Focus! article entitled "South Georgia: A View Through the Clouds " highlights research undertaken by members of the British Antarctic Survey to understand the physical and biological dynamics of the productive waters arpound South Georgia [View Details]

MODIS image of South Georgia Island, acquired on August 8, 2002.

MERIS - Two Years in Orbit

March 1, 2004 will mark the two year anniversary for ESA's Envisat satellite, carrying the MERIS ocean-colour sensor. During this time, the various sensors onboard have collected a wealth of high-quality data. Since January 1 2004, there has been a routine rolling out of Level 2 products from MERIS for atmosphere, oceans and land. The first reprocessing of MERIS data will take place at the end of end of March 2004. The excellent quality and high resolution of MERIS data shows good potential for coastal water remote sensing, including sediment transport effects, erosion and coral reef monitoring.

MERIS image of the northern part of the Caspian Sea, acquired on 22 September 2003.

ESA will be holding the 2004 ENVISAT Symposium, in Salzburg, Austria from 6 to 10 September 2004. The main objectives of the Symposium are to provide a forum for investigators to present results of on-going research project activities and to review and assess the development of applications and services. The Symposium is open to all interested parties, from scientists to operational users, and will cover both ENVISAT and ERS missions. For further information see the ESA website.

Employment Opportunities

A variety of fellowships related to ocean colour are now available for Ph.D's, post-docs or research fellows. See Employment Opportunities section of the IOCCG webpage for further details.

Summer Courses

Two graduate summer courses related to ocean colour are offered at the Darling Marine Center (University of Maine), as well as one at Cornell University. See Training Section of IOCCG webpage for further information.

New References

Several new references have been added to the Recent Ocean-Colour References page of the IOCCG website. If you would like to see your references added to the IOCCG bibliography, please submit them to the Project Officer.

Material for possible inclusion in the IOCCG Newsletter should be submitted to the Project Scientist.

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