11th IOCCG Committee Meeting

Group Photo
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The IOCCG Committee met for the 11th time in Busan, South Korea (11-13 January 2006). The meeting was hosted by the Korean Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI) and was attended by 29 Committee members and invited guests. The IOCCG Chair was officially handed over from Dr. Trevor Platt, Chairman of the IOCCG Committee since its inception, to Prof. James Yoder (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA). Dr. Platt was congratulated for the great legacy that he had established over the past 10 years.

The status of the various IOCCG working groups was reviewed and Committee members were pleased to note that three working groups were ready to publish their monographs this year. A new working group on Phytoplankton Functional Types (PFTs) was established, to be chaired by Cyril Moulin (LSCE/IPSL, France). Committee members were also updated on the status of the various current and planned ocean-colour missions. Further details about the meeting can be found in the Minutes on the IOCCG website.

New IOCCG Committee Members

One of the requirements of Affiliated Programs of SCOR is the regular rotation of scientific committee members. Three scientific committee members (Vivian Lutz, Ian Robinson and Ron Zaneveld) rotated off the Committee and were replaced by Milton Kampel (INPE, Brazil), Samantha Lavender (University of Plymouth, UK) and Mark Dowell (JRC, Italy). Curtiss Davis (Oregon State University, USA) was invited to serve a second term. We officially thank the three retiring members for their hard work and contributions over the past three years and extend a warm welcome to our new Committee members.

New IOCCG Committee members Samantha Lavender, Mark Dowell and Milton Kampel

News from ESA

GlobCOLOUR Project

The European Space Agency's new GlobCOLOUR Project, established by ESA's "Data User Element" ( DUE), got underway in November of 2005. The aim of the GlobCOLOUR Project is to develop a 10-year global ocean-colour data set by merging together information from four satellite sensors: SeaWiFS, MODIS-Aqua, MERIS and Parasol/ POLDER. The project organisation includes two institutional users, namely IOCCG and IOCCP (International Ocean Carbon Coordinating Project). The project will provide scientists with a long time-series of consistently calibrated global ocean colour information. These data streams will be combined in such a way that the output product is as far as possible independent of the input data source. To achieve this, a characterisation of each sensor's performance will first be made, including an analysis of the best available retrieval algorithms. Data-merging methods starting from both radiance and derived bulk properties (such as surface chlorophyll concentration) will be tested. An algorithm intercomparison and trade-off analysis will be carried out to decide which merging algorithm to implement. A thorough validation of the final products against in-situ measurements will be performed following well defined protocols, such as those developed and demonstrated under the SIMBIOS programme.

The first GlobCOLOUR user workshop is tentatively planned for 4-7 December 2006, at the Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche (LOV). The aim will be to have not only scientific participants, but also end user organisations interested in the products and near-real time service for activities such as data assimilation into local and global oceanographic models. If you are interested in attending or receiving more information about the workshop, please contact: Further information on the GlobCOLOUR Project can be found at

ESA's new Earth Images Gallery.

The ESA Earth Images Gallery is a user-friendly showcase of spectacular images acquired by ESA Earth Observation satellites. The collection can be searched on a geographical basis, using a spinning globe to specify a continent of interest. Alternatively, the images can be searched by keyword, or mission (Envisat, ERS or Proba). Global maps based on ESA satellite data are also available and new maps as well as satellite images will be added to the collection on a regular basis.

Envisat Live is another ESA tool to visualise live images from the web, illustrating the use of Envisat data products in a wide variety of applications. You can watch El Niño, the Gulf Stream and the ozone layer above the Arctic in near-real-time. As part of operational delivery of Envisat data to users the MERIS Global Coverage Quicklooks are also available in the catalogue system. They can be used to visualise coverage maps e.g. MERIS reduced resolution quicklooks for a certain time period.

News from NASA

Ocean Colour Web Feature

An updated animation of the SeaWiFS biosphere data set encompassing eight years worth of ocean colour (chlorophyll concentration) and land vegetation (normalized difference vegetation index) observations from September 1997 through July 2005 is now available. See NASA's Ocean Color Web for more information.

Malaysian Ocean Colour Portal

The Malaysian Ocean Colour Portal is a new website set up by C. K. Tan (Nagasaki University) to promote ocean colour studies in Southeast Asian waters and to generate regional cooperation in the area. The web site was recently updated and includes a bibliography of scientific papers dealing with remote sensing in the Malaysian and Southeast Asian wates, as well as information on red tides in SE Asia, ocean colour research activities in Malaysia and a wealth of other information. Please use the following link to
access the website.

Ocean Colour from Geostationary Satellites

At the recent IOCCG meeting, participants were informed about two planned geostationary platforms (South Korea and USA) which are scheduled to carry ocean colour sensors. COMS-1 is the planned South Korean geostationary satellite with multifunctional applications in the fields of experimental communications, ocean monitoring, and meteorological observations. It will carry the Geostationary Ocean Colour Imager (GOCI) and is scheduled to be launched in 2008. The scope of the GOCI mission includes detecting, monitoring and predicting short-term biological phenomena such as HABs, support for studies on bio-geochemical variables and cycles, monitoring health of the marine ecosystem, coastal zone and resource management and providing information for fishing communities. GOCI will have 8 bands: 6 in the visible and 2 NIR channels, a 500 m spatial resolution, and band triplets for the measurement of sun-induced chlorophyll-a fluorescence (FLH). A GOCI Data Processing System (GDPS) will be developed over the next few years by the Korean Ocean Satellite Center. Further information on the instrument can be found here.

NOAA's next series of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), the GOES-R Series, are targeted to begin launching in 2012. Each will carry operational instruments for observing weather, as well as a number of other instruments that will have vastly improved capabilities in regards to coastal water imagery. It is planned that GOES-R will carry the Hyperspectral Environmental Suite-Coastal Water (HES-CW) imager, which will be able to view U.S. coastal waters every three hours (and hourly at selected sites). The configuration and 300-meter spatial resolution at mid-latitudes will support the development of algorithms for shallow, nearshore waters and provide continuity to satellite missions with sensors that meet, or exceed, present ocean-colour specifications for spectral and spatial resolution. Further information and technical specifications of the sensor can be found here.

Training Opportunities

Several training opportunities in remote sensing in general, as well as ocean colour in particular, are available in various parts of the world.

3rd Envisat Summer School

The 2006 ESA Summer School will be held at ESRIN (near Rome) from 31 July - 11 August 2006. The course will cover a broad spectrum of research issues related to the Monitoring and Modelling of the Earth System including the ocean, atmosphere, biosphere and cryosphere, with a cross cutting focus on Data Assimilation techniques illustrating how they maximize the scientific and economic value of EO data. There is no fee for the school but students are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs.

ESA Training Course

ESA will conduct an Advanced Training Course on Ocean Remote Sensing at the University of Hamburg, Institute of Oceanography, 25 - 29 September 2006. The objective of the course is to provide first-hand information on a broad range of ocean research topics including key principles of SAR, Radar Altimetry, Ocean Colour and Sea Surface Temperature measurements, processing algorithms, data products and their use in oceanographic applications. There is no fee for the training course but students are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs.

Satellite Remote Sensing Training Course

A satellite remote sensing training course for biological oceanographers will be conducted at Cornell University from 2 - 16 June 2006. It is open to researchers who have either modest or no prior experience with satellite remote sensing techniques. Participants will learn the basic skills needed to work independently to acquire, analyze and visualize data sets derived from a variety of satellite sensors (e.g., SeaWiFS, MODIS, AVHRR, SeaWinds and Topex/Jason). See the announcement for further information.

POGO-SCOR Visiting Fellowships

2006 POGO-SCOR Visiting Fellowships for Oceanographic Observations are now available. The programme is open to scientists, technicians, graduate students (PhD) and post doctoral fellows involved in oceanographic work at centres in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The deadline for the next round of applications is April 15, 2006. More details and the application form are available from the POGO website.

Workshops and Conferences

A number of new workshops and conferences have been added to the Workshops and Conferences section of the IOCCG website including the NASA Ocean Color Research Team Meeting, 11-13 April 2006, Newport, RI, USA.

Employment Opportunities

Several new job opportunities and post-doctoral positions have been posted on the IOCCG Employment Opportunities webpage, including a post-doctoral Aquatic Remote Sensing Position at CSIRO, Australia (closing date 5th March 2006). Please see for further details on all positions.

New References

Several new references have been added to the Recent Ocean Colour References (2004-2006) section of the IOCCG website. If you would like to see your ocean colour related publications appear here, please send a message to the Project Scientist

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