12th IOCCG Committee Meeting

Group Photo
IOCCG-12 participants in the Namib desert, Swakopmund.
Click on image for larger view

The IOCCG Committee met for the 12th time in Swakopmund, Namibia from 16-18 January 2007. The meeting was hosted by the BENEFIT Programme (Benguela Environment Fisheries Interaction and Training Programme) and was chaired by Prof. James Yoder (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA).

The status of the various IOCCG working groups was reviewed. Two new IOCCG monographs should be published this year: Report Number 6 on "Ocean Colour Data Merging", edited by Dr. Watson Gregg (NASA), has already been sent to press, and the report from the working group on "Global Ecological Provinces", chaired by Drs. Mark Dowell and Trevor Platt, should be ready for printing later this year. Furthermore, the formation of a new IOCCG working group to implement Argo floats with optical and bio-optical sensors, was approved by the Committee.

Plans are underway for two new IOCCG capacity building initiatives: an advanced ocean-colour training course to be held in Newfoundland, Canada from 7-11 May 2007 (sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency), and a training course to be held in Kenya (24 September to 5 October 2007), organised by the Joint Research Centre (Italy) and co-sponsored by the IOCCG.

In other developments, the IOCCG Committee proposed the term "Ocean-Colour Radiometry" (OCR) for the general area of ocean-colour research, and urged the scientific research community to adopt this term in future publications. The full minutes of the meeting should be available on the IOCCG website within the next few weeks.

News from ESA

2007 ESA ENVISAT Symposium

Several hundred scientists from around the world are expected to attend the Envisat Symposium from 23-27 April 2007 in Montreux, Switzerland, to present and review results of ongoing research projects using data from ESA’s Envisat, ERS and Third Party Mission satellites.

The main objectives of the symposium include providing a forum for scientific researchers and operational users to meet, present results and compare findings. Major scientific achievements using Envisat’s MERIS instrument will also be highlighted.

ESA-NRSCC Training

Within the framework of the Dragon Programme, ESA and NRSCC (National Remote Sensing Center of China) are providing a series of advanced thematic training courses on remote sensing applications hosted by university and research institutions in P.R. China. As part of this initiative, a 6-day advanced training course will be held at the Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Hangzhou, P.R. China from 15-20 October 2007. The course is aimed at PhD students, post-doctoral and research scientists from P.R. China and other Asian countries interested in ocean remote sensing applications.

The training course will be devoted to applications of ESA Earth Observation data and information retrieval for China seas using optical, SAR and radar altimeter data. Practical sessions will include data access and handling, usage of software tools for examining data sets from MERIS and other instruments, and interpretation of signatures from these instruments and their transformation into geo-physical products.

Employment Opportunities

Several new job opportunities have been posted on the IOCCG website, including two post-doctoral positions at Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche, France and one at LSCE/IPSL, Gif-sur-Yvette, France. See the IOCCG Employment Opportunities webpage for further details.

HY-1B to be launched in April

The launch of the Chinese HY-1B satellite, the second in a series of four HY-1 oceanic satellites, has been postponed to April this year. The satellite, designed and developed by Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and sponsored by the State Ocean Administration (SOA) will carry a payload of two ocean-colour sensors: the Chinese Ocean Color and Temperature Scanner (COCTS), with 10 wavebands and a spatial resolution of 1.1 km, and the Coastal Zone Imager (CZI) with 4 wavebands and a spatial resolution of 250 m. The satellite will be used to monitor the ocean environment (ocean colour and sea surface temperature) and survey ocean resources. SOA will carry out an extensive bio-optical sampling programme over the next three years for algorithm development and validation in the coastal zone.

News from NASA

MODIS/Terra Products

A number of serious issues remain unresolved that significantly impact the quality and continuity of MODIS-Terra data set. Nevertheless, NASA has made available a standard set of ocean-colour products from MODIS-Terra for use as a QUALITATIVE data product only. Members of the research community are cautioned not to use these products for scientific research at this point, as NASA does not believe that they are of sufficient quality as there are still unresolved problems related to mirror-side differences, uncharacterized and changing polarization and response versus scan differences, amongst others. A complete description of the problems that NASA is currently working on and their present understanding of these can be found at:

The entire MODIS-Terra source data archive is currently being ingested and the entire sea surface temperature record will soon be reprocessed, since that does not have the same problems as the ocean-colour products. NASA will continue to evaluate the quality of the current and historical MODIS-Terra data set and hopefully, resolve these issues and produce a mission-long record at some point in the not too distant future.

Workshops, Conferences and Training

EARSeL Workshop

The Special Interest Group on Remote Sensing of the Coastal Zone of the European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL) will hold its 3rd Workshop on 7-9 June 2007 in Bolzano, Italy. A call for papers for the Coastal Zones Workshop can be found at The workshop will take place in the framework of the annual EARSeL Symposium:

SPIE Conference

A SPIE conference on Coastal Ocean Remote Sensing, co-chaired by Robert Frouin (Scripps) and ZhongPing Lee (Naval Research Lab), will take place from 26-30 August 2007. Abstract deadline 26 February 2007. For further details see the conference website.

Cornell University Summer Course

A training course on Satellite Remote Sensing in Biological Oceanography, will take place from 1-15 June 2007 at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA. For further details see .

University of Maine Course

A summer class on "Application of Remote and In-situ Ocean Optical Measurements to Ocean Biogeochemistry" will take place from 2-20 July 2007 at the University of Maine, Darling Marine Center, USA. Instructors: Emmanuel Boss, Mary Jane Perry, Collin Roesler and Curt Mobley. For further details and registration please see

POGO-SCOR Visiting Fellowship Programme

The Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) and its partner, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), announce the POGO-SCOR Visiting Fellowship Programme for 2007. This programme is designed to promote training and capacity building leading towards a global observation scheme for the oceans. A limited number of fellowships will be awarded to those involved in oceanographic work or study in developing countries, providing airfare and a cost-of-living stipend for a training period of up to three months in oceanographic institutions worldwide. The deadline for application is April 15, 2007. More details and the application can be found at


In IOCCG Report Number 5, one of the authors for the reference Lee et al. (1996a) was inadvertently omitted. The correct citation should be: Lee, Z. P., K. L. Carder, J. Marra, R. G. Steward, and M. J. Perry (1996a). Estimating primary production at depth from remote sensing. Appl. Opt. 35: 463-474.

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