IOCCG Working Groups

A major focus of the IOCCG has been the formation of specialised scientific working groups to investigate various aspects of ocean-colour technology and its applications. The end product of these working groups is usually the publication of a scientific report in the IOCCG report series. To date, three such reports have been published by the IOCCG and a further eight working groups are in various stages of progress. Information about each of these working groups can be found on the IOCCG website in a new section entitled IOCCG Working Groups.

IOCCG Welcomes New Members

In order to continue the required rotation of the IOCCG Committee, two new members have joined the Committee. Dr. Ray Barlow (MCM, Cape Town, South Africa) will replace Dr. Frank Shillington and Dr. David Antoine (Laboratoire d'Oceanographie de Villefranche) will replace Prof. André Morel (who was appointed as the first IOCCG Associate Member - see March 2003 News). The IOCCG would like to thank Dr. Shillington and Prof. Morel for their service on the committee, and extend a warm welcome to the new members.

We would also like to welcome two new Associate Members; Drs. Shubha Sathyendranath (BIO, Dartmouth, NS, Canada) and Menghua Wang (University of Maryland-Baltimore County, USA).

POGO/IOCCG Scholarships for JAMSTEC Cruise

POGO and the IOCCG were overwhelmed by the response to the last announcement for scholarships for the JAMSTEC Southern Hemisphere cruise. A large number of excellent applications were received for all six legs of the cruise. For this reason, competition for all legs of this cruise is now closed. Successful candidates will be notified within the next few weeks.

IOCCG Workshop in Argentina

IOCCG will be sponsoring an advanced workshop with the specific aim of helping a group of young researchers from South America write a scientific proposal in the field of bio-optics. This workshop will take place from 7 - 11 July, 2003 at the National Institute of Fisheries Research (INIDEP), Mar del Plata, Argentina. The final goal will be to help the participants write a proposal to funding agencies, in order to create a network of bio-optical stations around South America. For more information, please see the attached Word File.

The Future of SeaWiFS

The SeaWiFS mission has been working extremely well for over 5 years now, and the instrument is still very stable. Unfortunately the NASA contract with ORBIMAGE to receive SeaWiFS data expires in December, 2003.

An unofficial Future of SeaWiFS website has been set up to gauge the degree of community support, nationally and internationally, for continuing SeaWiFS observations.

This open forum is meant to: 1) Provide an accurate consensus and 2) allow the SeaWiFS-user community to present a united front. Users are invited to express their concerns about the future of the SeaWiFS research mission by voting at this website by June 21, 2003. A Community Letter will be forwarded to Congress and various US and foreign agencies with the survey information.

The IOCCG would like to encourage all SeaWiFS users to visit the website and show their support.


MODIS Ocean Reprocessing "041" Planned to Begin in July

After completion of the Terra Ocean Collection 4 reprocessing, analysis of the mission time series revealed that certain improvements could be made. The upcoming "041 Reprocessing", called "041" because it is the first reprocessing after Collection 4, will include improvements which have been made to date.

The reprocessing will decrease time trends which resulted in the Collection 4 data due to sensor behaviour shifts not accounted for in the calibration. In addition, several discontinuities were present in the Collection 4 data due to different input versions used in the processing. The "041 Reprocessing" expects to remove these time trends and discontinuities.

The period to be reprocessed is August 2000 - December 2002. The reprocessing will commence in early July 2003 and will end in October 2003. If time permits, the period April 2000 - July 2000 will also be reprocessed. [Full Story]

One Year Anniversary for Aqua

The Aqua mission, which is a part of the NASA-centred international Earth Observing System (EOS), was launched on May 4, 2002, and recently completed its first year in orbit. Soon after launch it began producing a wealth of data from the six unique instruments on board, including spectacular images from the MODIS-Aqua ocean-colour sensor. MODIS covers the entire globe in about two days, and generates huge amounts of data because it has 36 spectral bands and is always on. In addition, the instrument has a high spatial resolution (250 meters to 1 km). Data from MODIS, and from the other instruments on board Aqua, should eventually lead to a better understanding of Earth's water cycle and the role it plays in the changing climate. The Aqua Science Team held a meeting at Goddard May 28-29, 2003 to present their insights, first-year results, and plans for their future research using Aqua data. [Full Story]

This true-color image shows a large plume of Saharan Desert dust blowing over Libya and Egypt northward over the Mediterranean Sea toward the Middle East. Image collected by MODIS Aqua on February 2, 2003. [Full Story]

Phytopia CD-ROM

An educational CD-ROM entitled "Phytopia: Discovery of the Marine Ecosystem" has been developed by Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This resource promotes interaction with multimedia tools that enable users to discover why the marine ecosystem is critical to human existence. This product provides a window to the fascinating world of the oceans' microscopic life. Phytopia consists of three major modules: "Phyto Files," "Phyto Factors," and "Special Topics." The culmination of these modules is a truly hybrid project benefiting both research and education.

Phytopia is available through an on-line order form. The product is free of charge; however, there is a small fee for shipping & handling.

New Remote Sensing Institute to Open in Bali

Udayana University (Denpasar, Bali) has established a new research institue, the Center for Remote Sensing and Ocean Science (CReSOS). The CReSOS which has been sponsored by NASDA will open in September, 2003.

The mission of the CReSOS will be to conduct high quality research through training, graduate programs and dissemination of information related to the application of remote sensing technology. [PDF file] [Word File]

The Use of Ferries to Observe Water Quality in the Irish Sea

In September 2003, optical sensors measuring ocean colour from above the sea surface will be placed on the Irish Ferries’ Ulysses, crossing between Holyhead and Dublin.

The instruments will enable the detection of small changes in the colour of surface waters of the Irish Sea during twice daily crossings, which will provide us with an indication of water quality. [Full Story]

Workshops & Conferences

MERIS User Workshop

Since the launch of Envisat in March 2002 the MERIS instrument has been acquiring a wealth of high quality data, which are now being analysed by more than 350 Principal Investigators from almost all Earth science disciplines world-wide.

The MERIS Users Workshop will take place during the week of 10th November (exact days to be confirmed) and will give the principal investigators the opportunity to present results from their on-going AO research projects using primarily MERIS data and to discuss the state-of-the art in their respective Earth science disciplines. Specifically, the workshop will focus on the results of the 2003 MERIS data analysis, intercomparison with other optical instrument data, and user issues. [Further Details]

OCRT 2003

The Ocean Colour Research Team held a very productive meeting in Miami, Florida (April 2003).

The talks from this meeting are available for download at the following location:

Visit the Workshops & Conferences page of the IOCCG website for a listing of upcoming meetings.

New References

Several new references have been added to the Bibliography and References pages of the IOCCG website.

Among the new references added is an article by Trevor Platt and colleagues from the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, which appeared in a recent issue of Nature (Vol. 423) entitled "Spring algal bloom and larval fish survival". The authors set out to test the long-standing Hjort-Cushing hypothesis, which contends that the abundance of fish year-classes is determined by food availability during the critical period of larval development. The authors used weekly composite images of oceanic chlorophyll concentration from the CZCS, POLDER and SeaWiFS sensors (covering the periods 1979-1981 and 1997-2001) to characterise the timing of the annual spring bloom peak.

Map showing deviations in the timing of the spring phytoplankton bloom peak(red, early; blue/green, late).

They combined the satellite data with a long-term data set of haddock recruitment off the eastern continental shelf of Nova Scotia (phytoplankton are an important part of the diet of larval haddock). They found that, in years when the peak of the spring bloom occurred earlier than average, haddock recruitment was generally larger. They speculate that the advantage of an early spring bloom for a fish species with an extended spawning period is that fewer of the total larvae produced perish from lack of food. Besides providing food, phytoplankton blooms can also help to shield larvae from visual predators.

If you would like to see your references added to the IOCCG bibliography, please submit them to the IOCCG Information Officer.

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

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