IOCCG Activities

Training Course on Primary Production at
University of Concepción

Map Final preparations are now underway for the training course on 'Primary production: Theory, modelling and estimation by remote sensing' to be held at the University of Concepción, Chile, from October 21 to November 1, 2002. Some 27 students have been selected to attend this graduate course: 14 from Chile and 13 from other Latin American countries. The IOCCG will be sponsoring eight of the foreign students, as well as three of the lecturers. Students will be taught the theoretical basis for calculating primary production in aquatic systems, starting with production at discrete depths using non-spectral models, through vertically-uniform, integrated models to vertically-inhomogeneous, non-spectral models. A major goal of the course is to emphasise how in situ observations and remotely-sensed data on ocean colour can be used as complementary tools to obtain large-scale estimates of primary production. Lecturers will include Dr. Trevor Platt, Dr. Shubha Sathyendranath, Dr. Vivian Lutz, Dr. Osvaldo Ulloa, Dr. Mark Dowell and Dr. Cesar Fuentes-Yaco. A report on the training course will be presented in the next issue of the "IOCCG News".

Fiji Workshop Postponed!

nadi The 2nd Remote Sensing Applications Workshop, which was to be held in Nadi, Fiji from 8-10 October, 2002 has now been rescheduled for the first quarter of 2003. Logistical issues have necessitated the postponement of the course, which was to be hosted by SOPAC (South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission) with additional sponsorship provided by the Perth Regional Office of the IOC (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission) and the IOCCG. Fourteen delegates/trainees from various Pacific Island nations were listed to attend the workshop. Further details will be available in the near future.

Indian Ocean GOOS Conference

GOOS logo The first Indian Ocean GOOS (Global Ocean Observing System) Conference will take place in Grand Bay, Mauritius from 4 - 9 November, 2002. The conference is an opportunity for Indian Ocean-rim countries, plus various international programmes with an interest in the Indian Ocean, to build bridges between various projects and programmes including climate, coastal, ecosystem and capacity building. The IOCCG will be sponsoring two delegates (Dr. Shailesh Nayak and Dr. Frank Shillington) to make presentations at the "Satellite Applications/Users Seminar" to help develop plans for regional capacity building, with the aim of expanding the use of satellite applications in the area. This session will be chaired by Prof. Mervyn Lynch of the IOCCG. Further information on the conference can be found on on the homepage of the Mauritius Oceanography Institute.

Operational Ocean-Colour Working Group

The IOCCG Operational Ocean-Colour Working Group, chaired by Dr. Christopher Brown of NOAA, plans to hold an informal meeting from 2-5 pm on Sunday 17 November, 2002, prior to the Ocean Optics conference in Sante Fe (USA). The group was formed to promote the use of near-real-time ocean-colour products, to facilitate the exchange of ocean-colour applications, and to assist in the exchange of ideas and approaches among Agencies that currently possess or will establish an operational ocean-colour mission. Part of the mandate of the group is to produce an IOCCG report on applications of satellite ocean-colour. At the meeting, the group intends to formulate an action plan, and to prepare an outline for a report establishing guidelines for government agencies interested in processing, distributing and using ocean-colour data in an operational setting. If you would like more information about this working group, or if you are interested in attending the meeting, please email

Ocean-Colour Algorithm Working Group

An international working group was recently established by the IOCCG to discuss the development, testing and validation of ocean-colour algorithms. The IOCCG has invited Dr ZhongPing Lee of the Naval Research Laboratory to chair the group. An informal kick-off meeting will be held from 7-10 pm on Sunday 17 November, 2002, prior to the Ocean Optics conference in Sante Fe (USA). Interested people are welcome to attend. For more information about this working group please contact Dr. ZhongPing Lee.

News from SeaWiFS

NASA logo SeaWiFS Team Wins Pecora Award

The partnership of the NASA SeaWiFS Project and Orbimage Inc. received the William T. Pecora Award during ceremonies on October 3, 2002. The award recognizes the SeaWiFS Team for outstanding contributions towards understanding the Earth's biology. SeaWiFS has been providing global views of oceanic biological activity with no interruption in service since data reception began on September 18, 1997! What an amazing feat! For the full text of the press release, see the NASA News website.

"Attribute" search engine for SeaWiFS HRPT station data.
SeaWiFS The SeaWiFS WWW data ordering system at the GES DAAC now includes two "attributes" that can be searched for: the area of ocean in an HRPT station data file, and the percentage of the ocean area that is covered by clouds in the file. These search engines can be found on the SeaWiFS Level 1A LAC HRPT Data Search page


Calibration Review

Envisat sample The European Space Agency (ESA) held a meeting at ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands (9-13 September, 2002) to review the calibration results of all instruments on board its environmental satellite ENVISAT. Presentations included a review of the spectral, radiometric and vicarious calibration of MERIS and the status of MERIS validation activities. All presentations are available on the ENVISAT website and will later also be available on CD-ROM.

During the Calibration Review, ESA distributed sample products from all ENVISAT instruments on CD-ROM. These sample products are also available for download off the ENVISAT website and may be viewed with the latest version of Enviview - a free application, that allows ENVISAT data users to open any ENVISAT data file, and examine it's contents. It provides simple visualisation capabilities, and allows data to be exported to HDF for use in other software packages.
As calibration and validation of individual products is completed, these will be made progressively available to PIs, allowing a gradual phase-in of services offered to PIs .
  • An ENVISAT validation workshop is scheduled to be held at ESRIN (Frascati, Italy) from 9-13 December, 2002.
ESA anticipates that, as of January 2003, reliable operational services for a subset of calibrated and validated ENVISAT products will begin.

SA MERIS image Eastern region of South Africa captured by ESA's MERIS ocean colour sensor on board ENVISAT on 6 July, 2002.



Provisional MODIS/Aqua Radiometric and Geolocation products, two 5-km subsample products, and Cloud Mask product were released on 26 September, 2002. Ocean colour products can't be far behind! For detailed information on this data release see:

ECS Data Pool FTP

Data Pool uses a large disk cache to hold EOS data, after initial insertion into the EOS Data and Information System Core System (ECS), for an extended period of time (e.g., a month or more). The goal for Data Pool is to increase the distribution capacity of the ECS by significantly reducing the need to access a tape archive. In addition, user access to this data is made faster and easier. For now, access is only by anonymous ftp but enhanced, user-friendly WWW access to the Data Pool will be available shortly. For more information on the Data Pool, please read the Data Pool Readme file

MODIS Terra Processing Status

Collection 4 reprocessing of MODIS Terra ocean data products is nearing completion (see the Processing Status page). Collection 4 represents a dramatic improvement in quality and consistency over previous data versions. The entire MODIS mission ocean data set starting from February 24, 2000 will be reprocessed. The reprocessing, which began on June 15, 2002, should be completed this month. Comparison of Collection 4 MODIS data to in-situ measurements at the MOBY buoy site show excellent agreement.

MODIS Aqua View of Mississippi River from Aqua satellite.


Several new references have been added to the IOCCG Recent Publications page. If you have any new publications dealing with ocean colour that you would like to see on this page, please send them to the webmaster.

New employment opportunities

Two new employment opportunities for a Scientific Programmer/Analyst are available at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, USA. See our employment page for details.

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