Program Update – March 2014

The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) has hosted meetings with members of the scientific community to discuss upcoming opportunities to review and use quality data that will begin flowing from the observatory this summer.

During an OOI hosted Town Hall event at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting in February, members of the OOI Program and the National Science Foundation met with members of the community to discuss how they will best be able to leverage this new era of ocean observing. That outreach will continue in the months ahead.

The OOI Program wants to assure the quality of the data and community involvement will be key to that process. Starting in June 2014 data from certain deployed assets will start to be available to the community. At that time the NSF will start taking proposals for use of the OOI. Additional proposals will be accepted as more of the OOI assets come online.

The OOI Program intends to include external scientist involvement in the coming months on OOI Commissioning Panels. In addition, the UNOLS observing committee is organizing workshops for later in 2014 and will facilitate creation of observatory user groups.

The OOI also intends to host webinars throughout this year on data processing and data in late spring, seafloor instrumentation installation in early summer and completion of coastal deployments in early fall.

Proposals from the community for utilizing the OOI could include proposals that deal with the data, or function of the OOI as it will be operated like an in situ laboratory. Those proposals may also include adding instruments. Proposals could also include supplemental arrays. These are just a few types of possible proposals discussed.

The OOI is a Major Research Equipment Facilities Construction project, funded by NSF, approximately 80 percent through the 66-month construction phase. The operations phase formally begins in March 2015. The bulk of the remaining deployments occur in 2014 and early 2015, with transition to full operations in March 2015.

More information on how to tap into OOI data will be made available in the months ahead. The OOI continues to conduct outreach to the community and the public and welcomes comment, feedback and questions via the OOI website in the Comment and Question section.