OOI at AGU 2021

[media-caption path="/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/agufront2-scaled-e1603490292321.jpeg" link="#"]The AGU 2021 Fall Meeting is a combination of virtual and in person events. OOI will have a virtual booth with daily activities to join. [/media-caption]

AGU Fall Meeting 2021

The following is a compilation of OOI-related presentations at this year’s fall meeting. If we’ve missed any OOI-related sessions, please contact dtrewcrist@whoi.edu and we will be happy to add them.  OOI will have a virtual booth at AGU this year.  Interesting programming is being finalized and will be added to this listing once confirmed. Share your AGU news at #AGU2021. 

Monday, 13 December 2021

09:07-09:12, Convention Center, Room 223 (Note:  all times are in Central time)

OS11A-02 – Overflow Water Pathways in the North Atlantic: New Observations from the OSNAP Program
Susan Lozier, Georgia Institute of Technology, Amy S Bower and Heather H Furey, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Kimberley Drouin, Duke University, Xiaobiao X, Florida State University,  and Sijia Zou, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

11:15-12:15, Convention Center, Room 395-396

Ocean Observatories Initiative Facilities Board Town Hall

Posters, Convention Center Poster Hall D-F

B25E-1522 – Synergistic Data Source Approach to Studying Keystone Marine Predators.Elizabeth Ferguson, Ocean Science Analytics. See the poster live.

G25A-0340 – Drift Corrected Pressure Time Series at Axial Seamount, July 2018 to November 2021 – A Progress Report
Glenn S Sasagawa, University of California San Diego and Mark A Zumberge, University of California San Diego.

PP25C-0927OOI infrastructure and Experimental Deployments: Preliminary insights from SEA3s deployed from 6 months to 1 year in the North Pacific
Ashley M Burkett, Oklahoma State University and Sarah Keenan, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Wednesday, 15  December 2021

Posters, Convention Center Poster Hall D-F

V35A – Focused Observations of Ridge Near-Axis Remote and in Situ Investigations: Magmatic, Volcanic, Hydrothermal, and Biological Processes V Poster
Michael R Perfit, Timothy M Shank, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Jeffrey Karson, Syracuse University, Deborah Kelly, University of Washington, and Kenneth Howard Rubin, University of Hawaii.

Thursday, 16  December 2021

13:45-15:00, Convention Center, el.Lightning Theater VII

V43B – Focused Observations of Ridge Near-Axis Remote and in Situ Investigations: Magmatic, Volcanic, Hydrothermal, and Biological Processes IV eLightning
Michael R Perfit, University of Florida, Timothy M Shank, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Jeffrey Karson, Syracuse University, Deborah Kelly, University of Washington, and Darin M Schwartz, Boise State University.

14:18-14:21, Convention Center, el.Lightning Theater VII

V43B-07 – Spatial distribution of diffuse discharge at ASHES vent field, Axial Seamount, captured by acoustic imaging
Guangyu Xu, University of Washington, Karen G Bemis, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Darrell Jackson, University of Washington, and Anatoliy N. Ivakin, University of Washington.

V43B-08 – Systematic Shift in Plume Bending Direction at Grotto Vent, Main Endeavour Field, Juan de Fuca Implies Systematic Change in Venting Output along the Endeavour Segment
Karen G Bemis, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Posters, Convention Center Poster Hall D-F

V45B-0137 – Monitoring at Axial Seamount since its 2015 eruption reveals tightly linked rates of deformation and seismicity
William W. Chadwick Jr, Oregon State University, Scott L Nooner, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, William S D Wilcock, University of Washington, and Jeff W Beeson, Oregon State University.

V45B-0138 – Deformation Models for the 2015-Eruption and Post-Eruption Inflation at Axial Seamount from Repeat AUV Bathymetry
William Hefner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Scott L Nooner, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, William W. Chadwick Jr., Oregon State University, David W Caress and Jennifer Brophy Paduan, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and Delwayne R Bohnenstiehl, North Carolina State University.

V45B-0139 – Annual and long-term seismic velocity variations at Axial Seamount observed with seismic ambient noise
Michelle Lee, Columbia University, Yen Joe Tan, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Maya Tolstoy, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Felix Waldhauser, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University,  and William S D Wilcock, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.



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R/V Oceanus Remembered as a Workhorse of the U.S. Academic Research Fleet

The long service of the R/V Oceanus (1976-2021) came to end on November 21, 2021 as the ship pulled into port after having successfully completed its last interdisciplinary cruise for Oregon State University (OSU). The Oceanus began its 45-year-run of scientific investigations at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in 1976.  After a major mid-life refit, the ship was transferred to OSU in 2012, and contributed to the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) off both coasts.

“The Oceanus proved to be a real workhorse for the Academic Research Fleet and also played a pivotal role for the OOI during its initial launch,” said Ed Dever, PI of OOI’s Coastal Endurance Array, who sailed on the ship many times. “While at WHOI, The Oceanus performed some of OOI’s at-sea-mooring test deployments and later the ship was used for the initial deployment of the Coastal Endurance Array off the Oregon coast.”

In spring and fall 2014, after moving to OSU, Oceanus performed the initial deployments of the Oregon and Washington inshore moorings and Washington profiler mooring.  The real test for the Oceanus, however, came during 2015, when it was tasked with deploying the full scope of the Endurance Array, including the four large coastal surface moorings at the Oregon and Washington shelf and offshore sites.

Explained Dever, “Thanks to some excellent ship handling, care on the part of the deck crew and a huge assist from some very kind weather, we got the moorings safely in the water using the ship’s crane to deploy the 10,000-pound buoy off the starboard fantail and the heavy lift winch to deploy the 11,000-pound multifunction node (MFN, bottom lander) through the A-frame. The size of the buoys and MFNs meant that Oceanus could only carry one buoy out at a time and the cruise was completed in five legs with some very efficient port stops. By the end of the cruise, it was evident that we would need to move future operations to global and oceans class ships and after one more deployment in fall 2015 (with recoveries carried out on the R/V Thomas G. Thompson), we made that transition.”


After the initial Endurance Array deployments, OOI transitioned to using larger global and oceans class ships needed to recover the bulky coastal surface moorings, with one exception. In spring 2019, with tight schedules on global class ships, UNOLS (University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System charged with ship scheduling) requested that OOI Endurance split the spring mooring recovery and deployment cruise between the R/V Sikuliaq and the R/V Oceanus. The Oceanus ably performed the profiler mooring deployment, anchor recoveries, coastal surface piercing profiler deployments, and glider deployments over five days in April and May 2019.

While not directly working with the OOI, the Oceanus continued to work off Oregon at and around the OOI arrays.  Research and student cruises often sampled over the years near OOI’s  Endurance and RCA Arrays at the Oregon inshore, shelf, offshore and Hydrate Ridge sites to compare shipboard measurements and OOI time series.  This work included CTD profiles, net tows, coring, and sediment trap deployments.

The last Oceanus cruise, in fact, was one such interdisciplinary research cruise led by OSU researcher Clare Reimers, who also served as chief scientist.  During its final official outing, the team aboard the Oceanus sampled the outer shelf at the northern end of Heceta Bank, Oregon to help scientists determine any changes that may have occurred to a swath of the margin that was reopened to commercial bottom trawling in 2020 after an 18-year closure.  Reimers said, “The R/V Oceanus and crew performed flawlessly, and our science mission was fully completed.”

Added Dever, “What better way to end its long and illustrious career?  We at OOI join many others in appreciation of the R/V Oceanus, and the dedication and skills of all who sailed on her and supported ocean science throughout her many years at sea.”


Special thanks to OOI Data Center Project Manager Craig Risien for sharing the GoPro time lapse of the loading of the Oregon Offshore mooring onto the R/V Oceanus in spring 2015.

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Marine Mammal Operations Aboard R/V Neil Armstrong During Pioneer 17

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) had the opportunity to participate on leg two of the Pioneer Array research cruise aboard the R/V Neil Armstrong. The dates for the second leg this year were November 7 – 15 2021. This time frame was critical for us because our main asset for assessing right whale distribution, the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)Twin Otter aircraft was scheduled to depart for the Gulf of St. Lawrence Canada, and would not be available. Since 2010 the distribution of the North Atlantic Right whale has changed significantly, and it has become increasingly important to survey more broadly within the range to determine if there are aggregations of right whales in unprotected areas.

Participating scientists from the NEFSC for this cruise were Chris Tremblay and myself, Pete Duley. Chris was brought on for his expertise in acoustics, specifically with the deployment and monitoring of sonobuoys for the detection of North Atlantic Right whales and other large baleen whales. This additional element to our research plan was added to detect right whales in weather when visual observations were not ideal, and to access call types associated with different behaviors from observations with right whales in good visual conditions. Deployment of sonobuoys were conducted with very low or no impact to the mission of the work on the Pioneer array.  November 12 was the only day of the entire cruise in which we were unable to conduct visual observations due to the weather. The Northeast U.S Shelf Long Term Ecological Research (NES-LTER) group was conducting a CTD survey across the shelf break and we used this opportunity to make four sonobuoy drops in association with their survey. We are still analyzing the acoustic recordings form the cruise, but at this point feel that they were a valuable addition to the research.

Sonobuoys are launched by hand from the back deck, once permission has been granted by the bridge. The instruments are not meant to be retrieved and can record for up to eight hours. The instruments send information from their hydrophones by VHF transmission (line of sight) to an antenna mounted on one of the upper decks (01), and scuttle themselves after eight hours of recording.

[media-caption path="/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Bigeyes.png" link="#"]Marine Mammal Observer Chris Tremblay uses Bigeye binoculars to search for right whales during mooring operations by the Pioneer 17 team. Credit: Peter Duley. [/media-caption]

Marine mammal visual operations aboard the Neil Armstrong were conducted from the 01 Deck. Our Bigeye stand would not fit the predrilled holes in the 01 deck and this required Kyle Covert, the ship’s welder,  to manufacture some iron fasteners to secure the stand and Bigeye binoculars. This issue was fixed during the staging prior to our departure and worked quite well. The marine mammal observation deck (deck 02) was unavailable to us this year because of Bigeye stand mounting issues. There are plates welded into the deck for the stands, but no predrilled bolt pattern in the deck. The marine mammal deck also has a desk with access to the ship’s SCS (Sea Control Ship) feed, and offers a better vantage point because it is higher. However, even while working in higher sea states we were unaffected by spray from the bow on the 01 deck, and this worked out quite well for this cruise. We brought with us a small desk, some deck chairs, and ratchet straps for securing everything.

The crane on the 01 deck is on the starboard side and caused a slight visual obstruction in panning from 090 to 270 degrees. The location of the Bigeyes aft on the port side, however, provided good visibility nearly to 180 degrees on the port side, which proved useful when stationary during the Pioneer Array mooring deployments and recoveries. We recorded whales aft of the ship during several of these stationary observation periods. Visual observations while underway were conducted from 07:30 to 16:45 and observers rotated from the Bigeyes to the recorder position on the half hour. At the locations where the ship was stationary working on mooring operations for extended periods of time, Chris and I did a scan of the area every 15 minutes. We are still working on analyses of the visual data, and although we did not observe any right whales during the Pioneer 17 cruise we feel that the ship is a great asset for our work and would love for the collaborative effort to continue. Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate this year!

Written by Peter Duley, Fisheries Wildlife Biologist, Northeast Fisheries Science Center

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Call for Lightning Talks at OOIFB Town Hall

The Ocean Observatories Initiative Facilities Board (OOIFB) will host a Town Hall at the 2021 AGU Fall Meeting in New Orleans, LA.  The Town Hall will be offered in person, as well as virtually, and is scheduled for Tuesday, December 14th from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm Central Time. For those attending in-person, the location is the Convention Center, Room 395-396.  The community will have the opportunity to hear the latest information about the OOI facility, the Data Explorer tool, Pioneer Array relocation plans, and early career scientists’ activities.

The Town Hall will include a series of lightning presentations where scientists are invited to present one slide in one minute explaining how they have used (or plan to use) freely available observatory data in their respective research. In this Town Hall we will expand beyond OOI, and encourage users of other observatories to also share their experiences in applying observatory data in their respective research. We hope you will consider presenting a slide in the lightning session.

Time during the Town Hall is limited and we expect to be able to schedule about ten lightning talks during the Town Hall.  However, we are excited to announce that all submitted lightning talks will have the opportunity to be presented during the Fall AGU meeting!  The OOIFB has teamed with the OOI booth exhibitor to offer a time slot during the meeting to highlight the lightning talks.  The session at the OOI booth will be a virtual event.

Sign-up now to present a lightning talk – If you are using observatory data and wish to present a lightning talk during the Town Hall, please sign up HERE by December 1st.

Funding Available for AGU Registration Fee – Please note, all participants and presenters of the OOIFB Town Hall must be registered for the 2021 Fall AGU Meeting.  Funding is available to offset the registration fees for students and early career scientists (ECS) who are presenting a lightning talk.  Funding is limited and the first 20 student/ECS applications will be considered for reimbursement.  The Lightning Talk application form includes space for requesting AGU registration reimbursement.

The Town Hall is aimed at researchers who are now using or are considering using OOI data, researchers interested in adding instrumentation to the OOI infrastructure, and educators at all levels interested in the OOI.  We hope to see you at the OOIFB Town Hall!

Event: OOI Facility Board Town Hall

When:   Tuesday, December 14th from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm Central Time

Where:   Convention Center, Room 395-396 – New Orleans, LA

Virtual participation will also be available to individuals registered for the AGU Fall Meeting.

For additional details, please visit HERE.

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Workshop: OOI Data in Project EDDIE Materials

Project EDDIE and the SERC (Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College) have an exciting workshop coming up that you won’t want to miss! It offers opportunities to build teaching modules using OOI data.

The Project EDDIE Module Development & Community Building Experience will be held online via Zoom as half-day meetings on January 20, 27, and February 10. This workshop will facilitate participants developing teaching modules that pair scientific concepts and quantitative reasoning with teaching with data. The teaching modules follow a tested design rubric developed by Project EDDIE and resulting materials will be published as part of a growing collection of modules.

During the workshop, participants will construct a 1-day module that uses an openly available dataset for a specific ecology, limnology, geology, hydrology, oceanography or environmental science course. Each module will focus on a scientific concept and address a set of quantitative reasoning or analytical skills using large, openly available datasets, such as OOI, following the Project EDDIE module structure. Interactive peer review and module share out meetings following the workshop will help improve developed materials before you pilot them.

Participants will be expected to 1) attend the workshop and develop a module 2)attend one virtual peer review and one module share out and planning session 3) teach and revise their materials, 4) and make revisions from the peer review and an external review before publishing. Final modules will be published online by December 2022. Participants will be provided a $1,500 stipend for completing, testing, and publishing their module.

This workshop also provides special opportunities to:

  • Understand how working with large datasets improves quantitative reasoning in students
  • Incorporate your module into your syllabus/course schedule and develop an assessment plan
  • Meet new people who share similar interests in teaching and working with data

There is no registration cost for attending this meeting. The successful completion and testing of a module includes up to a $1,500 stipend. Successful completion of the modules includes authoring, piloting, revising, and publishing the teaching and supporting materials.

The application deadline for this workshop is November 28, 2021.  Apply now.  Conveners are actively seeking modules focused on OOI data.


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Student and Early Career Travel Funds Available: Apply Now!

Do you need travel funds to attend and present your OOI research at a conference? 

The Larry P. Atkinson Travel Fellowship helps early career scientists and graduate students who are actively involved in research and/or education programs using Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) data.  The Fellowship provides funding support for the recipient to participate in and present a paper or poster on research or education using OOI data at a national or international conference or workshop. Participation in conferences that promote diversity and inclusiveness are encouraged.

If you need funding to offset conference expenses (registration fees, travel costs, accommodations, etc.), we encourage you to apply.  Conference participation can be in-person or virtual.  With the Fall AGU and Ocean Science Meetings approaching, we wanted to remind you of this opportunity.
Information on eligibility requirements, and how to apply, are available here.

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Endurance Array to Provide Hourly Meteorological Data

On 11 October 2021, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)requested that OOI’s Coastal Endurance Array buoys provide hourly meteorological data to the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) because a nearby NDBC buoy (46029, Columbia River bar) had gone offline. OOI buoy data are typically telemetered every two hours due to sampling schedule and bandwidth constraints (the actual sampling rate is higher).

Endurance Array team members examined sampling and telemetry schedules for the Endurance offshore coastal surface moorings to see if they could accommodate NOAA’s request. The team concluded that meteorological data from the moorings could be updated hourly while still meeting OOI sampling requirements.

“To help ensure continuity of data to the NDBC,  we plan to distribute hourly meteorological data from the Endurance Array Oregon and Washington offshore sites for the duration of the outage at NBDC 46029,” said Edward Dever, lead of the Coastal Endurance Team. “We’re pleased to respond to NOAA’s request and hope these data prove useful to operational weather forecasts and marine safety.” The Oregon and Washington offshore sites have NDBC buoys designations of 46098 and 46100, respectively.

The Endurance Array team will continue to review the performance of the buoys and ensure the updated telemetry schedule does not impact OOI sampling. If data users do experience any impacts from this change in sampling frequency, please contact Jon Fram at Jonathan.Fram@oregonstate.edu.

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Ocean Data Lab Nuggets Providing Foundation for Accessible Oceans

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution researcher Amy Bower and oceanographer Leslie Smith have teamed up to make ocean science accessible to the visually impaired. The team is using data nuggets—curated OOI data sets—created by the National Science Foundation funded Ocean Data Labs to design and evaluate auditory displays that can communicate ocean science. The team is using five data nuggets to work with and represent through sound, including the two-way transfer of carbon dioxide between the ocean and atmosphere, the seafloor falling several feet during the 2015 Axial Seamount volcanic eruption, and the reaction of microscopic marine organisms off the coast of Oregon during the 2017 total solar eclipse.  Read more about this Accessible Oceans project here.


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Example of Integrated Ocean Observing System

The potential of sharing ocean observations to determine ocean conditions in real-time was highlighted in last week’s update of the Environmental Monitors on Lobster Traps and Large Trawlers (eMOLT) project.  EMOLT is a non-profit collaboration of industry, science, and academics focusing on monitoring the physical environment of the Gulf of Maine and Southern New England shelf.


Explained in the update, observers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were watching oceanographic activity at the Southern New England shelf edge as a warm core ring impinged on an area south of Nantucket. As shown by the purple worm in the animation above a drifter (deployed off F/V Lady Rebecca  back in June on Jeffreys Ledge) had drifted near the Great South Channel and seemed confused on which way to go.  After traveling along a fairly normal track, it had been affected by “eddies off eddies, off eddies.”  Earlier last week, a sensor-laden  Central Falls, RI,  High School miniboat, deployed by the University of Rhode Island’s R/V Endeavor, was entrained in the outer fringes of the actual Gulf Stream ring.The NOAA team used Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) moorings, which are just downstream of this area, to explore multiple variables throughout the water column to get a better idea of ocean conditions that aligned with the drifter’s movements. The animation also shows the current velocity (red arrow) near 400 meters as reported by OOI’s moored profiling instrument.

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Ride Along with Pioneer 17

After a three-day weather delay, on Friday 29 October, the 14-member Pioneer Array science party will board the R/V Neil Armstrong in Woods Hole, MA and head toward the array, 75 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. The team will recover and deploy moorings and instrumentation to keep the array operational, collecting and sending data back to shore.

What’s novel about this mission is not only is it the 17th time the array will have been “turned,” but this time, you can follow along.  Bookmark this link for regular updates of progress, conditions, and life at sea. The team promises a good ride along.

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