Call for Additional Ocean Observations

In a widely distributed editorial opinion piece, Peter de Menocal, president and director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Margaret Leinen, vice chancellor for marine science and director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography/University of California San Diego, explain why the ocean can be seen as our greatest ally in tackling climate change. They cite the importance of ocean observing systems like the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), the ARGO Program, and ship-based operations, including those supported by the global GO-SHIP expeditions.

Read about how OOI and others are contributing vital data to understanding the changing ocean.



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NSF Grants OSU Ocean Research Consortium $220 million

The Daily Barometer reported on a recent National Science Foundation $220 million award to a consortium of ocean research institutions — Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Oregon State University and the University of Washington — to carry on the operation and maintenance of the NSF-funded Ocean Observatories Initiative. The funding runs through 2028.  Read the article here.

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OOI Featured on IDEA Podcast

Have a listen in here to the IDEA Podcast where OOI’s Lead Principal Investigator Jim Edson, Senior Manager of Cyberinfrastructure Jeffrey Glatstein, and Project Manager of OOI’s Data Center Craig Risien discuss the challenges and opportunities of managing, making available, and securing OOI’s data base of 135 billion rows of stored data that grow by the minute!

The interviewers are Shannon Sheridan, Research Data Librarian at Pacific NW National Laboratory, and Briana Ezray Wham, Data Learning Center Manager and Research Data Librarian at Penn State University.

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PBS of North Carolina Blogs about Pioneer’s New Location

In a blog post, the PBS of North Carolina summarizes plans for the relocation of the Coastal Pioneer Array to a site of the coast of Carolina:

[media-caption path="" link="#"]Surface moorings of the Pioneer Array loaded with scientific instruments are built to withstand all types of ocean conditions. ©WHOI.[/media-caption]

Water covers about 71% of the Earth’s surface, and our oceans hold about 96.5% of it. It’s no surprise then that oceans play a key role in the Earth’s weather, climate and food supply.

So, it’s important to know what’s happening in the ocean. And the ocean off North Carolina’s coast is going to get a closer look starting in 2024. That’s when a set of scientific instruments, called the Coastal Pioneer Array, will be deployed about 35 miles off Nags Head. The system is part of the Ocean Observatories Initiative, or OOI.

“The OOI offers many opportunities for scientists to obtain data to further their research, and it provides insight into conditions in the area for a variety of stakeholders,” said Dr. Albert Plueddemann, project scientist for OOI’s Coastal Global Scale Nodes group at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “We welcome researchers, educators and industry members to reach out to us to explore ways we might work together to maximize the usefulness of the data.”

Read the entire post here.


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Axial Seamount Helping Scientists Forecast Eruptions

[media-caption path="" link="#"]The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s ROV Jason is instrumental in ongoing scientific investigations of Axial Seamount with instrumentation powered by the Regional Cabled Array. Credit: @WHOI.[/media-caption]

On March 20, 2023, Oregon Public Radio reported about scientists work at Axial Seamounts, a seamount and submarine volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, about 480 kilometers off the coast of Oregon.  The story details how bottom pressure recorders connected to OOI’s Regional Cabled Array are helping reveal the inner workings of the Axial Seamount and helping scientists forecast when it might erupt next. Featured are Oregon State University Professor Bill Chadwick, University of North Carolina Professor Scott Nooner, Oregon State University Assistant Professor Jeff Beeson, and College of Charleston Assistant Professor Haley Cabannis.

Access the article here.

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Coastal Review Reports on Pioneer’s Relocation

[media-caption path="" link="#"]A coastal surface mooring, part of the Ocean Observatories Initiative Coastal Pioneer Array, shown at its first location in New England waters. The Pioneer Array is to be relocated to the N.C. coast in 2024. Photo: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.[/media-caption]

The Coastal Pioneer Array will have a new home in the Southern Mid-Atlantic Bight in the spring of 2024.  Just like any move, there are lots of preparations necessary. In this case, test deployments are now taking place to ensure the Array can be in tune with its new environment.

Reporter Jennifer Allen provides insight into the ongoing preparations for the move and plans forward in an article in Coastal Review.


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Accessible Ocean Reported in LA Times


On February 3, 2023, the Los Angeles Times reported on the work of Woods Hole Oceanographic Researcher Amy Bower and her colleagues on the Accessible Oceans Project.  The team uses OOI and other auditory data to explore ways sound can be used to help visualize ocean science for the visually impaired.  It’s cutting-edge, fascinating, and inclusive work.

Read the LA Times report on this important initiative.

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OOI Hydrophone Data Helping ID Whale Calls

Elizabeth Ferguson of Ocean Science Analytics used OOI hydrophone data with DeepSqueak – a computer program designed to sort mice squeaks that is also finding whales in the deep.

She was interviewed about her work by Joe Palca on Morning Edition of NPR o n May 31, 2002.  Listen to the report here.



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Striped Bass Link OOI Pioneer Array Locations

A recent article in the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette tells a fascinating tale of how fish like striped bass respond to changes in ocean conditions. The striped bass story also provides links between the current OOI Pioneer Array location on the New England Shelf (NES) and the new location in the southern Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB).

The Northwest Atlantic has been warming due to both atmospheric and oceanographic influences (e.g., Chen et al., 2014; Gawarkiewicz et al., 2019) and the impacts can bee seen in the distribution of marine species like stripers. The stripers are typically found on the New England Shelf in the spring, with bass fishing tournaments a long-held tradition for islands like Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cuttyhunk. But conditions are changing, and as the waters warm, the stripers appear to be moving further north. Data from the NES Pioneer Array are helping researchers and fishers understand the changes.

[media-caption path="/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Striped-Bass-migration-map.jpg" link="#"]Striped bass spring migration route. Credit: Martha’s Vineyard Gazette and Dana Gaines Martha’s Vineyard Magazine.[/media-caption]

Stripers spawn in brackish water and spend their first few years in estuarine waters like those of the Chesapeake Bay. These waters are changing too, with earlier springs modifying spawning behavior. Understanding how environmental conditions impact the life cycle of stripers from estuary to open ocean requires knowledge of the atmosphere, continental shelf waters, and the Gulf Stream. Finally, it is necessary to investigate interactions that exchange properties between estuaries, shelf and slope sea – which will be the focus of the MAB Pioneer Array currently being planned for implementation in 2024.


Chen, K., G. G. Gawarkiewicz, S. J. Lentz, and J. M. Bane (2014), Diagnosing the warming of the Northeastern U.S. Coastal Ocean in 2012: A linkage between the atmospheric jet stream variability and ocean response, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 119, doi:10.1002/2013JC009393.

Gawarkiewicz G, Chen K, Forsyth J, Bahr F, Mercer AM, Ellertson A, Fratantoni P, Seim H, Haines S and Han L (2019), Characteristics of an Advective Marine Heatwave in the Middle Atlantic Bight in Early 2017. Front. Mar. Sci. 6:712. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00712.

Schneider, P. (2022), Climate Change Clue: Follow the Stripers. Vineyard Gazette, 12 May 2022.

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OOI’s Tools Could Be Leveraged to Support Blue Economy


The full text of the opinion piece can be accessed here:

IPCC’s words matter — and so does the ocean

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