Biogeochemical Sensor Data Best Practices and User Guide Now Available

The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) recently endorsed a finalized guide on how to use data generated by biogeochemical (BGC) sensors deployed by the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI).

The OOl Biogeochemical Sensor Data Best Practices and User Guide is intended to provide current and prospective users of data generated by BGC sensors deployed on OOI arrays with the information and guidance needed for them to ensure that the data are science ready. The guide is aimed at researchers with an interest or some experience in ocean biogeochemical processes. The guide was written with the assumption that its users would have some background in oceanography but not necessarily any prior experience working with BGC sensors or data they collect.

The guide was created by a 25-member Working Group, with input from 14 Beta Testers who joined the Working Group members for a June 2022 workshop. The draft version of the guide was revised based on Beta Tester feedback, and then circulated for open review by the full scientific community. The finalized guide, incorporating feedback from the open review process, was then endorsed as a best practice by GOOS after this rigorous review.

“We are delighted that our endeavor to make BCG data more broadly usable and accessible to the oceanographic community has been endorsed by GOOS,” said Hilary Palevsky of Boston College and a co-leader of the working group. “This has been a true team effort to develop best practices that will be broadly useful for the community and has demonstrated the importance of broad collaboration. We look forward to this guide enabling new science bringing in new users of OOI BGC data.”

Download the BGC Sensor Data Best Practices Guide.

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BGC Workshop Cooks Up a Recipe for Collaborative Research

Thirty-six researchers from 19 institutions from five countries converged on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for three days (June 16-18) to participate in a workshop designed to enhance the use of data from biogeochemical (BGC) sensors on Ocean Observatories Initiative arrays.  A product of the workshop will be the “OOI Biogeochemical Sensor Best Practices and User Guide” designed to standardize the use of BGC sensor measurements and promote best practices in their research application.

In summer 2021 the NSF-funded OOI Biogeochemical Sensor Data Working Group was established to develop guidelines and best practices for using OOI biogeochemical sensor data to broaden users and applications of these data, and build community capacity to produce analysis-ready data products. The Working Group convened regular virtual meetings beginning with a three-day virtual workshop in July 2021. Members developed a draft best practices guide with explicit recommendations for end users working with data from four sensor sub-groups: dissolved oxygen, inorganic carbon parameters, bio-optics, and nitrate. The five chapters of the best practices guide cover background on the OOI arrays and the biogeochemical sensors deployed on them, data QA/QC and data access, and each of the four sensor sub-groups listed above.

Current and prospective OOI biogeochemical sensor data users gathered together with the Working Group members at the June workshop to review and discuss the best practices guide and to explore scientific questions that can be explored with these data.  The discussions were lively and productive.  Small breakout groups discussed scientific research ideas using OOI biogeochemical sensor data, with the hope that these discussions would kickstart research collaborations, and help inform a planned follow-on peer-reviewed publication (e.g. a Frontiers in Ocean Observing article) to present the exciting science that OOI biogeochemical data and the best practices guide will enable. The second goal of the workshop was to solicit the revisions and edits needed to finalize the best practices guide in advance of dissemination to the wider community through Ocean Best Practices.

The workshop was a huge success. Said participant Michael Vardaro from the University of Washington and a member of the OOI Regional Cabled Array Data Team, “It was a great workshop. I hope we and NSF can inspire other interested early career scientists to organize more workshops like this. They ask hard questions, which ultimately will make the program better!”

Over the past year Sophie Clayton, Old Dominion University, Hilary Palevsky, Boston College, and Heather Benway, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have facilitated the Biogeochemical Working Sensor Data Group meetings and preparation of the best practices guide.

“We’ve spent the past year working with a great group of early career and experienced researchers on developing best practices for maximizing the use of biogeochemical data from OOI sensors, “ said Sophie Clayton.

“The workshop gave us all a great opportunity to meet in person and discuss a wide range of exciting research ideas that the OOI BGC data will enable. We were also so pleased to connect and see how much new progress we made in just three days thanks to being all in the same place together,” added Hilary Palevsky.

[media-caption path="/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/BGC-Workhshop.jpeg" link="#"]Participants at the end of a three-day Biogeochemical Sensor Workshop held at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution June 17-19, 2022.  Photo: Mai Maheigan ©WHOI.[/media-caption]

The working group members are: Annie Bourbonnais, (University of South Carolina), Susan Hartman (National Oceanography Centre), Hilde Oliver (WHOI), Kristen Fogaren (Boston College), Merrie Beth Neely, (Global Science and Technology – embedded contractor at NOAA), Filipa Carvalho (National Oceanography Centre), Andrew Reed (OOI – CGSN), Isabela Le Bras (WHOI), Alison Chase (University of Washington – Applied Physics Laboratory), Cara Manning (University of Connecticut), Rob Fatland (University of Washington), Ellen Briggs  (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Christina Schallenberg (University of Tasmania), Ian Walsh (Freelance Researcher), Jennifer Batryn (WHOI), Christopher Wingard (Ocean Observatories Initiative Endurance Array), Jonathan Fram (Oregon State University (OOI)), Roman Battisti (University of Washington/NOAA PMEL), Dariia Aamanchuk (Dalhousie University), Jennie Rheuban (WHOI), Rachel Eveleth (Oberlin College) and Joseph Needoba (Oregon Health & Science University).

The additional participants who reviewed the draft Best Practices and User Guide and attended the workshop are: Kohen Bauer (Ocean Networks Canada – University of Victoria), Baoshan Chen (Stony Brook University), Jose Cuevas (Boston College), Susana Flecha (Spanish National Research Council), Micah Horwith (Washington State Department of Ecology), Melissa Melendez (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Tyler Menz (Stony Brook University), Al Plueddemann (WHOI/OOI), Sara Rivero-Calle (University of Georgia), Nick Roden (Norwegian Institute for Water Research), Pablo Nicolás Trucco-Pignata (University of Southampton – National Oceanography Centre), Michael Vardaro (University of Washington, OOI), and Meg Yoder Boston College.

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