OOI Data to be Archived by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information

NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) established a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to share high-quality oceanic data collected from the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Ocean Observatories Initiative’s instrument arrays. The goal of the partnership is to archive and deliver the initiative’s data for continued research on ocean processes.

“WHOI is pleased to be working with NCEI for the long-term preservation of data produced by the Ocean Observatories Initiative” said Jeffrey Glatstein, Senior Manager of Cyberinfrastructure at WHOI. “The initiative is a science-driven ocean observing network that delivers real-time data from more than 900 instruments to address critical science questions regarding the world’s oceans. Given the long-term timeframe of the program and the impact of having a continual record of measurements, the archiving of this data is a significant step in making these data available for researchers in the future.”

“Under this partnership agreement, NOAA expects to be provided at least 30 years of high-quality oceanographic data produced by the Ocean Observatories Initiative, commissioned in 2017, for preservation and stewardship” said Jason Cooper, NCEI’s Archivist.

NCEI will be responsible for acquiring and managing the required IT storage for the data that WHOI will provide, which is expected to amount to roughly seven terabytes. NCEI will ensure that the metadata associated with the data are up to federal and international standards such as those regarding storage, preservation, and accessibility. In addition to providing the data that have been collected to date, the agreement also calls for WHOI to transfer an additional 710 gigabytes of data annually for the next ten years.

WHOI is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to ocean research, exploration, and education. WHOI and their Oregon State University (OSU) and University of Washington (UW) partners designed and now manage the instrument arrays involved in this CRADA partnership that collect chemical, biological, geophysical, and physical measurements in the global ocean from below the seafloor to the surface.

The CRADA allows NCEI and WHOI to achieve their common goal of supporting research related to ocean and atmospheric processes by sharing their findings with the scientific community, policymakers, and the general public.



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NOAA Ocean Exploration FY22 Funding Opportunity

We are sharing this notice on behalf of the NOAA Office of Exploration in case it is of interest to OOI data users:

NOAA Ocean Exploration (formally the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, OER), is soliciting proposals to conduct or support ocean exploration resulting in outcomes that provide or enable initial assessments about unknown or poorly understood regions of U.S. waters. This funding opportunity will focus on the outcomes of the Workshop to Identify National Ocean Exploration Priorities in the Pacific hosted by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL) in 2020 in partnership with OER. Proposals should support the ocean exploration topical priorities or spatial priorities in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) identified in the “Report on the Workshop to Identify National Ocean Exploration Priorities in the Pacific.”

Proposals should also support the National Strategy for Mapping, Exploring, and Characterizing the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (national strategy). Proposals for the ocean exploration and marine archaeology themes must be for projects in unknown or poorly understood areas as referenced in the national strategy’s implementation plan and within the U.S. EEZ in the Pacific Ocean.

The Pacific priorities workshop report stresses the active awareness of the cultural context in which ocean exploration is often conducted. Recognizing the unique and numerous Pacific communities as partners and stakeholders enhances the overall impact of the ocean exploration enterprise through wider public support, a more diverse workforce and community of practitioners, and incorporation of traditional knowledge systems throughout the process. Applicants should consider including the interests of tribal nations and Indigenous peoples within targeted exploration areas and engaging these communities in a meaningful way.

OER is soliciting proposals focused on any one of the following three themes:

1. OCEAN EXPLORATION: Exploration of the biological, chemical, and physical ocean environments and areas to inform future characterization, research, and responsible ocean stewardship in unknown or poorly explored U.S. deepwater areas (see the definition of ocean exploration in the national strategy). Areas proposed for exploration must be at water depths of 200 m or more. OER is particularly interested in themes and/or geographic priorities identified by the COL Pacific workshop report, including proposals on deep-ocean acoustics, the water column, seafloor habitat, biology, and marine resources. The use of autonomous and other innovative technologies is an OER priority.
2. MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY. Exploration and discovery of underwater cultural heritage sites and objects to enrich U.S. maritime history and inform decisions concerning site, feature, or object preservation and potential seafloor use. Marine archaeology projects can be conducted in any water depth. OER is particularly interested in proposals focused on themes and/or geographic priorities identified by the COL Pacific workshop report, including submerged evidence of early human migration and occupation on the continental shelf and places significant to U.S. history. The use of autonomous and other innovative technologies is an OER priority.

3. TECHNOLOGY. Application of new or novel use of existing ocean technologies or innovative methods that could increase the scope and efficiency of acquiring ocean exploration data and expanding exploration data availability and use. Proposed ocean technologies must be applicable to water depths of 200 m or greater, preferably full-ocean depth (testing in shallower water or lab-based testing is acceptable). OER is particularly interested in proposals focused on innovative sensors and technologies that could increase the capabilities of autonomous seagoing systems and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications that could improve ocean exploration data usability and accessibility. Consult the NOAA Artificial Intelligence Strategic Plan for information on NOAA defined AI/ML.

The deadline for the pre-proposal submission is June 21, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. The full proposal is due on October 8, 2021.

Please see the attached document for the notice of funding opportunity published on May 17, 2021. The notice is also on the NOAA Ocean Exploration website.

A webinar about the funding opportunity will be held on May 26, 2021, at 1 p.m. EDT. Registration is required. A recording of the webinar will be posted on the Federal Funding Opportunity web page on the NOAA Ocean Exploration website after the event. Additional questions may be directed to oer.ffo2022@noaa.gov.

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