As the end of a most tumultuous year, we are grateful to our OOI friends and colleagues for their dedication and continued participation. In spite of the many COVID-related restrictions, 2020 turned out to be a productive year.
The OOI team successfully completed five operation and maintenance cruises to ensure the continued smooth operations of the arrays. In response to community suggestions, the team has implemented a new data tool, the Data Explorer, which is making OOI data easier to access, use, visualize, and share.
During the past year, researchers continued to publish using OOI data, bringing the number of OOI-related publications to 171, with 152 lead authors, representing 84 institutions from 19 countries. The National Science Foundation continued to support OOI research, with an investment of more than $51 million in grants to 61 distinct principal investigators at 24 academic institutions in the U.S. The program has received and filled on average 19 million data requests each month, or the equivalent of about 6.8 terabytes. We are more than pleased to see how OOI data are helping to advance understanding of our changing ocean.
While the virtual realm is not ideal, we appreciate the continuing engagement of the community with the OOI. At the recent AGU Fall meeting, more than 200 of our colleagues participated in our online events. While we all missed the human contact and coffee, it was gratifying to connect with many of you virtually.
2021 holds great promise for new beginnings and resumption of normal lives. We wish you all the best for the new year. May it be healthy, happy, productive, and may we be able to see each other in person.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic concerns, the Ocean Observatories Initiative Facilities Board has made the difficult decision to postpone the Northeast Pacific OOI Community Workshop scheduled for June 23-25, 2020 in Portland, OR. Because of the importance of holding this workshop, OOIFB will work to find a future date that will promote optimal participation and engagement by the OOI community.
In the meantime, OOIFB members are exploring alternate options for connecting with researchers and educators who are using or plan to use OOI data. This could include webinars and/or on-line training sessions. Input from community members is welcome. Please share your suggestions regarding webinar and training topics that would be of interest to you and whether you have any deadlines for this information (e.g., proposal submission, teaching a class). Suggestions can be sent to Annette De Silva.