NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Update

Hi everyone,

Thanks to all who participated in today's Employee Recognition and Awards Event. We had an opportunity to highlight the outstanding achievements of 70 individuals and to celebrate a very successful FY 2014. The video from today's presentation will be available on the For Employees site in about a week.

We also had the chance to announce the names of those who submitted the winning entries for the NOS Photo Contest. The photos from the four winners appear below. You can see all of the entries here. Congratulations to Debra Ellisor, Alan Mearns, David Seebach, and Steve Lonhart for their winning entries!

Thank you,

W. Russell Callender, Ph.D. 
Acting Assistant Administrator 
Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management, 
National Ocean Service

2014 NOS Photo Contest Winners

NOS Highlight

What is an Operational Forecast System?

NOS Highlight

Learn the difference between nowcasts and forecasts and why Operational Forecast Systems are put in place. Read more.

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Discovery of WWII-Era Wrecks U-576 and Bluefields Announced by NOAA

After years of careful planning and coordination, NOAA announced on October 21 that it has discovered two vessels lost during the World War II Battle of the Atlantic off the coast of North Carolina. Located nearly 30 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, both vessels rest in about 700 feet of water. The U-576 is the fourth and final German U-boat known to have sunk off the coast of North Carolina during World War II, and the Bluefields was a Nicaraguan vessel the U-576 torpedoed before it, too, sunk to a watery grave. The two vessels represent a nationally significant underwater battlefield and will provide maritime archaeologists with valuable insight into this chapter of our nation's history, maritime conflict, and the cultural landscape of coastal North Carolina.


200 Million CORS Data Files Served

Users of the NGS-managed Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) network passed a notable milestone at the end of October, downloading the 200 millionth GPS data file from the network. These data enable users to determine centimeter-level positions consistent to the National Spatial Reference System—the coordinate system that defines latitude, longitude, height, scale, gravity, and orientation for the nation. Via the CORS network, users are able to simultaneously process their own GPS data with data from the network to support three-dimensional positioning, meteorology, space weather, and geophysical applications.


Scientists Sample Algal Cysts in the Gulf of Maine to Improve HAB Forecasting

From 2007 through 2014, NCCOS supported an integrated event response program to help mitigate economic losses from harmful algal blooms (HABs) called Monitoring Oregon's Coastal Harmful Algae (MOCHA). Prior to the project very little was known about the oceanographic conditions that promote the growth of toxin-producing HABs, the mechanisms of delivery of toxins to harvestable shellfish, or the environmental signals that predict HAB events. Monthly or bi-weekly sampling of sentinel species for toxins determined closures of shellfish beds in Oregon, but there was no comprehensive event response plan in place to help minimize the impact of HAB events on coastal communities. MOCHA has improved Oregon's capability to predict the occurrence of HABs and reduce threats to the public and the coastal economy. NCCOS awarded funds supporting MOCHA to Oregon State University and other partners, including the University of Oregon, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center.


Coast Survey Helps Deep Draft Vessel Find Safe Anchorage

In response to a request by the U.S. Coast Guard and Port of San Francisco, Coast Survey's Navigation Response Team 6 (NRT6) conducted bathymetric surveys of possible anchorage sites for a unique ship. The M/V TERN, a semi-submersible vessel with a 60-foot draft, needed a "bucket" (or parking spot) that was at least 62' deep and free of any features when she arrived in San Francisco on October 15. The first proposed anchorage site had charted depths of 62 feet and 63 feet—leaving no room for error. NRT6 investigated the depths with its multibeam echo sounder, and found a 60' shoalest sounding near a 63' charted depth—in close proximity to the location where TERN was supposed to submerge. After checking additional sites, NRT6 found an alternative location with the required under keel clearance and no features, ensuring safe "parking" for the deep-draft vessel.

Contact Person: LT

Soliciting Nominations for the IOOS Advisory Committee

The IOOS Program is soliciting nominations to the IOOS Advisory Committee (IOOS AC) for Fall, 2015. The IOOS AC provides advice to the Under Secretary and to the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee (IOOC). The IOOS AC has been well-served by having members with a variety of perspectives and viewpoints and we encourage the nomination of individuals who would contribute to the diversity and balance of the Committee. NOAA is seeking individuals with expertise in oceanographic data, products, and services; coastal management; fisheries management; coastal and marine spatial planning; geodesy; water levels; and other science-related fields. Applications for membership to the Committee will be accepted through November 24, 2014.  See the link below for more information.

New York Plume Modeling Workshop and Exercise

On October 20, OR&R attended and participated in the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) Plume Modeling Workshop and Exercise, in Albany, New York. This workshop was developed as an outgrowth of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's New York State Executive Order 125, directing the New York Departments of Environmental Conservation, Transportation, and Health, as well as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to strengthen the state's oversight of shipments of petroleum products. The workshop included topics such as agency current capabilities and gaps for Bakken crude oil plume modeling software. The plume modeling exercise included demonstrations of OR&R's ALOHA (Areal Locations of Hazardous Atmospheres), a program designed to model chemical releases for emergency responders and planners, and HYSPLIT (HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory), focusing on plume modeling for both smoke and vapors in a non-burning scenario.


NOS Assistant Administrator

NOS Acting Assistant Administrator
Dr. Russell Callender

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