December 19, 2013
NOS is the first line office in NOAA to adopt a "responsive" design for its corporate website, oceanservice.noaa.gov. The site joins the ranks of two NOS program offices — CO-OPS and NCCOS — that made the mobile-friendly leap earlier this year. "Responsively" designed websites automatically resize to fit large desktop screens, tablets, and smartphones.
The NOS site receives an average of 1.5 million visits per month, with about 20 percent of that traffic coming from mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 63 percent of American adult cell owners now use their phones to go online, a figure that has doubled since 2009. The new NOS site design means that the user's experience of the site is automatically tailored to the size of the screen being used.
I invite you to explore the site at oceanservice.noaa.gov
Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D.
National Ocean Service
P.S. For additional information on the statistics used this week, see Pew Internet & American Life Project.
2013 marks the 50th year of multibeam sonar. Get to know this amazing technology with our video ocean fact!
Researchers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) have developed a new model to forecast the impacts of invasive lionfish consumption on Atlantic reefs. The model uses ambient water temperature and various physiological parameters to predict the energetic demands of lionfish populations. The model has been used to calculate the total number of lionfish prey consumed and the resulting effect on the biodiversity of reefs in Florida, North Carolina, and the Caribbean. When coupled with stomach content analysis, reef managers can use the model to predict the number of commercially important species consumed, such as Nassau grouper or vermilion snapper. The model can also be used to estimate the number of fish conserved by lionfish removal efforts such as lionfish derbies that have been known to remove up to 2,000 lionfish from local reefs. Using consumption estimates derived from the model, the number of prey fish that would have been consumed annually by these lionfish reaches well into the millions. For more information, contact James Morris.
This week, Environmental Science and Technology published online a NOAA-authored paper describing significant health issues in the wild dolphins of Barataria Bay, La. The bay sustained heavy and prolonged oiling following Deepwater Horizon (DWH) in April, 2010. A comprehensive capture-release health assessment of the resident dolphins in August, 2011, revealed a high prevalence of severe respiratory disease, evidence of liver effects, and evidence of compromised stress response - issues likely to lead to reduced survival and fecundity. The research was conducted as part of the DWH Natural Resource Damage Assessment and involved more than 50 NOAA partners including veterinarians, biologists, and wildlife specialists. For more information, contact Lori Schwacke.
A wave glider on a mission to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, recently completed travel back to the Big Island. The Liquid Robotics, Inc. glider provided data to an interactive map interface called the PacIOOS Voyager, run by the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System, a U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System region. This unmanned ocean robot began transmitting measurements of wave height, direction, and period every thirty minutes, and ocean currents every hour, shortly after departing the leeward side of the Big Island on October 23. The glider headed north and began circling the waters surrounding the Monument in November, and just completed the return leg of its journey. For more information, contact Jennie Lyons.
Senior staff from the Office of Coast Survey and U.S. Coast Guard's Marine Transportation Systems met on Monday to start a series of activities that will use advances in digital technology to get critical information quicker to mariners in U.S. waters. The meeting produced commitments to pursue NOAA's request that mariners be allowed to access the U.S. Coast Pilot on tablets (paper copies are now required), and reforming data submission processes that will speed information about changes in aids to navigation. For more information, contact CAPT Jon Swallow.
The first detailed methodology for quantifying real greenhouse-gas emissions for tidal wetlands and seagrass restoration was submitted to the Verified Carbon Standard for approval. This groundbreaking methodology opens the door for all tidal wetland and seagrass restoration projects that meet certain eligibility conditions to calculate the net greenhouse gas benefits and receive carbon credits. Restore America's Estuaries, a NOAA partner, submitted the methodology using funds from the National Estuarine Research Reserve Science Collaborative and NOAA's Habitat Conservation and Restoration Center. For more information, contact Dwight Trueblood.
Staff from the International Programs Office recently served as the U.S. expert at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) inter-sessional working group to develop an IOC strategy on capacity building. The IOC is developing a strategy to address the following goals for their member states: improve formal academic qualifications; support policy development and implementation; develop local infrastructure; and further expand and enhance IOC's technical training curricula through programs such as Ocean Teacher. For more information, contact Arthur Paterson.
Last week, the first 3D spatial imagery from five locations within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) was launched on Google Maps. Internet users can now take a virtual tour of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, including Tern and East Islands at French Frigate Shoals, Laysan Island, Lisianski Island, and Pearl and Hermes Atoll. During July of this year, PMNM staff from NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spent a week capturing 5.6 million panoramic images of the features in the Monument, covering 20 miles on foot using the Google Street View Trekker Backpack. This is the second installment of PMNM's partnership with Google using digital imagery and Web technology to bring these remote islands to people around the world. In total, 7 million images across 41 miles have been captured from within the Monument between last year's and this year's efforts. For more information, contact Kalewa Correa.
NOAA has been engaged with the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) and submitted a report the week of December 9 to the GGOS Inter-Agency Committee on current geodetic activities and advancements. One of the primary goals of GGOS is to provide global spatial and temporal changes of the shape of the Earth, the oceans, ice masses, and land surfaces. Three activities supported by NOAA to monitor change are the Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS), Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum (GRAV-D), and Superconducting Gravimeter (SG). For more information, contact Neil Weston.