In the AOOS Fall Newsletter Salmon forcasting, STAMP project update, UAF's Arctic Circulation, GulfWatch Alaska, Newflash and more!
Fall Newsletter
Data Team supports Salmon Forecasts and Integrated Research Programs

Through a partnership with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, AOOS assisted in refining and implementing a salmon run timing forecast model for the Yukon River that is powered by physical environmental parameters such as ambient air temperature, sea surface temperature and sea ice extent.  The model has shown to provide drastically improved forecast methods compared to historic approaches.  The AOOS Ocean Workspace (project level data management system) was rolled out to several regional integrated research programs including the NPRB funded Gulf of Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (GOAIERP) and EVOS funded Integrated Herring and GulfWatch Alaska Programs.  Keep on the lookout for the release later this fall of several integrated tools including the Cook Inlet Response Tool (CIRT) and the AOOS Arctic Portal with a new polar projection and Arctic data sets!

STAMP Project Completes Scoping Effort

STAMP - “Spatial Tools for Arctic Mapping and Planning” – moved forward this summer with the completion of a user needs assessment conducted by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) of managers, planners, and other stakeholders to better understand current decision making processes, data priorities, and desired tool functions.   
STAMP is a project in partnership with UAA, UAF, and TNC to design interactive data tools to assist with planning and management in the northern Bering and Chukchi seas. The STAMP advisory committee meets in late September to review the findings and help guide the project and development of the data tools through the winter. For questions, email

Track Arctic Circulation through UAF’s Animations and Graphics

A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks is conducting a Chukchi and Western Beaufort Circulation Study to better understand and evaluate the exchange of water off the coast of northwest Alaska. Their efforts are producing cool graphics and animations including a real-time data map
After releasing dozens of oceanographic drifters in the Chukchi Sea, you can see 
daily animations showing their tracks which are driven by ocean currents. You can also track individual drifters.

Kim Martini, an oceanographer at UAF, is blogging from the field. Follow her Twitter feed.

GulfWatch Alaska Project Breaks New Ground

AOOS is part of new collaborative long-term monitoring effort in the Gulf of Alaska, funded by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.  The program, known as GulfWatch Alaska, focuses on the 1989 spill-affected areas, and seeks to provide data to identify and help understand the impacts of multiple ecosystem factors on the recovery of injured resources.  This program is expected to be 20 years in total length, and builds upon the past 23 years of restoration research and monitoring.  The program involves 25 principal scientists from a variety of state and federal agencies and research institutions. AOOS Director Molly McCammon is the program’s coordinator, and the AOOS data team is providing data management services.
Visit the GulfWatch website.

The Beginnings of an Animal Tagging Network for Alaska

We can learn a lot from animals, and AOOS is looking at adding animal telemetry observations into the AOOS data system.  Focusing first on marine mammals, telemetry was initially used for studies of individual species.  The data gathered, however, also samples the marine environment – so making this data more accessible can lead to greater ecosystem understanding.  Because an animal’s location can be related to oceanographic parameters (such as currents and up-welling zones or patches of ice), marine mammals can be another type of mobile “sensor”.  As has been demonstrated in other marine systems, we expect to gain insights into animal migration, distribution and interactions with their environment, and, ultimately greater use of marine mammals as mobile platforms for oceanographic studies.  This approach could be especially useful in the ice-dominated Arctic where the vast scale, remoteness and extreme conditions often limit sampling.  A steering committee is now designing a workshop to be held in spring 2013.

Coastal Hazards Workshop Brings Together Diverse Group

AOOS, the Western Alaska Landscape Conservation Cooperative, and the USGS Alaska Climate Science Center jointly conducted a Coastal Hazards Workshop in May.  Subject matter experts and stakeholders involved in coastal issues reviewed the current “state of the coast”, discussed stakeholder information needs and developed the framework for a conceptual model focused on coastal erosion and inundation.  The workshop report will be posted on the AOOS website along with other workshop materials in the near future.

National Marine Educators Meet in Anchorage

Over 350 educators from across the globe gathered in Anchorage in late June to attend the 2012 National Marine Education Association conference. AOOS, through its participation in the Alaska Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE Alaska), was an active sponsor and planning participant of the conference. AOOS demonstrated its most recent data tools, and AOOS executive director Molly McCammon and other regional observing systems spoke about incorporating technology and ocean data into classroom.

AOOS is on FACEBOOK. Check out our new FACEBOOK page and be sure to “like” AOOS – catch our links to current coast and ocean events and surprising new information and insights.

New Board Member AOOS would like to welcome new board member Paul Gill from the US Coast Guard.  Gill replaces Shane Montoya who was on the board for three years.  We are grateful for Shane’s contribution, and look forward to introducing Paul to the rest of the board at the Oct 30th meeting.
Summer visitorsNOAA’s Laura Furgione (former AOOS board member and now National Weather Service director), NOAA’s Deputy Under Secretary Margaret Spring and NOAA’s National Ocean Service head David Kennedy all met with AOOS staff in Anchorage.  AOOS also helped host a meeting of the Alaska Data integration Working Group with the Department of Interior’s Assistant Secretary Anne Castle.
Important Upcoming Dates
Copyright © 2012 Alaska Ocean Observing System, All rights reserved., AOOS Announcements
Molly McCammon, Darcy Dugan, Rosa Meehan and Rob Bochnek
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