Get to know GLOS

Posted by: GLOS_Admin May 29, 2018

You’re getting data, you’re running into staff in the community, but what exactly is the Great Lakes Observing System? Here’s a backgrounder to put GLOS into context.

GLOS is a regional node of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), a multi-agency Federal partnership network designed to  provide data required by decision-makers to address common societal goals. IOOS is the U.S. contribution to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) which is part of the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS.) GLOS works to ensure IOOS initiatives address Great Lakes regional priorities and provides a portal for local, state and regional data to be contributed to the national and international information systems. GLOS is a certified Regional Information Coordination Entity.

The Great Lakes Observing System is a bi-national nonprofit organization established to advance the coordination of the extensive network of people, processes and technology that work together to maximize access to critical, real-time and historical data and information about the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River system for use in managing, safeguarding and understanding our immensely valuable freshwater resources.

GLOS coordinates Great Lakes observations, information technology, data delivery products and related services by developing a broad network of members and providing a forum for collaboration and communi-cation. GLOS members represent a variety of data providers, data managers and data users. They include governmental, academic and non-governmental organizations, as well as private industry and individuals with expertise and interests in Great Lakes water resources.

GLOS takes a user-oriented approach to its work, engaging stakeholders, managers, researchers, policy makers and educators to ensure that the services it provides meet the specific needs of these data user groups. Through its role as a data management facilitator, GLOS makes a broader suite of interoperable data available to resource managers, decision-makers, researchers and other data users, allowing them to develop a more complete characterization of our Great Lakes by collecting and bringing information together to be used with other data sets, in models and in data visualization products.

GLOS currently focuses its work on these theme areas:

• Ecosystem Health: Allow more effective protection, restoration and sustainable use of healthy Great Lakes and coastal ecosystems.
• Public Health and Water Security: Reduce public health risks and improve Great Lakes water security.
• Maritime Operations: Improve the safety and efficiency of maritime operations in the Great Lakes.
• Climate Change and Natural Hazards: Improve understanding and the development of adaptation strategies related to the impacts of climate change on Great Lakes communities and al-low more effective mitigation of the effects of natural hazards.