Observing systems meet in Washington D.C.
When Great Lakes organizations head to Washington DC in March, part of the trip is generally spent enjoying milder temperatures than there are at home. This year snow followed the Great Lakes Observing System, joining the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) program office, the IOOS Association, and ten additional Regional Associations for the annual IOOS Spring meeting. Weather prompted a venue change, but couldn’t restrict the gathering from its task.
The first day of the four-day meeting was kicked off with presentations from the IOOS Program Office and discussions on communicating the value of IOOS. The afternoon was comprised of a facilitated working session that kicked off work for the development of the IOOS Enterprise Strategic Plan.
The rest of the week took the group everyone back to NOAA headquarters in Silver Spring for a presentation from the National Ocean Service Associate Administrator Russell Callender, a regional association (RA) director/data management and communications (DMAC) joint session, and an IOOS DMAC technical session. The agenda was full of presentations that addressed regional/national partnerships, software capabilities that can improve on current DMAC services, and regional successes.
Regional Associations in the IOOS programs are each unique in the way they operate. They develop data services in a style driven by local users, and can be housed in universities or as non-profits, among other things. Meetings like these allow like-purposed but diverse groups to share best practices, successes and challenges to serve their communities better. These gatherings take place annually, and the directors of the regional associations go on retreat in the fall.