The programme "International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange" (IODE) of the "Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission" (IOC)
was established in 1961. Its purpose is to enhance marine research, exploitation and development, by facilitating the exchange of oceanographic data and information between participating Member States, and by meeting the needs of users for data and information products.
Syd joined the U.S. NODC in 1989 where he has been a pioneer of ocean climate science and ocean warming studies. He has made significant contributions to the scientific and ocean data management communities. Before joining NODC he worked at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). While at GFDL Syd published “Climatological Atlas of the World Ocean” in 1982 which was based on the ocean data archived at the NODC/WDC. This work has been cited more than 2800 times in the refereed scientific literature indicating its impact and utility to the scientific community. He has also increased public understanding of the role of the oceans in climate. Syd was one of the first to recognize the importance and benefits of developing quality-controlled historical oceanographic databases with all data in a common digital format and gridded, objectively analyzed climatological fields of measured ocean variables including temperature, salinity, oxygen, nutrients, and fields derived from the data in these databases. These research-quality databases and products based on them have enabled systematic studies of ocean variability that were not previously possible. All of these products have been made available internationally without restriction, a characteristic of Syd’s work throughout his career. The "World Ocean Atlas" series are used so frequently that they have become known generically as the "Levitus Climatology". He formed the NODC Ocean Climate Laboratory (OCL) and became director of the ICSU World Data Center for Oceanography (WDC), Silver Spring. In 1993 the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission asked Syd to lead the newly initiated "Global Oceanographic Data Archaeology and Rescue" (GODAR)project to locate and "rescue" historical ocean profile data that were at risk of being lost due to media decay. With his OCL colleagues, and unprecedented cooperation from the international ocean scientific and data management communities, this project resulted in a significant increase (millions of profiles) in the number of Station Data, XBT, MBT, and CTD casts for the pre-1991 period (Levitus, 2012). Syd has been the senior author or co-author of many peer reviewed scientific publications and book chapters, senior author of several NOAA professional papers and atlases, and editor of the “World Ocean Database” and “World Ocean Atlas” series of publications.
Levitus, S., 2012: The UNESCO/IOC/IODE "Global Oceanographic Data Archaeology and Rescue" (GODAR) and "World Ocean Database" projects. Data Sci. J., 11, 46-71, published online at https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/browse/dsj/11/0/_contents.
Mr Mike Flavell has joined the IOC Project Office for IODE, Oostende on 21 May 2013. Mike will provide technical support to the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) and marine biodiversity related activities at IODE.
Mike Flavell obtained a Masters of Science degree in Oceanography at the University of Southampton, UK in 1996. He is an IT Professional with 14 years of work experience in the development of database-driven web/online systems and their associated IT project management. Previously he worked at the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS) where he created a global marine database for continuous plankton recorder data, as well as developed associated online map-based data products using the OpenGeo Geospatial suite of tools, and in-house software for scientific data entry, quality control, and data management. His experience in data management and development of database driven web applications, will undoubtedly be valuable for OBIS.
In June 2009, the UNESCO-IOC General Assembly adopted OBIS as part of its IODE programme. More information at: http://www.iobis.org.
The Flemish government's oceanographic research vessel RV Zeeleeuw was officially handed over to the Republic of Kenya on 3 May 2013. The ship will sail under the Kenyan flag and will be named RV Mtafiti, which is Swahili for ‘researcher’.
The donation of the vessel fell within a collaboration between Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) and Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI). On 19 October 2012 the two institutes signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for bilateral collaboration in the field of marine sciences.
The name is said to be appropriate, since RV Zeeleeuw has served Belgian and international marine researchers in the southern bight of the North Sea, for thirteen years. Also in Kenya the ship will continue to serve marine research and will be managed by the KMFRI. The 3 May 2013 the final documents for the handover of the vessel were signed by Mr. Mutua Kilaka (Financial Secretary for the Kenyan Ministry of Finance). Within the frame of the MoU, VLIZ will co-ordinate and facilitate the translocation of the vessel, co-operate in all scientific operations such as providing and placing scientific instruments on board of the ship, training IT staff, scientific assistants, students, etc. The research vessel itself will further strengthen the co-operation between Belgium and Kenya in the field of marine research, technology and education. Until the end of May 2013, the elected Kenyan captain and engineer and the RV Mtafiti will be prepared for sailing. If all goes well, the RV Mtafiti should leave the harbour of Ostend and set sail to Mombasa via the Suez Canal mid-June 2013. The journey should take approximately 33 days, with the arrival at the harbour of Mombasa around mid-July 2013 where the research vessel will receive a great welcome ceremony to fit this milestone in marine research at the West-Indian coast.
|Already in its 4th edition, the EMBC-OTA Accredited Course ‘Introduction to Ocean Data Management’ was held at Ghent University, Belgium, between 29 April and 3 May 2013.
The course was attended by 26 students who follow the Erasmus Mundus Biodiversity Conservation (EMBC) MSc Programme and was taught by Dr Murray Brown (IODE-OTA teacher).
The course provided a comprehensive introduction to a wide variety of earth science datasets (hydrosphere, atmosphere and geosphere), formats and analysis software programs (including a Geographic Information System [GIS]). During the course students learned and practiced methods using a common ocean area offshore Africa, but also created a personal project of data products for other marine regions of their choice. At the end of the course students presented their personal projects.
The course content can be visited through http://classroom.oceanteacher.org/course/view.php?id=160.
The second ODINAFRICA Websites development workshop was held in Nairobi, Kenya between 25-27 April 2013. The course was attended by 23 participants and the course was taught by Mr Aditya Naik Kakodkar (IT developer of the IOC project office for IODE, Oostende) and Samuel Ngete (KMFRI, Kenya).Prior to 2013 NODC websites were presented in simple HTML. Managing content within a HTML website was not straight forward. It caused a lot of operational problems, including requirements such as knowledge of HTML and FTP. Joomla was chosen as a content management system. Websites were developed for each NODC with a common template. During this workshop content managers were trained to manager content in Joomla CMS. The course content can be visited through http://classroom.oceanteacher.org/course/view.php?id=166. More info on the course can be found HERE.
The IODE Meeting & Training Centre