Providing Oceanographic Data and Information to Pacific Island Communities

Providing Oceanographic Data and Information to Pacific Island Communities

James Potemra (University of Hawai‘i, USA), John Maurer (University of Hawai‘i, USA) and Echelle S. Burns (University of Hawai‘i, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0700-0.ch011


The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) is a partnership of Federal, State and local agencies, academia, industry and various other groups that provides data and information about the ocean environment to a wide array of users in the insular Pacific. By collecting measurements and running numerical model forecasts, conducting scientific analyses and then providing these to the public through common interfaces, PacIOOS enables science-based decision making with data services and products. This chapter describes how data collection from a wide-array of sensors can support decision-making in the region if the data are properly (easily, effectively, consistently) served.
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The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) was established as the US contribution to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS; Levy et al., 2011). The IOOS mission developed after a series of meetings and workshops in the early 2000’s. A more formal establishment occurred following the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System (ICOOS) Act of 2009. The ICOOS Act provided the structure and foundation for the development of a US IOOS built upon a national-regional partnership. This partnership is working to provide new tools and forecasts to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect the environment.

The IOOS premise of a national-regional partnership is manifest through a collection of regional associations (RA) that link in a virtual sense into a national backbone [Basset et al, 2010; de La Beaujardière et al., 2010a; de La Beaujardière et al., 2010b]. IOOS is composed of 11 different RA’s (see Figure 1), each locally managed and responsive to a certain geographic area.

Figure 1.

Distribution of IOOS Regional Associations. The IOOS regional associations are marked with yellow dots. The RA for the Pacific Islands, PacIOOS, includes the main US islands and territories in the Pacific Ocean, including the State of Hawai‘i.

PacIOOS is the RA designed to monitor and serve the US Affiliate islands, including the State of Hawai‘i, Guam, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and several minor outlying islands.

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