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PSU Membership in NANOOS
Author: Maseeh College
Posted: September 1, 2009

Portland State University (PSU) has accepted an invitation to join the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), which covers the coastal ocean of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. NANOOS  is one of eleven regional associations covering the USA’s coastal ocean. As such, it contributes to the coastal ocean component of the USA’s Integrated (and Sustained) Ocean Observing System (IOOS).  

IOOS is an emergent operational (i.e., real-time and sustained) information system for synoptic, prospective, and retrospective ocean state estimation integrating across several disciplines for scientific research and societal applications. Hence, it comprises three major subsystems:  observing (in situ and remote sensing), modeling & analysis (numerical and statistical), and information management (web-based, real-time, interoperable).

PSU potentially has functional interests in all three subsystems, especially for the Columbia River estuary and its interactions with the Oregon and Washington continental shelves. As an evolutionary and complex system, one of the interesting management and intellectual challenges for IOOS is the eventual adoption of a Systems Engineering approach to rationalize its design, performance evaluation, balance between subsystems, adoption of technological and methodological upgrades, etc. Not well-delineated yet are the essential long-term partnerships between the R&D and Operational Oceanography communities, and the crucial enabling human resource requirements.

NANOOS was formed in 2003 under the regional leadership provided primarily by University of Washington, Oregon State University, Oregon Health Science University, and Humboldt State University, and with participation by federal, state, and local government agencies, tribes, and the private sector. Membership in NANOOS offers PSU a stewardship role in an important ocean science and technology activity that relates to the sustainability of the Pacific Northwest, and which may lead to research, educational, and service opportunities for PSU faculty and students. Because of his long history of prior involvement in IOOS, Chris Mooers, Research Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been designated PSU’s Member Representative to the NANOOS Executive Council.