From the Repository – Traditional Knowledge
The knowledge held by First Nations peoples around the world is increasingly recognised as a crucial and long overdue component of science and management, as is the leadership of First Nations communities in these activities. It has now been exactly three years since we encouraged the OBPS community to submit practices related to Indigenous knowledge (see Issue 20 here). At that time there were only three practices related to this topic, and all of these were from Australia.
We are heartened to see a surge in the number of such practices submitted to the OBPS Repository since this time. The Repository now hosts dozens of practices focussed on Indigenous knowledge, partnership, and engagement from across the globe, many of these led by Indigenous authors. We would love for those who have been involved in or know about ocean practices relating to Indigenous groups to submit them to the OBP Repository.
Success Story – Community Review for Biogeochemical sensors
Sophie Clayton (Old Dominion University) and Hillary Palevsky (Boston College)
The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Biogeochemical (BGC) Sensor Data Best Practices and User Guide is the result of an NSF-funded (OCE2033919) grass-roots community effort to broaden the use of OOI biogeochemical sensor data and increase community capacity to produce analysis-ready data products. The guide includes five chapters: The Introduction (Chapter 1) provides information on the OOI program, including data access, processing, and recommended end user QA/QC relevant to all OOI biogeochemical sensors, and Chapters 2-5 cover the following groups of BGC variables and associated sensors: Dissolved oxygen, nitrate, carbonate chemistry, and bio-optics.
This effort brought together an international group of 39 ocean observing experts, across all career stages, from 19 institutions and 5 countries, each of whom brings expertise on biogeochemical sensors, data analysis and ocean observing infrastructure, as well as research expertise in ocean biogeochemistry. The initial OOI Biogeochemical Sensor Data (OOI BGC) Working Group was formed in July 2021 through an open application process. A three-day virtual meeting in July 2021 launched the Working Group, with consensus-building activities to develop the scope and structure of the Best Practices and User Guide. From July 2021 to June 2022, the Working Group drafted a beta version of the Best Practices and User Guide that went through two rounds of internal review within the Working Group. A draft version of this document was Beta Tested by 14 current and prospective OOI BGC data users, who joined the Working Group members for a 3-day workshop in June 2022 to provide feedback that has since been used in revising and finalizing the document.
The OOI Biogeochemical Sensor Data Best Practices and User Guide is now complete and is available on the OBPS Repository here. As a next step, we are seeking to gain GOOS endorsement of the document. In order to do so, the guide must undergo a rigorous community review process whereby comments are publicly invited and adjudicated. We now invite community members to review the guide and submit comments by February 28, 2023. After completing the open review, we will revise the document based on the reviewers’ comments and upload an updated, final version to OBPS.
We encourage feedback from everyone, including both disciplinary experts and users new to each of these sensor types, as well as both experienced and new users of OOI data. Reviewers are welcome to provide feedback on the entire document, or on chapters or sections that are of particular relevance to their interests or expertise.
How to review the OOI BGC Sensor Data Best Practices and User Guide:
We are aiming for a transparent and open community review process, and as such, all reviewer comments and responses to them will be public. We invite reviewers to provide feedback on the OOI Biogeochemical Sensor Data Best Practices and User Guide via two different pathways:
- Reviewers may comment directly into a Google Doc version of the guide in the form of comments added to the text. This will be most useful for comments or to suggest revisions on specific sections of the text. We request that reviewers sign in via Google or include their name and email in their comments so that we can identify and, if needed, follow up with individuals providing reviews.
- Reviewers may submit lengthier and/or more overarching comments via an online form. All submissions to this form can be viewed here.
The Bad, the Worse, and the Ugly
Not all ADCPs are created equal
Early in my career, I worked with a vessel-mounted ADCP to use backscatter data to measure zooplankton biomass, in contrast to the velocity data which is the primary purpose of the ADCP. I therefore did not pay much attention to how this particular ADCP measured current velocity by using the vessel’s systems. When I started my PhD, I had a smaller and portable ADCP to play with, suitable for meso-tidal estuarine environment in which I was then working. I wanted to use both the velocity and the backscatter data to understand the dynamics of this estuary. I sampled every month for two years, collecting zooplankton and using the ADCP. I used a smallish steel prawn trawler with a steel pole attached to the vessel, specifically for the ADCP to do my sampling. If you are familiar with this instrument, you may have spotted my big mistake. It happens that these little cuties have an internal compass to help them detect the current’s direction. As you would imagine, the steel vessel and the pole where the ADCP was mounted messed up with its internal compass affecting all the current velocity and direction data collected over the sampling period. This meant I could only use the backscatter data, so there goes two years’ worth of velocity data!
My lesson was that not all instruments are created equal, always read the user’s manual and instrument specifications and never assume they all work and function in the same way, even if their purpose is to collect the same data.
I was lucky enough to collect additional ADCP data using a small aluminium dinghy with an aluminium pole, which allowed me to do interesting analyses and have a PhD thesis I could be proud of.
Feature – ECOPs and the Ocean Decade
When we talk about the Ocean Decade, we talk about the ten Decade challenges that we have to overcome. And they are called challenges because we don’t yet know how to solve them. If we have any hope of solving them in the future, we need new ideas, new innovations, and new ways of doing things; and for that we need new thinkers. We need new people at the table, people who have previously been excluded, and we need a new generation that thinks inherently different from the last generation. To do that, we need a drastic systemic change, because to do the science we need for the ocean we want, we need a strong, confident, and diverse workforce to do that science. So we must train early career ocean practitioners (ECOPs) differently, we must give them a voice and ownership, and we must support our ECOPs so that they can actually lead. They should not be just a tick in an inclusion box or part of a program to balance out a quota; they must become actual leaders. How do we do this?
We must bring ECOPs to the table from the beginning to co-develop initiatives, programs, and working group topics from the get-go
We must bring ECOPs directly to global experts so they can learn from them about best practices etc first-hand through real, meaningful exchanges, not just via webinars.
We must create safe spaces where ECOPs feel heard and valued by all project members, so that they can voice uncertainties and ask for additional support.
We must help ECOPs whenever and wherever possible to take on high profile opportunities to further their careers.
Most importantly, we must create an ego free environment where people celebrate each other’s successes, where failure is a welcoming learning experience, and where we put people before outcomes.
We all need to be champions for ECOPs, focussing on nurturing their potential and pushing forward their creative ideas. If we do that, we will learn and grow with our ECOPs, we will advance our initiatives and programs with them, and we will indeed create the ocean that we need together.
[This article is from a recent keynote presentation delivered at the recent OceanPrediction kickoff meeting. Summaries from other keynotes can be viewed here.]