What’s NERACOOS and why am I only hearing about it now?

1 02 2013
High tech buoy senses carbon dioxide in both ocean and atmosphere (photo credit: NERACOOS)

High tech buoy senses carbon dioxide in both ocean and atmosphere (photo credit: NERACOOS)

I’ve spent much of this morning poking around the website of the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS). I’m a sucker for a cool map or satellite image, and NERACOOS is flush with them. Their site provides access to data on numerous physical characteristics of the ocean environment: surface currents, winds, tides, all the info the fleet of data recording buoys is collecting all the time in the Gulf of Maine and beyond. NERACOOS is also interested in factors beyond physical oceanography, and looks to promote education and outreach as well.

Last fall, they held an Ocean Literacy Summit in Rhode Island, and they have made all the materials from those sessions publicly available. Naturally, I was drawn to the heading “citizen science” and flipped through a powerpoint presentation on a project enlisting kids at summer camps throughout New England to collect real scientific data on coastal ecosystems.

NERACOOS is just one group whose activities I am learning of shamefully late in the day for someone who works on marine science issues. If you know of other groups or resources that we should be following, please send their info along! Especially for our southern contingent–ocean, coastal, ecological groups doing good work down there? Tell us about it!