Observing Systems for Ecosystem Understanding and Operational Decision Support

Steven A Ruberg, NOAA Ocean and Atmospheric Research, College Park, MD, United States, Thomas H Johengen, University of Michigan, Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, Andrea Joy Vander Woude, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Ann Arbor, United States and CIGLR and MIL Team
Observations of physical and biogeochemical parameters from fixed coastal platforms, surface buoys, airborne systems, and unmanned marine systems are being developed with the goal of improving NOAA’s understanding of Great Lakes and coastal ocean ecosystems. Long-term observations detect ecosystem conditions in advance of harmful algal bloom (HAB) development, contribute to satellite algorithm development, and allow monitoring of nutrient and dissolved oxygen concentrations. This work is contributing to early warning of HAB episodes, a better understanding of under-ice ecosystem conditions, and awareness of fish abundance and distribution. Sustained, operational observations of hypoxia and HABs have been achieved through a collaboration that includes NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, and the IOOS Great Lakes Observing System regional association working with municipal drinking water managers and industry partners.