Coastal and Ocean Resources

Ocean Observing Systems

We design and build ocean observing and forecasting systems.

Ocean observing and forecasting systems have diverse practical applications such as oil spill response, search and rescue, and fisheries and risk management. Technological developments in satellite imagery and communications, numerical simulation models, powerful computers linked to ocean and weather observing platforms with real-time data streams, allow for improved forecasts of weather, waves, and ocean currents. We have used this technology to better understand the dispersion of discharged ballast water in high arctic fjords as part of an environmental assessment of invasive organisms. When these forecasts of wind and ocean currents are used to calculate surface drift trajectories and bundled with ShoreZone data we provide an unprecedented tool for coastal management and emergency response. We can now forecast, within confidence bounds, where and when a drifting object will reach shore, and also know what type of shoreline habitat and associated plants and animals will be encountered or impacted.