Minutes from First U.S. Southern Ocean GLOBEC Science Steering Committee Meeting

11-12 September 2000 
National Science Foundation Headquarters, Room 330, Arlington, VA

Present: B. Beardsley, D. Costa, E. Hofmann, D. Martinson, J. Torres, P. Wiebe, A. Doyle (Raytheon Polar Services), B. Lettau (NSF), P. Penhale (NSF), D. Stockwell (NSF)

The first meeting of the U.S. Southern Ocean GLOBEC (SO GLOBEC) Science Steering Committee took place at the National Science Foundation Headquarters in Arlington, VA on 11 and 12 September 2000. The meeting began with a review of the agenda and no additional topics were proposed for inclusion on the agenda.

Because of obligations by the NSF representatives which prevented their participation until later in the morning, the first item discussed was the status of the international SO GLOBEC programs. Hofmann provided information on the German SO GLOBEC cruises that had been received from Uli Bathmann at the Alfred Wegener Institute. It was noted that the German field effort will involve SeaSoar observations that would be useful to the physical oceanography portion of the U.S. SO GLOBEC cruise.  Hofmann mentioned that the German scientists have indicated that they are willing to include someone from the U.S. program as part of their physical oceanography group. Bob Beardsley said that he had a person who was a possible participant and that he would follow up with contacting Volker Strauss at AWI about U.S. participation. Doug Martinson also mentioned that he knew a person with SeaSoar experience who was also a possibility for participation in the German cruise. It was noted that communication between the German and U.S. SO GLOBEC field activities is important since the two will occur at about the same time.

Hofmann reported that the United Kingdom SO GLOBEC cruise is still planned for austral spring 2002. She said that a proposal requesting this time was being prepared by scientists at the British Antarctic Survey.

The issue of the participation by Argentina along with the U.S. in the austral winter cruises was discussed. Hofmann reported that the Argentine embassy had sent a letter saying that the Argentine ice breaker is unavailable for the winter work. She also said that recently a new director had been appointed at the Argentine Antarctic Institute and that this person was considering reopening the issue of involvement in SO GLOBEC. Thus, there is still a small possibility that scientists and/or a ship from Argentina will be involved in the SO GLOBEC effort.

Hofmann reported that Liz Gross had done much lobbying on behalf of the SO GLOBEC program at the recent IOC/SCOR meeting. This resulted in numerous letters being sent to representatives in Brazil concerning the possible participation of the Brazilian ice breaker and Brazilian scientists in the austral winter studies. To date, no response has been received to these letters.

While at IOC, Liz Gross also talked with the Chilean representative to SCOR, Dr. Rodrigo Nunez, and the result of these conversations was that Dr. Nunez and the Chilean Naval Attaché came to Norfolk and talked with Hofmann about participation in the austral winter SO GLOBEC effort. Several follow-up letters were sent, but to date no response has been received.

Hofmann also reported that Dr. Youn-Ho Lee from KORDI (Korea) is interested in obtaining krill samples from the SO GLOBEC cruises for genetic analysis. The suggestion was made that Dr. Lee coordinate his interests with scientists from the U.S. and other countries who are also interested in studies of krill genetics. Hofmann agreed to pass this information on to Dr. Lee. Hofmann also said that Dr. Hyungcheol Shin from KORDI is interested in participating in the U.S. SO GLOBEC cruises. Dr. Shin is interested in studies of krill feeding and it was suggested that he contact U.S. scientists (e.g. Torres and Daly) who have similar interests. Hofmann agreed to also pass this information on to Dr. Shin. Korea is also intending to do some SO GLOBEC-related studies on their annual austral summer cruise in 2001 and 2002.

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is still interested in being involved in SO GLOBEC. At the IWC meeting in June 2000 in Adelaide, Australia, the IWC allocated funds to allow this participation and also appointed Dr. Deborah Thiele from Deakins University (Australia) to coordinate this effort. Thiele visited Hofmann in early September and indicated that she is anxious to get the coordination of IWC participation in the U.S. (and other countries) SO GLOBEC cruises started. Dan Costa, who chairs the predator working group, agreed to contact Thiele directly to get this process started. It was recommended that D. Thiele come to any future cruise planning meetings for the U.S. SO GLOBEC field program. The IWC has allocated funds to support this type of participation. Costa mentioned that two scientists from Australia are going to participate in the U.S. SO GLOBEC cruises as part of his research group.

The question arose as to the degree to which census of cetaceans and other animals could be done on the U.S. SO GLOBEC cruise because of the short day lengths that would be encountered. Wiebe said that he would check on the availability of night vision goggles that are used by C. Davis and S. Gallagher. Costa said he would also check on this for predator studies.

The next item of business was to appoint chief scientists for the process and survey cruises in April-May and July-August 2001. After some discussion, it was agreed that chief scientists for these cruises would be J. Torres (process cruise, April-May 2001), D. Costa (process cruise, July-August 2001) and P. Wiebe (both survey cruises 2001). Wiebe has the option of designating someone else as chief scientist on the second survey cruise. It was agreed to send these selections for chief scientists to the rest of the program Science Investigators for approval.

The SSC also agreed to use the protocols set up for the Northwest Atlantic-Georges Bank and Northeast Pacific GLOBEC programs for maintaining cruise logs, event numbers, cruise activities and cruise reports. This makes comparisons between the programs easier and simplifies data management since all of the reporting will be consistent. Wiebe agreed to have B. Groman send an example chief scientist manual to each SSC member so that these could be reviewed and revised as needed for SO GLOBEC. The resulting SO GLOBEC chief scientist manual would then be provided to the chief scientist prior to the cruise.

Wiebe also suggested that a description of standard protocols be included in the chief scientist manual. Other items for inclusion in the manual are the location of the moorings, standard CTD T-S plots, nutrient-density (property-property) plots, and standard plots of meteorological and sea ice distributions.

Following the arrival of Penhale, Lettau, and Stockwell, the status of the reviews and funding decisions for the proposals that had been submitted to the NSF Office of Polar Programs in response to the SO GLOBEC Announcement of Opportunity was reviewed. Penhale and Lettau said that all of the proposal decisions and reviews had been forwarded from their programs to the NSF grants and contracts office. The awards that had not yet made it to individual institutions were likely delayed in the NSF awards system, which was running behind schedule. They indicated that all awards should be known by the end of September or early October. They also said that the reviews of the proposals would be sent to each PI as part of the award package.

Penhale and Lettau also said that funds had been allocated for the SO GLOBEC planning office (at Old Dominion University) and the data management office (at WHOI). However, the funds for the data management office will come from the next fiscal year funds so support for this office will be delayed until after the new fiscal year begins. Wiebe indicated that this would not be a problem and that the GLOBEC data management office was moving ahead with getting SO GLOBEC information included on the web site.

Penhale and Lettau were asked about additional funding to support activities that are considered important but were not funded in the original proposals. One such activity is the collection of zooplankton distribution and abundance data sets. These data are necessary to give the ecological linkage to other U.S. and International GLOBEC programs. Penhale and Lettau said that all of the available funds had been spent. They suggested that one option is to collect the data, if possible, and then submit proposals later to do needed analyses.

Penhale noted that her program supports the acquisition of voucher specimens for the invertebrate collection at the Natural History Museum at the Smithsonian Institution. She said that she would provide to Wiebe and Torres the name of the contact person at the Smithsonian who manages this collection. The SO GLOBEC program is encouraged to contribute to this collection.

Penhale also suggested that the SSC meet with Peter West from the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs at the NSF. This would be the best way to get started on media opportunities for publicity of the SO GLOBEC field effort. She agreed to arrange a time for West to meet with the SSC.

Dennis Peacock joined the SSC meeting briefly for the discussion of the need for a second ship in year two. Peacock said that the bid for the new Antarctic ship had gone to ECO and that the charter for the RVIB N.B. Palmer would be renewed. However, the availability of the Palmer in the second year is still not known. It is possible that some of the needed work on the Palmer will be delayed until 2003 and that the Palmer may be available in 2002. However, it will later in 2000 before the details regarding the use of the Palmer in 2002 are worked out between ECO and the NSF. There is also an issue related to using the Palmer to move hazardous waste from the Antarctic back to the U.S. in 2002. It may be that this can be done after the 2002 SO GLOBEC cruise. In the meanwhile, efforts to identify another ship in year two should continue. The SSC strongly voiced the opinion that the lack of a second ship in year two will severely compromise the overall program.

The number of berths on each ship allocated to each research group was the next issue taken up by the SSC. Doyle indicated that the requested berths on some of the SIPS that she had received were larger than what was requested at the May 2000 SI meeting. She also noted that there was still a problem with the number of available berths and number of requested berths on the two process cruises, especially the July-August process cruise. The SSC spent considerable time in going over the requests from the May 2000 SI meeting, the requests on the SIPS, the berths needed for Raytheon, the berths available on the Palmer and Gould, and the overall needs of the SO GLOBEC program. The resulting allocation of berths is given in the attached table (participants.doc). Those groups that were allocated a reduced number of berths were contacted to ensure that their science program would not be unduly impacted by fewer berths. Hofmann agreed to send a message to all program science investigators immediately following the SSC meeting notifying them of the berth allocations for the 2001 cruises.

Peter West from from the NSF Office of Legislative and Public Affairs meet with the SSC on the afternoon of the first day. He said that the options for publicity of the SO GLOBEC program were through publication of stories about the program in local news outlets, coordinated press releases via his office, and the Antarctic media visitors program. He gave several examples of how each of these has been used for a range of Antarctic science programs. He suggested setting up a web site on which digital images transmitted from the cruises can be viewed and provided to news outlets for viewing and possible publication. This will require approval from Al Sutherland for satellite video uplinks from the ships, which require higher band width. West suggested that SO GLOBEC have 1) a program press release (via his office) about winter studies in the Antarctic, in particular, and GLOBEC in general, 2) encourage participation by local media via participation in cruises (if this is done then the local reporter(s) need to submit a reporting plan to NSF about what will reported on and when), and 3) a press release at the end of the cruise with major findings. He said that it is important that a press release focus only on only one or two ideas/topics.

The SSC next spent considerable time on reviewing and revising the overall sampling program for the survey and process cruises in 2001. The starting point for these discussions was the draft survey grid/process study sites that was developed during the May 2000 Science Investigator meeting. The result of these discussions is summarized in the attached figure and program time line. An important aspect of these discussions was the allocation of time on each cruise. To help with this, the SSC thought that each group should provide a project description, data products that the group will collect and/or provide, and data products that are needed from other groups. This is important since some groups received funding reductions which necessitated a revision in scope of work from that given in the original proposal summaries. This information should be sent to B. Groman at the GLOBEC data office. Hofmann agreed to put this in the message to be sent after the SSC meeting and Wiebe agreed to follow up on this with Groman.

Much discussion ensued about doing joint ship operations, especially during the July-August 2001 period when ice camps were likely to be established during the process cruise. A plan was developed that would allow the Palmer to work jointly with the Gould in providing access to a site and providing mapping around the site ( Cruise_time_line.tif ).

Costa raised the issue of small boat operations during the process cruises. He indicated that many of the scientists were well trained in using small boats and wanted to make sure that this would not be an issue with Raytheon. He and others doing predator studies prefer to handle their own boat operations. If Raytheon technical support is needed for this, then it needs to be known prior to the cruise so that it is not an issue that will delay or impede sampling on the cruise. Costa said that the predator group members are willing to take a small boat operations course if this will help alleviate concern by Raytheon about handling small boats. Other issues concerned the type of small boats available and who is certified to use these. Doyle said she would check on these issues.

Beardsley raised the issue of need for meteorological observations. He pointed out these are needed on all cruises and on all ships. To ensure that these observations are taken, Beardsley agreed to take responsibility for these data sets. He will submit a program-wide SIP to request the needed meteorological sensors, calibrations, etc.

Also it was agreed that there is a need for land-based meteorological data from an automatic weather station (AWS). Lettau suggested that the group at the University of Wisconsin (C. Sterns) be contacted to find out the feasibility of having an AWS prepared for deployment during the first survey cruise (April-May 2001). The ideal plan is for three stations to be deployed during the SO GLOBEC program which include sensors for temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed and direction. Beardsley agreed to follow up on this and to contact the University of Wisconsin group. Lettau agreed to discuss funding if this is an issue in terms of getting an AWS in time for the SO GLOBEC cruise.

The time needed for deployment of an AWS was included in the time line for cruise planning ( soglobec_grid.tif ). The decision was to deploy an AWS on an island near or in Marguerite Bay. The concern is that this deployment not be in an area that is designated as a protected area under the Antarctic Treaty. Hofmann agreed to check on protected areas in the Marguerite Bay region.

The need for a program-wide SIP was discussed. This SIP would include requests for bathymetry mapping instruments, CTD, ADCP, XBTs, XCTDs, etc. that are needed on all ships and all cruises. Doyle said that this is acceptable as long as she has someone to contact about the SIP. Hofmann and Beardsley agreed to put together a program-wide SIP. A similar program-wide SIP could be developed for nets. Torres said he would check about doing this.

Much discussion concerning the best bathymetry map for the study region occurred. Beardsley and his group have done considerable work on putting together a bottom bathymetry map of the Marguerite Bay area from historical data sources and the ETOPO5 and ETOPO2 data sets. The resulting bottom bathymetry maps show rugged topography with several depressions extending across the shelf. Beardsley will continue with developing a bottom bathymetry and will make this available via the SO GLOBEC data base. It was also requested that the GMT software and the ETOPO2 bathymetry be available on the ships for all cruises. Doyle said she would check on this. Doyle said she would check on whether or not SeaBeam surveys had been done in the Marguerite Bay region on previous Palmer cruises.

Hofmann said that she had contacted S. Levitus at NODC about having someone visit the NODC and prepare a hydrographic climatology for the SO GLOBEC study region. Levitus agreed to this, so someone from ODU will go to NODC during fall 2000 to do this. The resulting data sets will be made available to the program scientists via the SO GLOBEC data base.

The next item considered the development of a short article describing the SO GLOBEC program for publication in the U.S. GLOBEC newsletter. M. Fogarty has requested such an article. Hofmann agreed to draft an article and send to the SSC for comments. Once finalized, she will send the article on to Fogarty. The SSC thought that a more extended article in a publication such as EOS would be useful. Hofmann agreed to contact M. Noble, oceanography editor for EOS, about publishing such an article. If acceptable for EOS, Hofmann will draft this article following the one for the U.S. GLOBEC newsletter.

The final item of business concerned setting dates for the next science investigator meeting where details of the 2001 cruises will be finalized. This meeting will also include representatives of the IWC and other national SO GLOBEC programs, such as Germany. The SSC suggested meeting 8-10 January 2001 at the Holiday Inn in Arlington, VA. This will facilitate participation by NSF program representatives. The SSC will hold its next meeting immediately following the science investigator meeting. Hofmann agreed to put this in the message to the science investigators and to contact the international participants about the meeting. Doyle through Raytheon will handle the details of arranging the venue. The Raytheon budget will cover science investigator participant costs; Hofmann's budget will cover international participant costs.

There being no further business the SO GLOBEC SSC meeting was adjourned.