Global Oceans and JCOMMOPS Form Strategic Agreement to Coordinate IIOE-2 Expedition



May 15, 2015 – Global Oceans and the JCOMM in-situ Observations Programme Support Centre (JCOMMOPS) in Brest, France, have established a collaborative agreement to jointly support the operational coordination of research and observation activities planned for the 2nd International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2), to be launched from 2015 to 2020.

JCOMMOPS is the JCOMM in-situ Observations Programme Support Centre, established by the Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) in 2001. JCOMMOPS manages observational and technology requirements, operational status, and deployment logistics (by ship and air); for five core international programs within the Global Ocean Operating System (GOOS), including the OceanSITES, Argo Floats, Data Buoy Network, Ship Observation Team (SOT), and international repeat hydrography (GO-SHIP) programs. More information is at

The “Strategic Framework for the Implementation of IIOE-2” report prepared by the IIOE-2’s Interim Planning Committee/Group of Experts (IPC), to be submitted to the 28th Session of the Assembly of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) next month, calls for Global Oceans and JCOMMOPS to jointly assist the IPC and IIOE-2 secretariat in the development of an IIOE-2 Operational Coordination Strategy and Implementation Plan, and to establish an IIOE-2 Operational Coordination Working Group, in order to “…compile, keep track of and coordinate ongoing and planned research activities during the expedition focusing, in particular, on ship-based field work.”

The report states, “In order to aggregate, organize and coordinate the operational and logistical requirements of proposed IIOE-2 studies in a way that facilitates expeditions that are efficient, inclusive and collaborative…Global Oceans and JCOMMOPS have offered to integrate Global Oceans’ interactive, GIS-enabled expedition management system called GOCEPT…with the GIS-enabled system currently used by JCOMMOPS to manage its core ocean observations programs. User-defined forums and project modules within GOCEPT will host and archive map-enabled discussion forums on planned research activities, methodologies and resource needs, as an additional mechanism for enabling coordination and collaboration.”

To support these efforts, JCOMMOPS will share GIS map files and other geospatial metadata related to activities managed by JCOMMOPS, including future planned deployments and cruises, for integration with the GOCEPT GIS platform. A planned IIOE-2 web portal will link users to aggregated IIOE-2 expedition data on GOCEPT, which will also host archived expeditions and annotated cruise track maps; and a curated database of resources and research platforms such as ROVs and AUVs available within the science community and for charter from the private-sector.

Mathieu Belbeoch, JCOMMOPS Lead, stated:

“JCOMMOPS looks forward to collaborating with Global Oceans to help coordinate the operational needs of IIOE-2 research and observation activities in the Indian Ocean over the next six years. When JCOMMOPS initiates a cruise for ocean observation operations (generally deployment of autonomous instruments), there is often space for additional activities in transit legs, which JCOMMOPS is willing to make available to non-program scientists. In addition, our collaboration with Global Oceans will integrate ship time requests that fall outside of our operational mandate, for potential integration with Global Oceans’ expeditions. Conversely non-JCOMMOPS expeditions mobilized by Global Oceans may have capacity for helping with programme maintenance, deployments and retrievals.

JCOMMOPS supports the Global Oceans MARV model of adapting regionally chartered platforms to support multidisciplinary IIOE-2 science, complementary to participating institutional research vessels. This adaptive, needs-driven approach is one we hope will be proven as a cost-effective, collaborative strategy that could persist as a viable regional model for continuing study of the Indian Ocean into the future – and worldwide.”  

Jim Costopulos, Global Oceans CEO, stated:

“The collaboration between Global Oceans and JCOMMOPS to help develop and support an operational coordination framework for IIOE-2’s Science Plan will emphasize the establishment of online planning and collaboration tools; resource sharing to maximize use of available assets; and support for multi- and intra-disciplinary research. Global Oceans will link its GOCEPT GIS planning system with the JCOMMOPS system and to a planned IIOE-2 web portal. The integrated web portal will host aggregated, interactive, content-managed information about ongoing IIOE-2 research and emerging resource needs.

To help develop these resources, and to coordinate Global Oceans’ expeditions for IIOE-2, we plan to support a full-time Program Director focused on the Indian and Indo-Pacific Oceans, to be located in the region, working closely with the IIOE-2 International Program Office. Beyond IIOE-2, Global Oceans looks forward to working with JCOMMOPS to extend this collaboration to projects in other programs, and around the world.”