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Oceanobs19: An Ocean of Opportunity

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Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00290

Meeting Regional, Coastal and Ocean User Needs with Tailored Data Products: A Stakeholder-Driven Process

  • 1Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System, University of Hawaii at Manoa, United States
  • 2School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, United States
  • 3Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA), United States
  • 4Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), United States
  • 5University of Washington, United States
  • 6Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department, Vanuatu
  • 7Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, United States
  • 8Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (United States), United States
  • 9Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association, United States
  • 10Texas A&M University, United States

New coastal and ocean observing stations and instruments deployed across the globe are providing increasing amounts of meteorological, biological, and oceanographic data. While these developments are essential for the development of various data products to inform decision-making among coastal communities, more data does not automatically translate into more benefits to society. Rather, decision-makers and other potential end-users must be included in an ongoing stakeholder-driven process to determine what information to collect and how to best streamline access to information. We present a three-step approach to develop effective tailored data products: (1) tailor stakeholder engagement to identify specific user needs; (2) design and refine data products to meet specific requirements and styles of interaction; and (3) iterate engagement with users to ensure data products remain relevant. Any of the three steps could be implemented alone or with more emphasis than others, but in order to successfully address stakeholders’ needs, they should be viewed as a continuum—as steps in a process to arrive at effective translation of coastal and ocean data to those who need it. Examples from the Regional Associations of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®), the Texas General Land Office, and the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department are woven throughout the discussion. These vignettes illustrate the value of this stakeholder-driven approach and provide a sample of the breadth of flexibility and customizability it affords. We hope this community white paper inspires others to evaluate how they connect their stakeholders to coastal and ocean observing data and provides managers of observing systems with a guide on how to evolve in a manner that addresses societal needs.

Keywords: coastal, ocean, Observations, Product development, stakeholder engagement, Data products, stakeholder-driven

Received: 30 Oct 2018; Accepted: 17 May 2019.

Edited by:

Sabrina Speich, École Normale Supérieure, France

Reviewed by:

Michael P. Hemming, University of New South Wales, Australia
Jérôme Paillet, Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), France
Christophe Delacourt, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France  

Copyright: © 2019 Iwamoto, Dorton, Newton, Yerta, Gibeaut, Shyka, Kirkpatrick and Currier. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Ms. Melissa M. Iwamoto, Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, United States,