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Professor Leads Ocean Observers

Professor Elected to Lead Vital Ocean Monitoring System

Associate Professor Erika McPhee-Shaw will oversee coastal observing systems from Point Conception to the California-Oregon border (photo courtesy of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories).

By Brynn Hooton-Kaufman, MLML Development Associate

MOSS LANDING, CA - A Moss Landing Marine Laboratories faculty member has taken on a leading role in overseeing coastal observing systems used to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect the environment.

The Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) recently elected new members to its Executive Committee. Chosen by the Governing Council to fill the position of Council Chair was Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Associate Professor Erika McPhee-Shaw.

CeNCOOS is part of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), a national framework of 11 coastal observing systems. It arose through actions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Congress in the early 2000s, and was formally authorized by the federal Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009. The region covered by CeNCOOS stretches from Point Conception to the California-Oregon border, including all bays and estuaries, and extends 200 nautical miles from shore.

CeNCOOS monitors regional waters with both fixed instruments housed on buoys, docks, and piers, and mobile instruments carried by submersibles, ships, autonomous vehicles, aircraft and satellites. Recently, McPhee-Shaw along with MLML scientists installed a new water quality monitoring station under the Monterey Commercial Wharf in Monterey, Calif., as an addition to the CeNCOOS system. The data collected by CeNCOOS is made available to all marine users and managers to aid the conservation of resources and benefit the public.

In addition to providing unbiased information on the health of the oceans in Central and Northern California, CeNCOOS also provides representatives to national IOOS committees and other relevant organizations. As well as serving as the CeNCOOS Governing Council Chair, McPhee-Shaw will serve on the board of the U.S. IOOS Association (formerly named NFRA), which represents the eleven IOOS observing systems at the federal level.

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories is the graduate program in marine science for seven California State University campuses including East Bay, Fresno, Monterey Bay, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose and Stanislaus.