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The SAEON Egagasini Node’s commitment to evolving and sustaining ocean best practices continues

By Jordan van Stavel, SAEON Egagasini Node
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The Ocean Best Practices System (OBPS) has been in existence since 2018. The system comprises three main components, which include a persistent document repository with enhanced discovery and access capabilities, a peer-reviewed journal topic in Frontiers in Marine Science and training approaches leveraging social media and the use of OceanTeacher Global Academy.

Through technological solutions and community approaches the OBPS aims to enhance the management of methods and support the development of ocean best practices.

SAEON’s involvement

Since its inception, Professor Juliet Hermes, manager of SAEON’s Egagasini Node, has been involved in the establishment of the OBPS. She currently sits on the IOC (International Oceanographic Commission) Steering Group for the Ocean Best Practices System (SG–OBPS) and is co-editor of the research topic ‘Best Practices in Ocean Observing’ in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

Jordan Van Stavel, the SAEON Egagasini Node’s ASCA (Agulhas System Climate Array) Administrator, has been supporting the OBPS and is the secretariat for the Global Ocean Observing System Best Practice Task Team.

Ocean Best Practices Workshop

Towards the end of last year, Juliet and Jordan were invited and funded by the IOC (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission) of UNESCO to attend and participate in the third annual “Evolving and Sustaining Ocean Best Practices Workshop”. The workshop was hosted at the UNESCO/IOC Project Office for the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange in Ostend, Belgium from 2 to 3 December 2019.

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From left: Prof Juliet Hermes, Jordan Van Stavel and Dr Emma Heslop (Project Specialist for the IOC/UNESCO) on board a ferry, with a background view of the beautiful Ostend

Jordan Van Stavel of SAEON's Egagasini Node participates in a panel discussion on capacity building and training on the second day of the workshop

Participants from diverse countries ranged from senior experts to young professionals with expertise in sensors, calibrations, data processing or management to modelling and user applications. The workshop consisted of two days of interactive panels and breakout sessions, during which Juliet and Jordan each served as panel members on two of the workshop topics, Best Practices Vision for the Decade and Capacity Building and Training respectively.

The key objective of this workshop was to define the next three to five years by focusing on the development and adoption of methods and standards.

The outcomes anticipated for the workshop included the following: 

  1. Recommendations for best practice synthesis; 
  2. An articulated strategic direction for ocean best practices; and 
  3. Recommendations for further Ocean Best Practice System development/implementation embedding outcomes from community input.

Subsequent to the workshop, Juliet also attended a SG-OBPS meeting from 4 to 6 December during which decisions were made regarding the outcomes of the previous workshop.


Participants in the third annual “Evolving and Sustaining Ocean Best Practices Workshop" in Ostend, Belgium

Relevance to SAEON

Through its involvement with the OBPS process, SAEON currently has two articles published in Frontiers in Marine Science under the research topic ‘Best Practices in Ocean Observing’.

Further reading

Quality Assurance of Oceanographic Observations: Standards and Guidance Adopted by an International Partnership and Evolving and Sustaining Ocean Best Practices and Standards for the Next Decade.

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