Animal Telemetry Network (ATN) Task Team

Goals and Rationale

In 2014, NOAA produced the technical memorandum: Meeting Our Nation’s Needs For Biological And Environmental Monitoring: Strategic Plan and Recommendations for an Animal Telemetry Network (ATN) through U.S. IOOS. The plan listed specific recommendations on how the U.S. IOOS can integrate animal telemetry efforts into a system to deliver critical information on biological resources and ecosystem functions, as well as oceanographic data that will complement and enhance existing observing capability. To address these critical recommendations, the first ATN Task Team was established with the following goals: 

  • Distributing and socializing the ‘Strategic Plan and Recommendations for an Animal Telemetry Network (ATN) through U.S. IOOS’;
  • Developing an ‘ATN Implementation Plan’;
  • Hosting  the 3rd ATN Steering Committee Workshop. 

Following the first task team, the ATN Workshop Task Team was established to determine executable next steps for strengthening the network by analyzing outcomes from the federal ATN survey and convening a workshop of both federal and non-federal ATN experts. 

A third task team, the ATN Implementation Task Team was established following the workshop and survey analysis. The goal of the new task team was to support the transition of the ATN from the planning phase to operational phase and become an integrated component of the IOOS enterprise through the following activities.

  • Constitute the ATN Steering Group (SG) to support the transition from the current governance of the ATN to that described in the Implementation Plan and vital to the future development and growth of the network.
  • Improve coordination, support, maintenance and enhancement of the existing ATN infrastructure and capability particularly in the RAs, and with regard to the development of the ATN Data Assembly Center (DAC).
  • Identify an initial suite of animal telemetry observations that will constitute the backbone or baseline observations of the ATN. With a SG and the DAC in place, the final component of an operational network is the core of observations that will flow into the DAC. 


The ATN Implementation Plan  2016 – 2021 was approved by the NSTC and released in December 2016. The ATN has become a fully integrated project under the U.S. IOOS. The operational ATN provides a mechanism to facilitate and empower an alliance among Federal, industry, academic, state, local, tribal, and non‐Federal organizations to coordinate aquatic animal telemetry infrastructure and operations.

For all ATN activities since the planning phases, please visit the IOOS ATN project website.  


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