Biology - Integrating Core to Essential Variables (Bio-ICE) Task Team

Goals and Rationale

The goal of the Bio-ICE Task Team was to advance the integration of biological observations from local, regional and federal sources using best practices to inform national needs and ultimately feed seamlessly into the Global Ocean Observing System, as appropriate. To accomplish this goal the task team focused on marine mammals and corals, to: 

  1. Reconcile the IOOS core biological variables with GOOS Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) and the Group on Earth Observations’ Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs), identifying where there are clear synergies in terms of spatial and temporal observing requirements and existing observation infrastructure and delivery including best practices/standards.
  2. Identify and improve pathways for data flow for observations of these variables from both the Regional Associations and Federal sources into IOOS. Focus will be on identifying and implementing best practices surrounding standardized data collection and delivery adhering to the FAIR and CARE data principles, as appropriate.


The task team leveraged existing infrastructure and information to improve the integration of fit-for-purpose marine mammal and coral observations from local, regional and federal sources using standardized best practices. This informs national needs, feeds seamlessly into the Global Ocean Observing System, and provides a roadmap for IOOS to improve delivery of its other core biological variables consistent with national and global requirements. Deliverables include two reports and an introduction document.  These reports are the result of more than a year-long deep dive into the synergies between core and essential ocean variables for observing marine mammals and hard corals.


If you have any questions concerning this task team, reach out to