Glider Task Team
Goals and Rationale
The primary goals of the IOOC Glider Task Team were to enable increased engagement with the glider community and to advance the coordinated use of glider observing systems to meet global, national, and regional sub-surface observing requirements. To meet these goals, the Glider Task Team collaborated with the IOOS Program Office, the Regional Associations, and other federal interagency working groups identified to gather information and develop a strategy with recommended actions for increased collaboration and engagement. The Task Team completed the following tasks to enable the overarching goals identified.
- Survey the glider community for identified sub-surface observing gaps that could be met with gliders. For those operating gliders, identify activities within agency glider efforts that could benefit from a coordinated approach.
- Identify and prioritize a list of activities that could benefit from interagency coordination.
- Host an expert workshop to review the observing gaps and activities.
- Write a report with recommendations for coordination activities and glider operations.
- Initiate communities of best practices in the U.S. and serve as international representatives for the U.S. to develop communities of best practices.
The Glider Task Team hosted the 2017 U.S. Underwater Glider Workshop at the INFINITY Science Center in Mississippi to review glider observing gaps and activities from the initial community surveys. The workshop resulted in a report which included recommendations for coordination activities, glider operations, best practices, and a proposed Underwater Glider User Group (UG2).
Following the recommendations in the workshop report, a small subset of the Glider Task Team established the initial form of the Underwater Glider User Group (UG2) with the overarching mission to create a community that facilitates sharing and cooperation in the following areas:
- Share experiences related to gliders and glider sensor technology
- Communicate the most recent science and monitoring objectives accomplished using gliders
- Share approaches to logistical and operational challenges
- Compare approaches to glider data handling, including quality control, formats, and distribution
- Provide a means for ongoing communication about opportunities and needs for gliders
- Collect, develop, vet, and communicate recommendations on best practices to a growing glider community and a developing national glider network.
To bolster the UG2, the IOOC supported a follow-up event to enable stronger community coordination. The 8th EGO Meeting and International Glider Workshop, held May 21-23, 2019, was planned to enhance international collaboration through community dialogue, exchanges of information, sharing of experiences, and development of best practices to support the glider community.
Since 2020, the UG2 community has been running its own web presence and working to strengthen connections and collaboration.