Field Support Group

The Ocean Ecology Laboratory (OEL) maintains an on-site Field Support Group (FSG) that conducts biological, biogeochemical, and interdisciplinary oceanographic research in collaboration with the OBPG. Through the FSG, the OEL sustains a cooperative field program mandated with advancing the state-of-the-art of in- and above-water optical and biogeochemical measurements, which are critical for calibration and validation of satellite radiometry and secondary data products and for refinement of ocean color algorithms. The FSG works within a global network of partnerships where international expertise can be shared and distributed.

The overarching goal of the FSG is ensuring and expanding the ability of the research community to generate complete sets of in situ optical and biogeochemical data for inclusion in Earth science climate data records and other supporting data records used for ocean color satellite vicarious calibration, data product validation, and bio-optical algorithm development. Laboratory activities include:

  1. Coordination of and participation in interdisciplinary field campaigns;
  2. Collaborative evaluation of instruments and methods, with attention to revision of uncertainty budgets;
  3. Revision and distribution of community-vetted protocols for in situ data collection, processing, and analysis;
  4. Extensive interaction and collaboration with the research community.
Amongst our activities:

IOCCG Ocean Optics & Biogeochemistry Protocols for Satellite Ocean Colour Sensor Validation

Over the past few years, NASA has sponsored several workshops with experts to update and develop new community consensus field measurement protocols for ocean color satellite validation. The newly drafted protocols will be made available to the international user community on the IOCCG webpage for a period of time for public comment and review, before they are accepted as international reference standards. Once accepted, the protocols will receive a publication date and version number, and will also have a digital object identifier (doi). These revised protocols will be revisited periodically to determine if enough changes have taken place to warrant a significant update, in which case a new version number will be assigned.