Julie Jakoboski joins Moana Project team at MetOcean Solutions

We are delighted to welcome Dr Julie Jakoboski to MetOcean Solutions. Julie is a physical oceanographer and will be working with the Moana Project team as a data scientist, based in our Raglan Office.

JJ_2.jpg

"We are excited for Julie’s arrival as she will be helping us to expand our observational archive, playing a key role in the data assimilation capability development and the Moana Project,” says Dr João Marcos, MetOcean’s Research and Development Science Team Leader.

Her focus is on obtaining ocean observations for the New Zealand region for public use and assimilation into ocean models, both regional and global. She is eager to join the Moana Project and MetOcean teams and apply her experience with observational oceanography data and ocean models to a new region of the world. 

“I’m looking forward to working with, and learning from, the wide range of organisations that are connected to and observe the ocean around New Zealand,'' says Julie.

Prior to joining MetOcean, Julie was a doctoral student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography in Woods Hole, MA, USA where she studied the circulation of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean using autonomous underwater Spray gliders, under advisers Dr Breck Owens, Dr Robert Todd, and Dr Kristopher Karnauskas and as a visiting graduate student with Dr Daniel Rudnick at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Julie joined the Joint Program after working for several years at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on a variety of instruments, ranging from projects that measured winds over the ocean to the composition of the atmosphere of Jupiter.  Previously, she earned bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and in Physics at Bucknell University in the United States.

Julie’s passions include doing ocean science, being outside as much as possible, and travelling with her family.  She loves to trail run, surf, swim in the sea, play flute in local music groups and can’t wait to explore New Zealand.

MetOcean Solutions
Tiro Moana Sensor presented at OceanObs’19 conference in Hawaii

Last week, MetService & MetOcean Solutions’ Head of Research Partnerships, Prof. Moninya Roughan, presented the Tiro Moana Sensor, a low-cost smart ocean sensor being developed under the Moana Project, at the OceanObs’19 conference in Hawaii.

Prof. Roughan says the conference sets guides for the next decade of innovation in ocean observation, with this edition focused on improving response to scientific and societal needs of a fit-for-purpose integrated ocean observing system.

“We are delighted to be part of the international programme committee, organising in particular the Innovation section of the OceanObs’19 conference. We are bringing fresh perspectives on the fundamental and imperative changes coming in the next decade of ocean observing”

The Moana Project, embracing ‘the Internet of Things’ concept, is developing the Tiro Moana Sensor in partnership with Zebra-Tech. It is a plug and play auto offload profiling temperature sensor that transmits data in near real time upon surfacing. The sensor will be deployed throughout NZ’s Exclusive Economic Zone by the seafood sector, i.e. growing the number of open observations through crowd sourced data collection.

Zebra-Tech’s Managing Director John Radford says Zebra-Tech is very excited to be involved with the Moana Project.

Tiro Moana Sensor developed by Zebra-Tech.

Tiro Moana Sensor developed by Zebra-Tech.

“We have designed and engineered the Tiro Moana sensor to reliably operate in the harsh conditions associated with commercial fishing vessels. Being fully automatic, it will not interfere with the fishing operation, while it produces accurate and vital data for the fishing sector and New Zealand as a whole.”

The temperature profile data will be returned in near real time via the cell phone network or satellite, ingested into data assimilating ocean prediction models, and returned to end users through an open-access nationwide Ocean Analysis and Prediction System, delivered by the New Zealand Meteorological Service.

“By instrumenting seafood sector vessels we will greatly increase the number of sub surface temperature observations available for data assimilation, thereby increasing model accuracy and predictability,” says Prof. Roughan. “Our disruptive technology approach highlights the benefit of partnering with end users to collect and return research quality datasets that are relevant for industry needs.”

The Tiro Moana Sensor is part of the Moana Project, a cross-institutional programme funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour Fund. The sensor will provide a more complete picture of ocean temperatures, circulation and dynamics, and the relationships with fishery recruitment variability, aiding prediction. It will underpin operational efficiencies, biosecurity protection, risk mitigation and economic growth for NZ’s seafood sector ensuring long-term sustainability.

Running from 16 to 20 September, the OceanObs’19 conference was held in Honolulu, Hawaii, to determine how we meet future user needs, improve the delivery of products across the globe, advance technology and services, and balance needs, capabilities, and knowledge worldwide. This edition theme was ‘An ocean of opportunity’, aiming to define outcomes that will result in a fit-for-purpose Global Ocean Observing System over the next decade. Find out more at www.oceanobs19.net

For more information about Tiro Moana Sensor, contact us at info@moanaproject.org or visit www.moanaproject.org

MetOcean Solutions
Moana Project releases the Moana Backbone Model: A 25-year hydrodynamic hindcast model of New Zealand waters

The Moana team is pleased to announce the Moana Backbone Model: A 25-year hydrodynamic hindcast model of New Zealand coastal and shelf region is available to the public.

The Backbone is an improvement on MetOcean Solutions’ free-running Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) simulation for New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The model has high spatial resolution with horizontal resolution of approximately 5 km and 40 vertical layers, providing better representation of regional and coastal ocean processes. 

MetOcean Solutions’ physical oceanographer leading the Moana Project modeling team, Dr João Marcos Souza, says advances were made in several fronts: updating the model physics; reviewing the parameterizations; improving the resolution; using a state-of-the-art vertical scheme; and upgrading the global model boundary forcing amongst others.

“In addition, with the support of project partner NIWA we were able to include climatological river fluxes and the inverse barometer effect.

“This configuration is now running to provide forecasts in Beta mode.”

Dr Ata Suanda, lecturer at the University of Otago, who has been working closely with MetOcean modelling team to validate the Moana Backbone output, says: “At the University of Otago, students and community partners are interested in understanding the coastal ocean (the region within ~10 km of the shoreline). This is the region where most of the public engages with the ocean, and it therefore holds high societal, economic and environmental value. 

“Our goal is to simulate coastal ocean processes at high spatial resolution. However, much of our understanding of coastal circulation and water quality depends on oceanic processes that occur at larger spatial scales. Without a high-fidelity nation-wide model, we will not be able to accurately simulate coastal areas. The Moana Backbone is a critical and exciting first step towards creating freely-accessible and reliable ocean forecasts for individual regions and individual communities around New Zealand.”

 

Daily-averaged sea surface temperature (SST) from Moana Backbone model. Black line denotes 250 m water depth. (Credit: Dr Ata Suanda, University of Otago).

 

Daily-averaged sea-surface current speed from Moana Backbone model. White line denotes 250 m water depth. (Credit: Dr Ata Suanda, University of Otago).

 

The next step for the Moana Modelling team is to include the assimilation of observations into the model to provide the best possible estimate of the ocean state - the Moana Forecast and Moana Reanalysis: A nation-wide open access coastal ocean data assimilation (25+ year hindcast) and forecast model to be released in 2020.

The reanalysis will be a vast improvement on the Moana Backbone by assimilating all available ocean observations with 4-dimensional variational data assimilation scheme. In its initial configuration, it will include the assimilation of all observations available in near-real-time. These include satellite derived sea surface temperature and sea level anomaly, and temperature and salinity profiles provided by the autonomous Argo floats. This will become a prototype for the Moana forecast system.

The Moana Backbone is part of the Ngā Ripo o te Moana research aim of the broader Moana Project. This workstream is developing advanced numerics to deliver NZ’s first nationwide, open-access, ocean modelling system. The improved model will support the understanding of ocean circulation and dynamics around New Zealand, including marine heatwaves.

The 25-year Moana Backbone model output is freely available. Please access www.moanaproject.org/data for more information.

MetOcean Solutions
Moana Project at Open Oceans Aquaculture Symposium 2019

This week the Open Oceans Aquaculture Symposium 2019, organised by Cawthron Institute, is being held in Nelson, New Zealand.

MetService & MetOcean Solutions’ Head of Research Partnerships Prof Moninya Roughan presented the Moana Project, a national ocean modelling system that is being developed over the next five years.

The Moana Project will greatly advance understanding of marine heatwaves, ocean circulation, and connectivity enabling better protection and management of  the marine environment and its resources.

Prof. Roughan says the comprehensive understanding of our marine environment and the increased capability in ocean hydrodynamic observing and modelling will help us evaluate threats and better manage fisheries and aquaculture, including offshore marine farming in challenging and exposed waters.

“This information is vital, as raising sea temperatures are directly threatening our kiamoana. We’ll shed new light on how to safeguard the sustainability of our blue economy and enable informed evidence-based decision making across a whole range of economic, environmental and social applications,” says Prof. Roughan.

The Moana Project, led by Prof. Roughan, is a cross-institutional programme conceived through an industry-community-research partnership initiative, bringing together seafood sector data, Te Ao Māori knowledge, cutting-edge ocean sensing, and advanced numerical modelling to provide a reliable ocean forecast system to support marine industries.

The project, launched last week (click here for more information), will revolutionise ocean data collection with low-cost smart ocean sensors to be deployed throughout NZ’s Exclusive Economic Zone supported by the seafood sector. The data will be ingested into data assimilating ocean prediction models, leading to an open-access nationwide Ocean Analysis and Prediction System, powered by MetOcean Solutions. Real-time observations and high-resolution operational forecasts will be available to end-users via smart tools, such as MetOceanView, an online platform to access ocean weather information for a range of marine operators all over the world.

 
MetOceanView, an online platform for end-users to access ocean weather information. (Image from  metoceanview.com )

MetOceanView, an online platform for end-users to access ocean weather information. (Image from metoceanview.com)

 

“This disruptive technology approach is an exemplar of the benefits of partnering with end users to collect and return research quality datasets that are relevant for industry needs,” highlights Prof. Roughan. “By providing a more complete picture of ocean temperatures, circulation and dynamics, and the relationships with fishery recruitment variability, we will underpin operational efficiencies, risk mitigation and economic growth for NZ’s seafood sector ensuring long-term sustainability.”

The Symposium, which is being held on 5-7th August, has as its theme ‘Unlocking the potential of our oceans’, discussing open ocean aquaculture as New Zealand’s newest and most challenging frontier. The event gathers specialists and industry leaders to lift the lid on how to meet this challenge through state-of-the-art environmentally sustainable technologies and world class science. Find out more at www.openoceans.nz

For more information about the Moana Project, contact us at info@moanaproject.org.

Mariana Horigome
$11.5 million project to revolutionise ocean forecasting launches
Pōhiri to launch the Moana Project - Omarumutu Marae, Ōpōtiki - 30 July. Photo by Simone Magner.

Pōhiri to launch the Moana Project - Omarumutu Marae, Ōpōtiki - 30 July. Photo by Simone Magner.

A bold new project that will revolutionise New Zealand’s ability to comprehensively measure, monitor and predict the state of our oceans, was launched on Tuesday [30 July].

Moana Project partners – MetService’s oceanographic division MetOcean Solutions with 14 partner organisations: including Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, all of NZ’s Oceanographic institutions, with technology partner Zebra-Tech and funders Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Photo by Simone Magner.

Moana Project partners – MetService’s oceanographic division MetOcean Solutions with 14 partner organisations: including Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, all of NZ’s Oceanographic institutions, with technology partner Zebra-Tech and funders Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Photo by Simone Magner.

New Zealand’s leading experts in oceanography joined MetService and eastern Bay of Plenty iwi Whakatōhea for the launch of the Moana Project at Omarumutu Marae in Ōpōtiki.

MetService’s Chief Executive Peter Lennox says the launch marks the initiation of the $11.5 million, five-year research project, which is funded through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour Fund.

The project, which was spearhead by MetService’s oceanography division MetOcean Solutions, will greatly enhance New Zealand’s understanding of our changing oceans. 

“We’ll be creating a number of tools that will make New Zealand a world leader in ocean forecasting.  To make this happen, we’ve brought together all of New Zealand’s oceanographic research institutions and will be combining their expertise and research with indigenous knowledge.”

General Manager MetOcean Solutions Dr Brett Beamsley says, New Zealand’s oceans are very poorly understood, and with rising ocean temperatures this is compounded.

“As an island nation New Zealander’s derive wellbeing and wealth from the oceans that surround us.  To protect these benefits for future generations, we need to better understand our marine environment.”

“The Moana Project will greatly advance understanding of marine heatwaves, ocean circulation, and connectivity, enabling us to better protect and manage the marine environment and its resource,” says Dr Beamsley.

The Moana Project’s programme director and MetService’s Head of Research Partnerships Professor Moninya Roughan says New Zealand sits in a hotspot of ocean warming. 

“The Tasman Sea is warming at one of the fastest rates on Earth, up to three times the global average.  The research from the Moana Project will help understand the impact this has on our kaimoana (seafood) and in terms of species movement and abundance.“

This project combines mātauranga Māori with science.  Iwi partners Whakatōhea will bring their traditional and contemporary oceanographic knowledge and aquaculture experience to the project.

Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, Chair Robert Edwards says the Whakatōhea iwi has been living in the Ōpotiki area for approximately 900 years and has built its indigenous knowledge systems around the land and sea over generations.

“With the development of our off-shore mussel farm in Whakatōhea rohe moana, we take responsibility for ensuring we know as much as we can regarding future issues that could impact the water space and to enable our role as kaitiaki.

“The sea temperatures are rising, and this project will help all, Māori and non-Māori, understand the impact it will have on our kaimoana now and into the future,” says Robert Edwards.

MBIE Manager Contestable Investments, Dr Max Kennedy says this impressive project combines cutting-edge science and innovation, with Mātauranga Māori that will be applied to provide tools that protect the wellbeing of New Zealanders.

“Our seafood sector alone is worth more than $4 billion annually to New Zealand’s economy and its resources are directly threatened by rising ocean temperatures and marine heatwaves.

“The project will shed new light on how to safeguard the sustainability of our blue economy. In doing so it will allow for informed evidence-based decision making to be made across a whole range of economic, environmental and social applications,” says Dr Kennedy.

The project will partner with the seafood sector to develop low-cost ocean sensors that will revolutionise ocean data collection.

The sensors created by Nelson company Zebra-Tech will be deployed throughout New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone with support from the commercial fishing sector’s fleet.

“This has never been done before. It’s like crowdsourcing but to get a huge amount of ocean temperature data,” says Professor Roughan.

The ocean forecasting model developed through the Moana Project will bring in historical and new data focused on New Zealand waters.

“To date ocean forecasters and industries have had to rely on models and satellites operated by other countries. We’ve been missing fine-scale resolution, and these models haven’t been attuned to New Zealand coastal ocean characteristics,” says Professor Roughan.

“Through the Moana Project we will fill that huge gap and make the results accessible to everyone – through an open access tool.”

Moana Project partners

The Moana Project was spearheaded by MetService’s oceanographic division MetOcean Solutions and involves all New Zealand’s oceanography research institutes, including the Cawthron Institute, NIWA, Victoria University of Wellington, and Auckland, Waikato, and Otago Universities. A partnership with Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board will bring indigenous ocean knowledge to the project. Technology partner Zebra-Tech are creating ocean sensors.

This stellar New Zealand team is collaborating with international experts from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and the University of Hawaii, US; the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the University of New South Wales, Australia.

The project also has support from a wide range of ocean-information end-users, including the New Zealand Defence Technology Agency, the seafood sector including Seafood NZ, Paua Industry Council, Rocklobster Industry Council, Deepwater Group, the Ministry for Primary Industries and district and regional councils.

Mariana Horigome
Māori as oceanographers - Funding secured for cross-cultural ocean knowledge network

The Mātangaireira Waka Trust, has secured $100,000 to strengthen capacity amongst Māori to help improve ocean health through the sharing of cross-cultural ocean knowledge. The Trust was one of 31 successful applications to the Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund, administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 

“We are delighted to support the Māori Marine Science network, and thrilled that it has evolved from the Moana Project He Papa Moana Team,” says MetService & MetOcean’s Head of Research Partnerships Prof. Moninya Roughan. 

The funding will be used to bring together experts across the fields of climate change, marine science, ocean health, and mātauranga waka to establish capacity building programmes and the Te Ahu o Rehua Network for Cross-Cultural Ocean Knowledge. Haki Tuaupiki of Mātangaireira Waka Trust says; 

 “The health of the ocean is critical to the future of us all and our knowledge of the ocean is integral to how we act and look after it. The ocean connects us to our ancestors providing a pathway across the Pacific. Our interactions with Tangaroa emphasise both our mahinga kai relationships and kaitiaki responsibilities. Improving ocean health requires transformative change across various knowledge systems in Aotearoa.” 

The aims of the programme are supported with co-funding from leading research and scientific organisations, University of Waikato, MetService/MetOcean, and NIWA. The project steering group also includes input from Victoria University of Wellington, Manaaki Te Awanui, Terra Moana Ltd, and the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board.

Te Ahu o Rehua Network will build capacity amongst Māori community members, practitioners and marine undergraduate and postgraduate students.  Workshops will be held in the North and South Islands providing participants with an intensive mix of theoretical and practical experiences, set within the contexts of science, Māori science, and mātauranga Māori, to build their capacity and understanding of cross-cultural ocean knowledge. 

The result will be a strong network of Māori marine science and mātauranga practitioners with robust marine science and climate change communities. “The benefits to whānau, hapū and Iwi will be resultant initiatives protecting and enhancing their rohe moana. While regional government will benefit through participatory projects that support kaitiakitanga o te moana”, says Mātangaireira Waka Trust. 

The Mātangaireira Waka Trust’s mission is to learn, preserve, and redistribute the practice, customs and traditions of waka, te reo Māori and Māori arts

For more information please contact us at info@moanaproject.org

Mariana Horigome
MetOcean Solutions’ ocean forecasting system presentation at OceanPredict’19 Symposium in Canada

Next week, Dr João Marcos Souza and Prof Moninya Roughan will be at OceanPredict ’19 Symposium in Halifax, Canada.

Metocean Solutions’ physical oceanographer Dr João Marcos Souza will present “New Zealand’s national ocean forecast system - present and future”, showcasing MetOcean’s sophisticated operational ocean forecasting capability. Based on international best practices with the current state-of-the-art science, the system combines a number of different ocean models and data dissemination platforms. It is designed for rapid deployment of high-resolution model domains and portability between different platforms.

 
General architecture concept of MetOcean’s operational system.

General architecture concept of MetOcean’s operational system.

 

“We will present some of the advances we are making in ocean circulation modelling, an overview of MetOcean’s operational system and capabilities, together with our ongoing developments and future plans,” says João. “It is a great opportunity to present the latest advances in New Zealand’s operational oceanography and engage with best practices implemented around the world.”

At the conference, Metocean Solutions’ Head of Research Partnerships Prof Moninya Roughan will be presenting the Moana Project. The Moana Project, led by Prof. Roughan, is a cross-institutional programme involving all the oceanographic research organisations in New Zealand, in collaboration with international experts from Australia and the United States. The project will shed new light on the performance of New Zealand’s oceans to support the seafood sector.

The OceanPredict ’19 Symposium, hosted by GODAE OceanView, is being held 6-10 May at Halifax Convention Centre, Canada. The event brings together the oceanographic science, research and end-user communities to increase awareness of current ocean modelling capabilities, and to explore and define the direction of future operational ocean forecasting.

MetOcean Solutions is a division of New Zealand’s National Meteorological Service.

For more information, visit the conference website: oceanpredict19.org

The full abstracts are provided below.


New Zealand ocean forecast system - present and future

Azevedo Correia de Souza, Joao*, Soutelino, Rafael*, Durrant, Tom*, Couto, Phellipe*

New Zealand’s maritime domain is one of the largest on the planet, with an exclusive economic zone of approximately 4,300,000 km2 – about 15 times its land area. The seafood sector alone brings $4.18B to NZ annually. Offshore oil and gas exploration provides about 30% of the country’s consumption, from 21 petroleum licenses in the Taranaki basin. Moreover, tourism is a growing industry accounting for about 5.9% of the GDP and often related to the country’s coastal landscapes. Therefore, having a reliable ocean forecast system is of critical importance to the country’s economy and to the safety and resilience of the community and environment. This includes the capability to model and forecast ocean processes at a range of spatial and temporal scales. To accomplish this, a sophisticated system including different ocean models and data dissemination platforms has been developed. The system is designed for rapid deployment of high-resolution model domains, kept up to date with state-of-the-art techniques, and portability between different platforms. At the present, this system is mainly based on downscaling of global models (except for ocean waves) and a series of local nested model grids. A mix of “Regional Ocean Modeling System” (ROMS) and “Semi-implicit Cross-scale Hydroscience Integrated System Model” (SCHISM) domains are used to evaluate and predict ocean circulation and state properties, while “WAVEWATCH III” (WW3) and “Simulating Waves Nearshore” (SWAN) are used for simulating surface gravity waves down to harbour scales. A micro-service architecture based on docker and controlled by a built-for-purpose distributed workflow scheduler ensures a stable, highly-available system. New developments underway include the use of un-structured model grids, 4DVar data assimilation of global and local observations on a national scale, waves-circulation coupling, and the use of cloud-based computational resources. Focusing mainly on the ocean circulation modelling, a general description of the system and capabilities at Metocean are presented together with ongoing developments and future plans.

*MetOcean Solutions, division of Meteorological Service of New Zealand


The Moana Project: Seafood sector support for ocean data collection to improve ocean prediction in New Zealand.

Roughan, Moninya*

New Zealand derives wealth and wellbeing from the ocean, including a seafood sector worth $4.18B annually, and yet, their oceans are very poorly understood. NZ lags other developed nations that have integrated ocean observing and modelling programmes, and cannot comprehensively measure, observe or predict the state of their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).  Ocean circulation drives the transport of larvae, determines population connectivity and impacts fisheries recruitment and abundance, all of which are being impacted by ocean warming and changes in circulation patterns.

Embracing ‘the Internet of Things’ concepts, we are developing a low-cost smart ocean sensor to be deployed throughout NZ’s EEZ by the seafood sector. With our industry partners; Seafood NZ, Deepwater Group, Paua (Abalone) and Rock Lobster Industry Councils, iwi (indigenous) and recreational fishing communities, we will revolutionise ocean data collection. The temperature profile data will be returned in near real time via the cell phone network (or satellite) and ingested into data assimilating ocean prediction models, leading to an open-access nationwide Ocean Analysis and Prediction System, delivered by the Meteorological Service. This disruptive technology approach is an exemplar for other marine nations with strong seafood sectors and under investment in the marine observing and modelling space. We show the benefit of partnering with end users to collect and return research quality datasets that are relevant for industry needs.

This project will provide a more complete picture of ocean temperatures, circulation and dynamics, and the relationships with fishery recruitment variability, aiding prediction. This project will underpin operational efficiencies, biosecurity protection, risk mitigation and economic growth for NZ’s seafood sector ensuring long-term sustainability.

*MetOcean Solutions, division of Meteorological Service of New Zealand





Mariana Horigome
Moana Project opens 9 fully funded Ocean Sciences PhD positions in New Zealand

The Moana Project is a large cross-institutional team of researchers and PhD students who are exploring ocean dynamics and connectivity, including marine heat waves. New sensors for measuring will help us better understand and manage ocean warming impacts on our seafood industry. We will also explore how mātauranga Māori connects and inter-relates with this physical data.

As part of the Moana Project 9 fully funded PhD positions are available with the following project topics:

  1. Informing Iwi Interests: An effective cross-cultural ocean knowledge-exchange platform

  2. Māori as Oceanographers

  3. Marine heat waves around New Zealand: Identification and Causes

  4. High resolution regional modelling and connectivity around Kaikoura, NZ

  5. Nested Regional Modelling of Bay of Plenty - Diagnosing dynamics and circulation to understand Greenshell mussels connectivity

  6. Connectivity of 3 Kaimoana species at the national scale

  7. Kaikoura region abalone (paua) population genetics based on GBS-derived SNPs

  8. Connectivity of Greenshell mussels from national to regional scales - Population Genetics

  9. Connectivity of Greenshell mussels from national to regional scales - Microchemistry

The PhD students will contribute to New Zealand capacity-building in marine science and environmental resources management. The positions include full university fees plus a tax free stipend for 3 years of approximately $27,000 NZ, and some research expenses. Project topics, university and supervisor information are outlined in the link below. Candidates should be willing to start by July 2019.

The Moana Project, led by MetOcean Solutions, a division of Meteorological Service of New Zealand (MetService), was awarded $11.5 million over five years from the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Fund and will shed new light on the performance of New Zealand’s oceans for an enduring seafood sector. The project was conceived through an industry-community-research partnership initiative, bringing together seafood sector data, Te Ao Māori knowledge, cutting-edge ocean sensing, and advanced numerical modelling to provide a reliable ocean forecast system to support marine industries.

For more information, visit www.moanaproject.org

Mariana Horigome
Scotia Boelee joins Moana Project team

We are delighted to welcome Scotia Boelee as Programme Manager for the Moana Project. With a science background and vast experience in commercial negotiations and project management at an executive level, Scotia will assist Prof. Moninya Roughan in establishing the Moana Project’s framework and structure to ensure the success of the project.

 
Scotia-metocean-solutions
 

The Moana Project, led by MetOcean Solutions, was awarded $11.5 million over five years from the Government’s Endeavour Fund and will shed new light on the performance of New Zealand’s oceans to support an enduring seafood sector (find more information here).

New Zealand is currently experiencing a marine heatwave with potential to affect the distribution and abundance of marine life (see more at Stuff’s news). The Moana Project will greatly advance our understanding of ocean circulation, marine population connectivity of kaimoana species and marine heatwaves, investigating the drivers and impacts of marine heatwaves to improve prediction.

General Manager of MetOcean Solutions Dr Brett Beamsley says the Moana Project, led by Prof. Moninya Roughan, is a cross-institutional programme involving all the oceanographic research organisations in New Zealand, in collaboration with international experts from Australia and the United States.

“One of our priorities at this stage is to ensure the project is well structured at the outset in order to maximise the potential for success of the project, both for MetOcean and MetService, and also for each of the project partners. Scotia’s knowledge and experience will assist us to continue delivering cutting-edge science to help underpin New Zealand’s blue economy. We are pleased to welcome her to the team.”

Scotia is an executive-level programme management and business case specialist with 26 years’ global experience. She has successfully influenced world-scale ventures and government organisations to think strategically and maximise both their commercial and research and development opportunities, whilst effectively mitigating and managing their HSSEQ and enterprise risk.

Following her MSc in Chemistry at University of Canterbury, Scotia completed an MSc in Gender at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2003.

“I am excited to be involved in a project as worthwhile as Moana,” she says.

Scotia is based in our New Plymouth office.

Mariana Horigome
Moana Project at Australian Coastal and Oceans Modelling and Observations Workshop 2018
Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions and Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist.

Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions and Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist.

Last week the Australian Coastal and Oceans Modelling and Observations Workshop (ACOMO) 2018 was held in Canberra, Australia.

MetOcean Solutions’ Chief Scientist Prof Moninya Roughan, part of the organising committee, says ACOMO workshops have been a great success over the years, engaging initiatives to integrate marine observations and to grown national coastal ocean modelling capability.

“This year’s conference saw more involvement and representation from marine industry showing the relevance of ocean modelling and observing to supporting blue economy growth aspirations.

“The Moana Project, a five year project recently awarded through the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Fund, was conceived through an industry-community-research partnership initiative, bringing together the seafood sector, Te Ao Māori knowledge and oceanographic research organisations.”

Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions and Sally Garrett, Research Lead New Zealand Defence Technology Agency.

Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions and Sally Garrett, Research Lead New Zealand Defence Technology Agency.

MetOcean was also represented by Research Lead Sally Garrett from New Zealand Defence Technology Agency who gave a presentation on the Southern Ocean wave project. It is a collaborative effort between MetOcean Solutions and the New Zealand Defence Force to deploy the southernmost wave buoy that has ever been moored in the world, located about 11 km south of Campbell Island.

The full abstract of Garrett’s talk is provided below.

New Wave Observations in the Southern Ocean

Tom Durrant*, Peter McComb*, Jorge Perez*, Henrique Rapizo*, Sally Garrett^

The combination of persistent westerly winds, and the largely unbroken expanse of sea in the Southern Ocean, produces potentially enormous fetches, resulting in higher wave heights for longer periods than any other body of water. Due to the harsh ocean environment and remote location, it is also the least observed of any major ocean. While satellite altimeter data can be used to estimate the surface variance, the wave spectral characteristics cannot be measured remotely, and consequently the directional wave spectra in Southern Ocean are poorly sampled and not well understood.

In February 2017, MetOcean deployed a buoy off Campbell Island. At 52.7S, this is the Southernmost moored deployment to be made in the Southern Ocean. In February of this year, a second deployment was made at the site as part of a wider program in collaboration with the New Zealand Defence Force and Spoondrift which includes an additional five drifting buoys. These buoys complement the Australian SOFS mooring at 47S, and are collectively providing the first high quality in-situ wave observations in the Southern Ocean. They are already measuring phenomenal conditions, with the highest recorded wave in the Southern Hemisphere recorded in May of this year at 24.8m. These data are being used to quantitatively assess the performance of recent improvements in global wave models. An analysis of the relative importance of large scale ocean currents will also be presented. This project will inform the design of next generation of NZ Navy vessels supporting patrol responsibilities in the Southern Ocean.

*MetOcean Solutions. ^New Zealand Defence Technology Agency.

Check out the Southern Ocean wave buoy direct data feed.




Mariana Horigome
$11.5 million grant to help safeguard New Zealand’s blue economy

A new research project spearheaded by MetService’s oceanography division, MetOcean Solutions will shed new light on the performance of New Zealand’s oceans to support the seafood sector.

The Moana Project was today awarded $11.5 million over five years from the Government’s Endeavour Fund.

MetService Chief Executive Officer Peter Lennox says the grant is an endorsement of the capability and expertise that exists within MetService, and the contribution the State-owned enterprise is continuing to make in advancing the knowledge of New Zealand industry and communities.

General Manager MetOcean Solutions Dr Brett Beamsley says there is a significant lack of knowledge about our marine environment despite the ocean providing vital social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits for New Zealanders.

“As a marine nation, New Zealand derives wealth and wellbeing from the ocean and yet, our oceans are very poorly understood.

“Our seafood sector alone is worth $4.18b annually to New Zealand’s economy and its resources are directly threatened by rising ocean temperatures and marine heatwaves.

“To safeguard these benefits for future generations we need to understand how our marine environment works so we can better manage our resources in a time of rapid ocean warming.

“This project will combine Māori knowledge, seafood sector data, cutting-edge ocean sensing, and advanced numerical modelling to provide a reliable ocean forecast system to support marine industries.”

The proposal was led by MetOcean Solutions’ Chief Scientist Professor Moninya Roughan who says: “The Tasman Sea is warming at one of the fastest rates on Earth, four times the global average, yet we currently have limited ability to comprehensively measure, monitor and predict the state of New Zealand’s oceans.

“Our marine industries are operating in the dark but through the Moana Project, all that will change.

“This programme will create a new, dynamic and more integrated marine knowledge base - reducing uncertainty, maximising opportunity and preparing for future ocean changes.”

The Moana Project is a cross-institutional programme involving all the oceanographic research organisations in New Zealand, collaborating with international experts and supported by a wide range of end-users in industry and government.

Professor Roughan says: “We are partnering with the seafood sector to develop a low-cost ocean sensor that will revolutionise ocean data collection. The sensors will be deployed throughout New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone with support from the commercial fishing sector.

“Through a research partnership with the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, we expect the project to  facilitate the exchange of oceanographic knowledge between Te Ao Māori and western science, and empower engagement in coastal management and policy fora.”

Research organisations involved include MetOcean Solutions, the Cawthron Institute, NIWA, and Victoria University of Wellington, Auckland, Waikato, and Otago Universities. The team will collaborate with international experts from Australia (the University of New South Wales), and the United States. 

In addition, the Moana Project has support from technology partners (including ZebraTech) and a wide range of ocean-information end-users, including the New Zealand Defence Technology Agency, the NZ Seafood sector (including Seafood NZ, Paua Industry Council, Deepwater Group, NZ Rock Lobster Industry Council, Terra Moana), the Ministry for Primary Industries and Regional Councils.  

MetOcean Solutions was fully acquired by State-owned Enterprise MetService in September 2017.

For more information, contact Deborah Gray, Communications Manager at deborah.gray@metservice.com or by calling +64 027 3700 700.

 

About the Moana Project

Moana-project.png

The seafood sector brings $4.18B to New Zealand annually. The resources that the sector depends on are threatened by increasing ocean temperatures. Thermal stress is one of the greatest threats to aquaculture and above average ocean temperatures are also impacting deepwater fisheries (e.g. Hoki). New Zealand has recently experienced its worst marine heatwave on record, yet nothing about these events is known.

This project will vastly improve understanding of coastal ocean circulation, connectivity and marine heatwaves to provide information that will support sustainable growth of the seafood industry (Māori, fisheries and aquaculture). Project partners will apply the internet of things concept to develop a low-cost ocean temperature profiler that will be deployed by the fishing communities ‘on all boats, at all times’. New Zealand’s first open-access ocean forecast system will be delivered by developing new ocean circulation models using a combination of advanced numerics, modern genomics and data from our smart ocean sensors.

The project will investigate the drivers and impacts of marine heatwaves so that they can be predicted, and investigate ocean transport pathways and population connectivity of kaimoana species. This project will provide a step-change in the oceanic information available to the seafood sector and the broader community, accessible through the open-access user-friendly datasets and tools developed.

This information will help the New Zealand seafood sector retain its competitive edge in a rapidly changing ocean impacted by marine temperature extremes and shifting currents. Project partners will build bridges to ensure this new knowledge informs regional marine policy and management.

This project is anchored in mātauranga Māori through the partners’ relationship with Whakatōhea, facilitating exchange of oceanographic knowledge between Te Ao Māori and western science and serve as an exemplar for other coastal iwi.

 

About MetService

MetService is New Zealand’s National Meteorological Service. MetOcean Solutions was fully acquired by State-owned Enterprise MetService in September 2017.

As a State-Owned Enterprise its core purpose is to protect the safety of life and property in New Zealand while operating as a commercial business. MetService recently emerged as one of the highest rated agencies in Colmar Brunton’s annual survey of reputation in the public sector.  http://www.colmarbrunton.co.nz/opinion-does-our-public-sector-measure-up/

Mariana Horigome
Moana Project at New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference & Technical Day
From left to right, Craig Ellison, Executive Chair Seafood New Zealand, Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions, and Tim Pankhurst, Chief Executive Seafood New Zealand.

From left to right, Craig Ellison, Executive Chair Seafood New Zealand, Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions, and Tim Pankhurst, Chief Executive Seafood New Zealand.

Prof Moninya Roughan, MetOcean Solutions Chief Scientist, presented the Moana Project at New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference & Technical Day in Wellington.

“NZ has recently experienced the worst marine heatwave on record, yet we know almost nothing about the magnitude and dynamics of the event, let alone the drivers and impacts,” says Prof Roughan. “Ocean circulation drives the transport of larvae, determines population connectivity and impacts fisheries recruitment, all of which are being impacted by ocean warming and changes in circulation patterns.”

“The comprehensive understanding of our marine environment, and the increased capability in ocean hydrodynamic observing and modelling, will help us evaluate threats and better manage fisheries, aquaculture, and the wider marine environment, and improve marine biosecurity, contributing to future-proofing our valuable seafood industries in the face of environmental change.”

The presentation on 'Ocean circulation, marine heatwaves and New Zealand seafood' discussed our understanding of NZ’s ocean circulation, the lack of fundamental knowledge of complex ocean dynamics, and the drivers and impacts of marine heatwaves.

New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference & Technical Day, hosted by Seafood New Zealand, was held 1-2 August at Te Papa, Wellington. The conference was built around the theme 'Our people, our promise', representing an opportunity to discuss sustainability, innovation and environmentally responsible practices in the seafood industry.

Read more about Prof Roughan’s talk here.

Mariana Horigome