Newport Hydrographic Line (USA) – PICES 2017 Ocean Monitoring Service Award (POMA)

Dr. Chul Park, left and Dr. Hiroaki Saito posing with the 2017 POMA certificate and plaque dedicated to the Newport Hydrographic Line.

POMA Presentation

At the 2017 PICES Annual Meeting in Vladivostok, Russia, the Newport Hydrographic Line was announced as the recipient of the 10th POMA Award.

The presentation ceremony took place on September 25, 2017, during the Opening Session at PICES-2017 and was conducted by Dr. Hiroaki Saito (PICES Science Board Chair).

Dr. Saito introduced the award and read the following citation.

Science Board citation for the 2017 POMA

The PICES Ocean Monitoring Service Award (POMA) recognizes organizations, groups and outstanding individuals that have contributed significantly to the advancement of marine science in the North Pacific through long-term ocean monitoring and data management. The award also strives to enlighten the public on the importance of those activities as fundamental to marine science. It draws attention to an important aspect of the PICES Convention that is less appreciated: “to promote the collection and exchange of information and data related to marine scientific research in the area concerned”. Please join me in congratulating the recipient of the 2017 POMA Award, which is the Newport Hydrographic Line (NH Line) extending along latitude 44°39.1N off the coast of Oregon.

Slide show with accompanying citation.
The NH Line was established in 1961, shortly after the creation of a Department of Oceanography in summer 1959. The department was a vision of Dr. Wayne Burt, who had joined Oregon State College (it didn’t become Oregon State University until 1961) as an oceanographer in 1954. The history of the NH Line can be divided into four time periods based on differences in sampling frequency, spatial extent, range of observations measured and measurement methods, and the principal source of funding. The photo of Wayne Burt shown here is famous in the archive of Oregon State University, as the “no data exist” near the Pacific Northwest coast was the justification for the creation and expansion of Oceanography at Oregon State University.

During the decade of “TENOC”—the Next Ten Years of Oceanography (from 1961-72) basic sampling was done for hydrography and dissolved oxygen and nutrients extending far offshore (over the abyssal plain). TENOC was funded by the Office of Naval Research, which was the main funder of university based oceanography at the time. The data collected during TENOC provided a valuable basis for future studies, including climate change related to ocean conditions.

1972 to 1996 was called the process study era, as it focused on specific processes, which included several well funded coastal upwelling ecosystem programs mostly through Oregon State University. Also the extremely strong El Nino of 1983 was well sampled by Charlie Miller and others at OSU, but for the most part, sampling in the 1980s and early 1990s was sparse. 1996 to 2004 was the GLOBEC LTOP or Long Term Observation Program era of the NH Line. Bill Peterson (at NOAA) using the 37 ft aluminum R/V Sacajawea, started biweekly sampling during spring through autumn and monthly sampling throughout winter along NH (out to 25-30 nautical miles). Simultaneously, the US GLOBEC and other programs also focused on this region long-term observation programs, process studies, spatial surveys of mesoscale features, remote sensing, modeling and retrospective data analysis; a core observation was about 5 occupations/year of the NH Line during all seasons from 1997 to 2004.

Since 2004, first autonomous gliders began routine year-round crossing of the shelf to deep water with near continuous coverage of variables that could be measured (T,S,DO), but biological sampling continued biweekly by NOAA using the R/V Elakha, a more capable 45 ft nearshore vessel. More recently, a cabled observatory has been installed off Newport for continuous collection of some oceanographic data types, including real-time reporting from moorings.

The NH Line fills a gap between much longer time series sites both north (Line P off Southern Vancouver Island) and south (CalCOFI, in the southern California Bight). Significantly, the NH line is the only one that provides biweekly to monthly sampling useful for analysis of within year upwelling, El Nino/La Nina events and PDO variability. The time series sites from southern Canada to California enable regional comparisons. Many papers have been published. More than 32 papers have been published about the zooplankton dataset time series collected since 1969. This plot shows the copepod species richness (#of species/sample) through time (on the top), and on the bottom is shown the fraction of the zooplankton community by region of origin.

Information (zooplankton composition; biodiversity; ichthyoplankton biomass, temperature, salinity) collected from the NH Line and linked with broader scale indicators to provide a basis for assessment of coho and Chinook salmon recruitment one and two years in advance, respectively. The approach is simple and understood by managers and clients. The Oregon shelf system is highly seasonal, with summertime near bottom hypoxia becoming more severe in recent decades. The NH Line provides time series to examine trends in the nearshore ocean and for other needs, including training of young scientists.

Since 1967 and through today, research and data derived from the NH Line have been integral to more than 120 publications. There are many more than shown here. These are just a few of the many scientists who are responsible for the remarkable data set collected along the NH Line. Notably in the center is Bill Peterson of NOAA, who was the one constant in maintaining the NH Line since 1996. Surrounding him are others who have been involved in various capacities in sampling the NH Line, including June Patullo, who started the sampling of the NH Line in 1961during TENOC.

The logical person to accept this award is Bill Peterson of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center of NOAA, as he was the hero and the driving force behind the sampling of this valuable time series program. Unfortunately, Bill passed away on August 12 last month, and to remember him I ask you to bow your heads for a minute of silence to honor Bill for his dedication to the NH Line, to ocean science more generally, and to mentoring young oceanographers.

There will be a Celebration of Life event for Bill Peterson at the Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OREGON at 3PM on October 14. All are welcome to attend.