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 In January of 2010 I received a call from Charly Alexander, Ops Division Chief for the Integrated Ocean Observing System. “Doug, would you be interested in managing a modeling testbed program here with me? My question… “What’s a Testbed?”.  From March 2010 to June of '11 I managed a $4 million dollar program grant being run through the Southeastern  University Research Association (SURA).  The program involved 64 folks, from 20 academic institutions and 2 companies working in 4 teams consisting of a CyberInfrastructure (Eoin Howlett, ASA); Coastal Inundation (Rich Luettich, UNC), Estuarine Hypoxia (Carl Friedrichs, VIMS) and Shelf Hypoxia (John Harding, MSU). The objective of this program was to improve the process of advancing coast models from research centers (academic) into federal operating centers. It surpassed the expectations of the original program plan.

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The Coastal Inundation piece looked at the process of estimating the degree of flooding that might be predicted with the onset of tropical (hurricane) or extra tropical (nor’easters) storms. Questions included, how do we sum factors that include storm surge, coincident tidal peaks, freshwater influx and waves? Hypoxia looked at factors that predict Dissolved Oxygen in Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

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Target diagrams are a skill assessment tool being used by our Hypoxia models to measure the ability of different models to predict actual observation measurements. The four models, shown to the right are having some difficulty estimating the stratification of salinity with depth in the Chesapeake Bay. The closer the “dots” get to the target center, the better the model is at predicting the conditions.

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