Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility
About DEIA in IOOS
IOOS is an integrated network of federal and regional observation, data management, and product development efforts. The 11 Regional Associations are uniquely positioned across the nation to learn and implement stakeholder and community input into regional observing activities, serving coastal communities including those of the Great Lakes, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands and territories.
Stakeholder and community needs for observing activities vary from region to region, and so too do needs for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility initiatives. The IOOS enterprise strives to engage with communities so that, together, observing systems are designed to provide equitable service delivery, tailored to meet the needs of each regional community and produce, integrate, and communicate high quality information that meets the safety, economic, and stewardship needs of the regions. We envision a future where all communities will be empowered with the ocean and coastal information they need to make decisions that support lives and livelihoods.
IOOS is prioritizing an intentional approach to identifying and adapting equitable internal policies and practices, and supporting enterprise-wide collaboration efforts, through the implementation of an enterprise-wide DEIA Working Group and the hiring of DEIA Fellow Ashley Peiffer. Through her tenure with IOOS, Ashley worked closely with the IOOS Program Office, 11 Regional Associations, and IOOC agencies to:
DEIA Elements within IOOS
ADMINISTRATION & TRAINING
Internal policies and procedures including hiring practices, trainings and workshops, board policies and internal audits.
Projects that support regional needs for data accessibility, education, and outreach through strong partnerships and place-based efforts.
Regional DEIA Efforts
Partnerships for Coastal Community Monitoring Programs
SECOORA is collaborating with community partners and working alongside historically underrepresented groups in the establishment of coastal community monitoring programs and decision-support tools. An example is a partnership with the Rosemont Community in South Carolina. SECOORA partners are utilizing water level sensors, air quality sensors, and web cameras to produce data and sound science to “make noise” to address Rosemont Community’s quality of life concerns. SECOORA Board members participated in a field trip to learn about SECOORA efforts in 2023 (pictured).
Backyard Buoys: Empowering Coastal Indigenous Communities
NANOOS, AOOS, and PacIOOS are collaborating with Sofar Ocean Technologies and coastal Indigenous partners in each region on a community-led ocean observing project funded by the NFS Convergence Accelerator program. This Backyard Buoys project uses simple and affordable instruments, called “Spotters”, to put access to and stewardship of ocean data in the hands of those most affected by climate change on the coast. Read more about the project here, and view the video!
Education & Mentoring
For the last two years, CARICOOS has been mentoring and sponsoring eight students of the 11th and 12th grade of the Residential Center of Educational Opportunities of Villalba (CROEV) to carry out their research projects. One of these projects consists of assembling a weather station that measures temperature, relative humidity, and carbon dioxide to collect meteorological data comparable to those of the National Weather Service. To achieve this, during the 2023 academic year CARICOOS will continue collaborating with these students to improve the meteorological station functionality and thus meet the project goals.
Washington Shelf Glider Deployment & Engagement
The WA Shelf glider, a collaboration between the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission (CRITFC), Oregon State University (OSU), and the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) was deployed from Sep 1 through 16, 2022. The data revealed information on hypoxia that is very valuable for informing tribal crab harvests. Additionally, Jack Barth (OSU) coordinated with Joe Schumacker (QIN) to visit the Taholah school to interact with QIN students. Jack brought along the glider that had been just recovered, giving an interactive talk on gliders, data, and NANOOS. View the data here!