NODC ocean acidification scientific data stewardship

The Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring (FOARAM) Act of 2009 mandates that NOAA establishes a monitoring and research program to document ocean acidification (OA) impacts. In general terms, ocean acidification refers to the net changes in seawater chemistry, including decreases in seawater pH, due to the ocean’s absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide (see what is ocean acidification?). A consensus research strategy has been developed for NOAA to advance the understanding of the impacts of ocean acidification and to address related challenges to local and national ecosystems and communities (NOAA Ocean Acidification Steering Committee, 2010). The NOAA Ocean Acidification Program was formally established in May 2011 to integrate and fund efforts across and external to NOAA that address Ocean Acidification (NOAA Ocean Acidification Program Director, Libby Jewett, Ph.D.).

The National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) serves as the NOAA Ocean Acidification data management focal point through its Ocean Acidification Data Stewardship (OADS) project. The overarching goal of the OADS project is to serve the OA community by providing dedicated online data discovery, access to NODC-hosted and distributed authoritative data sources, long-term archival, coordinated data flow, and scientific stewardship for a diverse range of OA and other chemical, physical, and biological oceanographic data. OADS builds on a collaborative approach with shared responsibilities among scientists, data managers, and NODC. The principles for this collaborative data management are articulated in the Declaration of Interdependence of Ocean Acidification Data Management Activities in the U.S., resulting from the first Ocean Acidification Data Management Workshop in March 2012.

Discovery and Access of NOAA Ocean Acidification Data and Legacy Oceanographic Datasets

Ocean Acidification Data Stewardship seeks to build detailed metadata including characterizations of data quality as a pillar for scientific use and value added service. We will leverage NODC’s scientific data stewardship, standard web services, a geoportal discovery tool, and other NOAA services that facilitate data discovery, transformations, and data visualization. We manage several types of data including moorings, shipboard, experimental, models, and other types. As NOAA-funded data are received at NODC, data will initially be available using several data tools including:

Data Partners

Ocean Acidification Data Stewardship partners with NOAA and several agencies and academic institutions to obtain data and to help coordinate data flow and to provide data access services. We plan to provide selected information about NOAA-funded principal investigators, descriptions of their projects, and data once submitted to and archived at NODC in coordination with the NOAA OA program.

Data Management Stewardship Documentation and Guidelines

NODC levels of scientific stewardship for ocean acidification and core services include developing documentation on metadata content and resouces for data submitters. We are currently developing documentation and guidance on metadata standards (e.g., ISO), ocean acidification vocabulalry content standards, data formats, and resources for data providers including citations and computer programs to facilitate documenting data. Information about current requests for comments on OA metadata template for in situ observational data are available at metadata templates. OADS parners with an inter-agency Ad Hoc OA data management Team for discussion of core services and community input.

Contact us

Ocean Acidification Data Stewardship staff: Krisa Arzayus, Ph.D., Hernan Garcia, Ph.D., Liqing Jiang, Ph.D.; Contact us at

NOAA. Web site.


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