​Muller-Karger Appointed as GEO MBON Co-Chair

​In 2016, Sanctuary MBON PI Frank Muller Karger was appointed co-chair for the new thematic Marine Biodiversity Observation Network, established by the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON).  He joins co-chairs, Mark Costello, m.costello[at]auckland.ac.nz and Isabel Sousa Pinto, ispinto[at]ciimar.up.pt.  The thematic MBON links GEO BON with Blue Planet (GEO’s overarching marine task), the Global Ocean Observing System’s Biodiversity and Ecosystems Panel (GOOS Bio-ECO), and other marine and biodiversity initiatives and data sharing strategies.  The co-chairs are developing plans and holding monthly webinars on key issues relevant to building regional MBONs.  

Researchers Discuss SDG 14 and MBON Products
On March 15-17, 2017, representatives of in the U.S. MBON program, US IOOS, USGS, NOAA, the Ocean Biogeographic Information System, and collaborating data partners met in St. Petersburg, Florida to conceptualize new MBON data products that will address specific targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goal #14 -- Life Below Water.  The meeting was sponsored by NASA and hosted by University of South Florida College of Marine Science.


"Our goal is to develop one or more products that are applicable from the local to global levels, meet the needs of questions of local coastal zone and conservation area managers, and that can be scaled to address one or more of the SDG 14 targets," said Frank Muller-Karger, PI of the Sanctuaries MBON project.  At the 2.5 day workshop, participants defined scientific and user-functionality requirements and next steps for the development of interactive data products. Since early 2016, each of U.S. MBON teams have been evaluating and enrolling numerous long-term biological, habitat and environmental datasets into NOAA ERDDAP and OBIS. This enables researchers and resource managers to access and visualize datatsets with dynamic mappers in the MBON portal to study ecosystem change over time.

“Analyzing the SDG14 targets from multiple scientific and management perspectives was a crucial exercise. We hope the products we are developing will be useful to our GEO and other global partners, to help them meet national reporting requirements for the SDGs, among other things,” said Gabrielle Canonico, U.S. IOOS MBON program manager. 


Participants included Gabrielle Canonico and Jennifer Bosch, U.S. IOOS, Abby Benson, OBIS, Roger Sayre, USGS, and Michael Soracco (NOAA Coast Watch/GEO Blue Planet). Sanctuaries MBON researchers included: Maria Kavanaugh (OSU / WHOI), Jennifer Brown (NOAA MBNMS), Ben Best (EcoQuants), Bob Currier (GCOOS), Mitchell Roffer (ROFFS), Collin Closek (Stanford University), Steve Gittings (NOAA Sanctuaries) George Sedberry (NOAA Sanctuaries) Chris Kelble (AOML - NOAA), Kathleen O'keife (FWRI), Luke McEachron, (FWRI) and Katherine Hubbard (FWRI). The USF CMS team included: Frank Muller-Karger, Anni Djurhuus, Enrique Montes, Daniel Otis, CJ Reynolds and graduate students Megan Hepner, Justin Saarinen and Natalie Sawaya.

​​​​​The Sanctuaries MBON Project Mission

Universities, Federal and State Agencies, Research Organizations and the Private Sector Working Together to Integrate Existing Long-term Datasets into New Dynamic Portals, Test Advanced Sampling Technologies and Data Management, and Define Model Practices that will Improve Biodiversity Assessments and Enhance Decision Making.

PORTAL TESTS BIODIVERSITY INDICES AND REGIONAL DATA SETS.The MBON DMAC team and Axiom Data Sciences incorporated seven biodiversity indices into the portal. During the demo period, the team is analyzing the indices in the context of the Florida Reef Visual Census (RVC) datasets, the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) program larval fish and egg surveys, and the Bering Arctic Subarctic Integrated Survey (BASIS) data. Read more.

PORTAL REVIEW MEETINGS.  In Fall 2016, MBON teams met with ecologists, fisheries experts and frequent users of the datasets to discuss the functionality and obtain input on additional data needs.  More.

OUTREACH IN MONTEREY AND FLORIDA. MBON partners in the NOAA Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing Systems  (GCOOS) engage youth, public and educators. 

NEW SEASCAPES GUIDES FLORIDA KEYS SAMPLING. MBON researchers tested a new sampling plan strategy based on satellite seascape maps.

February 27, 2017 -- The National Oceanographic Partnership Program announced that the Sanctuaries MBON project was selected to receive the 2016 Excellence In Partnering Award.  Read about the NOPP's Excellence in Partnering award  


Updates from the Sanctuaries MBON


Our researchers and collaborating partners are working to improve the understanding of biodiversity in the Florida Keys, Flower Garden Banks and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries. 

Integrating datasets for fish, marine life, habitats and water quality in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.  

“Sanctuaries MBON” Receives NOPP 2016 Excellence in Partnering Award

Creating Satellite Seascape Maps