Summer School - New Frontiers in Operational Oceanography, 2-13 October 2017, Spain

Publish Date: Dec 23, 2016

Deadline: Feb 28, 2017

Event Dates: from Oct 02, 2017 03:55 to Oct 13, 2017 03:55

General Information

The international school for observing, assimilating and forecasting the ocean is a two week program offered to early career scientists, professionals and students on the current state of the art in operational oceanography and related advances in the ocean sciences. The courses will include topics covering the leading edge science in ocean observing systems, as well as the latest methods and techniques for analysis, data assimilation and ocean modeling.

The implementation of operational oceanography in the past 15 years has provided many societal benefits and has led to many countries adopting a formal roadmap for providing ocean forecasts. Following on from the GODAE OceanView international schools held in France (Chassignet and Verron, 2006) and in Australia (Schiller and Brassington, 2011), this school will bring together senior experts and young researchers (pre- and post-doctorate) from across the world and expose them to the latest research in oceanography, specifically how it will impact operational oceanography. In addition to formal lectures, shorter talks by experts in the field will acquaint the participants with a wide range of applications.

GOV International School Background

Operational Oceanography consists of providing an accurate description of the state of the oceans including its living resources, providing continuous forecasts of the future conditions of the oceans, and assembling data sets that can provide data for descriptions of past states. This requires systematic and long-term routine measurements of the oceans. At the heart of operational oceanography forecasting systems are numerical models that allow to describe the 4D ocean. To make prediction models reliable, it is necessary to assimilate frequently updated measurements. These data come from satellite observations and from in situ observations. Satellite altimetry in particular, is an invaluable aid in the observation of the oceans. In situ observations provide also access to the subsurface ocean. Today, multi-platform observing systems allow to characterize ocean state and variability at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Data assimilation is needed to improve the consistency between data and numerical model simulations, to dynamically interpolate and extrapolate heterogeneous measurements. Outputs from numerical models are used to generate data products. Examples of products include ocean currents, ocean climate variability, climatology and seasonal weather forecasting, warnings (of coastal floods, ice and storm damage, harmful algal blooms and contaminants, etc.), ship routing, prediction of seasonal or annual primary productivity, sustainable use of fishing resources, search and rescue operations, etc. The final products and forecasts are distributed to industrial users, government agencies, and regulatory authorities.

Operational Oceanography has been developed widely in recent years in Europe (through several European projects), within the GMES/Copernicus program and in parallel with the development of observing systems. In Europe, the main operational oceanography centers are Mercator-Océan (Toulouse), INGV (Italy), NERSC (Norway), MetOffice (UK), FCOO (Denmark) and SOCIB (Spain). Worldwide, several operational oceanography centers have also been developed such as BlueLink in Australia or HYCOM/NRL in the US. Finally, at the international level, the GODAE OceanView organization coordinates and lead comparison and validation exercises all existing projects in ocean forecasting in the world. This includes Education & Training activities that are seen as essential since the lasting legacy of GODAE OceanView will result from investment in educational activities. The next generation of scientists should be trained in order to be able to advance real-time ocean forecasting and the design and implementation of ocean observing systems.

This international school is one of the main educational activities supported by GODAE OceanView. The event then is planned to take place in Mallorca, Spain in Fall 2017 under the auspices of IMEDEA and SOCIB. IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB) is a joint research center overseen by the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB).
SOCIB (Balearic Islands Observing and Forecasting System) was born from IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB) in 2010. SOCIB is an internationally open scientific and technological infrastructure devoted to the monitoring and forecasting of the coastal and open ocean for the study of variability at small, medium and large temporal scales as well as to provide hindcasts and forecasts for marine operations. 


After the two first international summer schools held in Lalonde-Les-Maures (France, 2004) and Perth (Australia, 2010) it is proposed to organize a third international school on Operational Oceanography according to the following main motivations:

  • To bring together young scientists and professionals who will be the principal movers and users of operational oceanographic data in the next 10 or 20 years.
  • To summarize present knowledge of the various components of operational oceanography (numerical models, data assimilation, observations, systems, applications) and present an integrated perspective for the applications.
  • To show how science can benefit from operational routine products and how operational oceanography can benefit from the most recent scientific advances.
  • To open the way towards the new frontiers of operational oceanography both in terms of scientific challenges and applications. Four specific directions can be addressed, namely the coastal ocean areas that are characterized by multiple and interacting scales including open ocean shelf-slope exchanges, the coupled ocean-atmosphere system, ocean biogeochemistry, and the use of new datasets (from the upcoming satellites such as Sentinels and SWOT).


General introduction on Ocean variability

Overview of Operational Oceanography

  • What is Operational Oceanography?
  • Overview of current Operational Oceanography systems in the world
  • Overview of the what are the new frontiers of Operational Oceanography


In-situ observations

  • Current status of In Situ Observational Network for Operational Oceanography and introduction to the future (challenges, new prospects, existing platforms & new instruments)
  • Some specific examples (classical or new) on new technologies/instruments

Remote sensing Observations

  • Current status of Remote Sensing Observational Network for Operational Oceanography and introduction to the future (challenges, new prospects, new instruments)
  • High resolution altimetry observations, present status and perspectives
  • High resolution ocean color products
  • More on remote sensing instruments (classical or new): Wind, SST, SSS, SAR, etc ...



  • Current status of modeling (including coupled models)
  • New frontiers for modeling (ocean, Ice, ocean-atmosphere coupled models, ..)

Data Assimilation

  • Current status and new directions for data assimilation (Ensemble, EnVARn, Hybrid, ...)

Predictions systems

  • Earth system model
  • Coastal ocean
  • Coupled physico-biogeochemical systems
  • High latitude systems

Applications of prediction systems

  • Marine Safety, real time emergency management: Oil spill/pollution, marine debris, Search and Rescue, Shipping and Ship Routing, Coastal Environmental Sensitivity Index
  • Marine Resources: Ecosystem based fisheries management, Sustainable aquaculture, Preserved habitats
  • Coastal and Marine Environment: Coastal hydrodynamics, beach management, Environmental impact, jellyfish, Marine environment and policy, Energy production , water pollution, eutrophication, tourism, Operational response in harbors
  • Weather and Climate Seasonal Forecasting: Long Historical Time Series, Sea State Scenarios, Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Forecast, Seasonal Forecast, Climate change
  • Operational oceanography and society, Economic and social benefits of operational oceanography

Venue & Accommodation

Travel: All lecturers and selected students will need to arrange their own flights to Palma airport and transfers.

Accommodation: All participants will have to stay at the hotel where the school will take place. The event (international school) will be held at "Club Pollentia Resort" on the north coast of Mallorca. Please note that there are no other hotels in the area in walking distance to the conference venue.

Participants should only book their accommodation once their place in the international school is confirmed.

Bookings must be completed before the 16 June 2017. Bookings have to be arragend through the Travel Agency DIPLOMATIC SERVICES to get the special attendee's rate on an ALL INCLUSIVE basis (DO NOT book directly with the hotel).

Costs: The cost will be:

Students: Shared room for 88 € per day including full accommodation and lodging.

Lecturers: Single room for 104 € per day including full accommodation and lodging.

Grants may be available on request.


Before you apply please note the following information:

  • Expected participation - This school is intended for a broad international audience: MS/PhD students, postdoctoral scientists, and early career scientists/professionals for a total of 50 to 60 attendees, not including the speakers and organizers. The attendees should have a background in meteorology and/or oceanography.
  • Letter of Motivation - All applicants need to provide a letter of motivation describing their interest, relevance of their studies, and research goals, etc. (please submit the letter with the registration as word or pdf document).
  • References - Applicants will need to provide the school contact details to their supervisors/sponsors for a timely submission of the references (two per applicant).
  • Programme and lecturers - At the current time the programme is still in a state of flux, however information about the anticipated school topics can be viewed on the Content page and many of the invited lecturers are listed on the Welcome page. Successful applicants will be receive regular emails updates.
  • Deadline - The application deadline for the GOV summer school is the 28 February 2017.
  • Selection - Students will be selected based on qualifications (career status and achievements, and motivation, i.e. how the school would help their career), and references. A committee will conduct the assessment and selection of the candidates. Following the collation and sifting of all applications, confirmation of participation will be provided by the end of March 2017 via email.
  • Financial support - The attendee is expected to find their own funding source to cover travel and accommodations costs. We suggest that applicants request financial support from 1) advisor/supervisor, 2) host institution, 3) country, and last 4) summer school as we will be able to provide some travel grants. Below is a list of national representatives that are aware of the school and can help you identify national support. If you attend a

1. US institution: contact Eric Chassignet (
2. Canadian institution: contact Fraser Davidson (
3. Chinese institution: contact Dakui Wang (
4. Indian institution: contact Abhisek Chatterjee (
5. Brazilian institution: contact Clemente Tanajura (
6. South African institution: contact Bjorn Backeberg (
7. Saudi Arabian institution: contact Ibrahim Hoteit (
8. Australian institution: contact Gary Brassington (
9. European/all others institution: contact Jacques Verron (

For more official information click "Further official information" below.

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