IQOE will use a variety of approaches to implement the project, including working groups. Some of these groups were identified within the IQOE Science Plan, whereas others were developed at the first meeting of the IQOE Science Committee. The terms of reference and membership are being developed for the following groups:
Standardization of experimental protocols and observational techniques and calibration of instrumentation (such as acoustic recorders) enable comparison of results. IQOE WG 1 will recommend best practices for experiments, observation, reporting, and other means to ensure that results are comparable and can be integrated to standardize data across large spatial and long time scales.
Working Group 2: Data Management and Access
A goal of the IQOE is to create time series of acoustic data in key locations of the global ocean to document how sound in the ocean has changed over time. The IQOE aims to notably increase the openly available and easily accessible acoustic observations and related biological and experimental results. IQOE WG 2 will develop data management and data access policies for scientists and data centers involved in the program.
Working Group 3: Arctic Acoustic Environment
The Arctic Ocean remains relatively pristine acoustically. However, the warming and decrease in ice cover across its basins will change its acoustic properties. Meanwhile, oil and gas exploration, shipping, tourism, and other noise-producing activities may increase. IQOE WG 3 aims to produce an acoustic baseline against which future sound increases can be compared.
Hyper-biodiverse areas of the global ocean (e.g., coral reefs, kelp forests, mangrove forests), are important to human society, and endangered by local, regional, and global changes. Assessment of biodiversity of these areas is hindered by the requirement for frequent observations by human divers. However, many organisms in these areas make sounds that can be measured continuously. IQOE WG 4 aims to develop the potential to monitor sound in high-biodiversity ocean areas continuously to help characterize their biodiversity.
POGO Working Group
This complementary WG of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans aims to implement specific elements of the IQOE Science Plan related to capabilities of POGO member institutions, including approaches to assess the impact of noise exposure and acoustic monitoring methods and means to implement and improve these approaches, as well as better understanding of broad-scale issues related to ocean noise and human influences.
Status: The IQOE Science Plan has been reviewed and approved by the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO), and is available here.
Funding has been obtained to begin initial implementation activities. An IQOE Science Committee has been formed and met for the second time in London, UK on 27-28 January 2017.
SCOR and POGO staff members will assist project scientists with implementation.
Next Steps: Additional funding is being sought, including for an international project office.