Zdenka Willis has led IOOS with distinction since the Program Office was established at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in early 2007.
“IMOS was established around the same time as IOOS and whilst our programs are somewhat different in focus, we have found great benefit in working together,” says IMOS Director, Tim Moltmann.
“Zdenka has been an outstanding colleague who has brought great energy and drive to the ocean observing enterprise.
"IMOS is most definitely stronger as a result of our collaboration with IOOS under her leadership,” he said.
The collaboration has grown to encompass joint participation in global programs on high frequency radar, ocean gliders, animal tracking, and data management. It has also involved joint participation on the council of Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) Regional Alliances.
Zdenka made three visits to Australia as part of building the IOOS/IMOS relationship. She visited in November 2013 for an international meeting in Townsville, followed by stakeholder meetings in Canberra and site visits/seminars in Sydney and Hobart. Zdenka returned in May 2015 for a site visit/seminar in Perth followed by international meetings in Townsville and Cairns. Most recently Zdenka came to Australia for a September 2016 workshop in Canberra on ‘Building Regional Earth and Marine Observation Systems’ in the Asia-Pacific Region. IOOS has a regional association in the Pacific Islands and we are looking to build an even closer relationship in this region of shared interest.
IMOS has also benefited from the work IOOS does on quality assurance of real time oceanographic data (QARTOD), and on assessment of new coastal technologies. As recently as this week, Dr Ana Lara-Lopez from the IMOS Office is visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute for a meeting on state-of the-art technologies for detecting Harmful Algal Blooms – an invitation initiated through IOOS Program office.
“Australia and the US have long enjoyed productive cooperation in ocean science,” said Mr Moltmann.
“But with individuals like Zdenka who go that extra mile, it becomes a pretty special thing.
"We thank her for that, and wish her every success in the next stage of her career," he said.
Carl Gouldman, formerly Deputy Director to Zdenka Willis, has been announced as the new Director of the IOOS Program Office. IMOS looks forward to working with Carl and his IOOS colleagues in the years to come.