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18.10.2016 05:14 Age: 1 year
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Marine STEM in action at the Shine Dome

The third biennial Australian Coastal and Oceans Modelling and Observations Workshop (ACOMO 2016) was held on the 11th and 12th October 2016, at the Shine Dome, Australian Academy of Sciences, Canberra.

The Australian Academy of Science's Shine Dome. Image credit: Shane Keating, UNSW.

The meeting brought together over 90 participants from research organisations, universities and private industry across Australia, as well as attendees from international organisations.

The event was focused on putting Marine science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) into action. Discussing how we can best use smart sensors, robotic instruments, research vessels, super computers, and numerical models to examine complex problems in marine science with real impact: in understanding the state of our oceans, the variability of our climate, and the health of fisheries and reefs across Australia.

The third ACOMO workshop brought together the IMOS national observations community with various modelling communities and focused on five related themes;

  • boundary currents;
  • near-shore and coastal processes,
  • polar dynamics and processes,
  • biogeochemistry and ecosystem modelling, and
  • end user applications in oceanography.

The series of biennial ACOMO workshops was started by IMOS in 2012 with the aim to push at the boundaries of model-data fusion.  The long term vision is for whole of ecosystem models that assimilate data from sustained observing systems, with practical application for the benefit of industry, government and society.

In line with this direction for ACOMO to progressively embrace a more whole-of-system view, the 2016 workshop included sessions on biogeochemistry and ecosystems, and on polar dynamics and processes. The extension into the ecosystem modelling included two keynote speakers. Simon Jennings is Lead Advisor at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft, UK and Honorary Chair of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia. Simon provided a review of modelling from primary production to fish production, highlighting model inter-comparison and the need for systematic ecosystem observing. Chris Edwards from University of California Santa Cruz presented a state-of-the-art approach to assimilation of data into modelling of the California Current ecosystem.

Another important topic covered in this workshop was a discussion on the need of a National Modelling System for Australia, as articulated in the National Marine Science Plan. Some of the issues discussed included user engagement, exploiting multiple modelling approaches, coupling of models, channeling of regional expertise for national benefit, technical readiness levels, and infrastructure to serve model output.  There was considerable enthusiasm for continuing this national discussion.


To view the agenda, abstracts and presentations of ACOMO 2016 visit the workshop page.

The ACOMO workshop was organized by IMOS and sponsored by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, The University of Western Australia, Sydney Institute of Marine Science, the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems CRC, CSIRO, Western Australian Marine Science Institution and the University of New South Wales.