New job alert: Head of the GEO Blue Planet European office


Work with Mercator Ocean International near Toulouse, France to strengthen the European Commission visibility and influence in the GEO Blue Planet initiative. Read the full job advertisement here.


Head of the GEO Blue Planet European Office (F/H)

Your Mission:

  • Contribute to GEO Blue Planet strategic planning and coordination actions based on
    existing European investments to ensure their promotion to main international
  • Co-design, co-develop and contribute to the GEO Blue scientific and technical
    working groups including developing specific actions in relation to the main priorities of
    the Commission and EU Member States.
  • Engage with actors along the value chain to promote the use of ocean observations,
    the development of sustainable applications and best practices related to seas and
    the ocean with training, technology transfer and scientific exchanges within the EU
    regional area of intervention (e.g. Arctic/Europe/Africa).Integrate these activities with Mercator Ocean International ocean monitoring and
    user engagement activities and ensure they benefit to and from them.


The qualities we are looking for :

  • PhD in marine science (preferred) or equivalent engineering degree
  • More than 5 year experience in operational oceanography and/or in the development
    of ocean services and applications.
  • Good knowledge of the areas of benefits and user communities that require ocean
    information services.
  • Experience in international and European initiatives and programmes related to ocean
    observations and its value chain.
  • Good knowledge of the GEO Blue Planet initiative.
  • Good knowledge of the European landscape in ocean observing and information
  • Ability to build and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues across the
    organisation and externally.
  • Good verbal and written communication skills.
  • Fluent in English essential.


Send your cover letter and a detailed CV with the following reference 2020-06/DS/GEOBP to by July 13, 2020 at the latest

New paper explores how GIS analyses affect size estimates of Ecological Marine Units


Kelly and Šavrič published a new journal article in Transactions in GIS titled “Area and volume computation of longitude–latitude grids and three‐dimensional meshes“.


Longitude–latitude grids are commonly used for surface analyses and data storage in GIS. For volumetric analyses, three-dimensional meshes perpendicularly raised above or below the gridded surface are applied. Since grids and meshes are defined with geographic coordinates, they are not equal area or volume due to convergence of the meridians and radii. This article compiles and presents known geodetic considerations and relevant formulae needed for longitude–latitude grid and mesh analyses in GIS. The effect of neglecting these considerations is demonstrated on area and volume calculations of ecological marine units.

Collaborator spotlight: FAO of the UN Fisheries Department

The FAO of the UN fisheries department manages over 70 years of statistical data on global fisheries
and aquaculture, and the widely known maps of FAO Major Fishing Areas for Statistical Purposes.
Among its many other activities, it provides accurate and reliable geospatial through its GeoNetwork
and fisheries maps such the Atlas of Tuna and Billfish catches. FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu
recently launched the UN agency Hand-in-Hand Initiative that will use sophisticated tools and
advanced geo-spatial modelling and analysis to identify the best opportunities to improve the
livelihoods of rural populations. As custodian of 21 SDG indicators, FAO has great interest in spatial
data to feed other observational and analytical data-flows, and Geo Blue Planet is seen as an
opportunity to further connect fisheries and aquaculture with the GEO community.

FAO Fisheries department has many activities relevant to SDG 14, Life below water. These include
several projects to improve the publication of fisheries data as geo-data, and to use geo-data to
improve atlases of fisheries and aquaculture. One example is the EU H2020 Flagship Blue Cloud
project, where FAO coordinates two demonstrators; one on fisheries and another on aquaculture.
The Fisheries demonstrator will publish local and global fisheries data in a comprehensive atlas
where fisheries data will be accessible through an ISO/OGC compliant viewer and under several
standards including NetCDF and in its own GeoNetwork. The vision is to enable overlays and analysis
across 10 EU infrastructures such as EMODNet (Bathymetry, Species occurrences, etc) CMEMS
(Copernicus marine data products), and Essential Ocean Variables (Figure 1).

The Global Record of Stocks and Fisheries as a CKAN registry and MapViewer is another tool in this
demonstrator. It provides global harmonized data on stocks and the fisheries that exploit them.
For aquaculture a workflow is established across Copernicus and private VHR image providers to
detect aquaculture locations and activity status, and edit these in an online register of aquafarms
and other detected features to obtain an estimate of seasonal productivity for different areas.
The products are made available in the iMarine infrastructure where users can register for the often
free products. These can e.g. be used for Science 2 experiments, for instance on invasive species

All EU funded infrastructure use open-source development where feasible, and strives to be FAIR
compliant. However, as a federator of many organizational deposits, not all data managed by Blue
Cloud are freely accessible.


Figure 1 Blue Cloud Federated Infrastructures

A Blue Planet Tribute to Professor Trevor Platt


By Paul DiGiacomo, Samy Djavidnia, and Sophie Seeyave

As long-time colleagues and friends of Trevor Platt, we enthusiastically worked together with him on the creation and development of the Blue Planet Initiative.  Much has already been written about the many extraordinary scientific contributions of Trevor.  We would also like to pay a heartfelt tribute to the significant contributions Trevor made to ocean observing, to international coordination efforts, and to the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) in particular. 

Trevor became involved in GEO through his role as Executive Director of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO), which had been a Participating Organisation in GEO since its establishment in 2005. Trevor’s wife and closest colleague, Shubha Sathyendranath, was the POGO Executive Director at the time GEO was formed, and they actively worked together on POGO, GEO and then subsequently Blue Planet, as they did with every other aspect of their work.  

In those early years, Trevor and Shubha made a direct and concrete contribution to GEO by obtaining funding from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to establish new programmes on the societal benefits of ocean observations: the Chlorophyll Globally Integrated Network, ChloroGIN, and Societal Applications in Fisheries or Remotely-sensed Imagery, SAFARI [among many talents, Trevor was also the king of acronym coining; in fact, he demonstrated his humorous and playful side by endorsing the acronym “ChloroGIN” proposed by colleagues after a nocturnal visit to the Plymouth Gin Distillery, during the inaugural workshop that formally established the programme]. Both of these programmes were among the first (if not the first) ocean-related initiatives to be included as GEO “Tasks”, and were often referred to by GEO as exemplars of successful capacity building activities. 

Trevor fought hard to maintain POGO’s engagement in GEO over the years, and became quite passionate about raising the profile of ocean observing within GEO. “One of the lasting memories I have of my first GEO Meeting (Beijing, 2010) was of Trevor emerging from the plenary sessions to the exhibition area where I was manning the POGO booth, grumbling about the plenary’s focus on forests and agriculture. There was no mention of oceans throughout the whole of that Plenary, which was nothing short of scandalous in Trevor’s mind!” (~ Sophie Seeyave). 

This was Trevor’s motivation for creating what was to become the GEO Blue Planet Initiative. The following year, GEO was calling for contributions for the next phase of its Work Plan, and Trevor saw this as a once-off opportunity to get the ocean officially included in GEO. One of the longstanding barriers towards this had been the initial focus of the GEO Work Plan around “Societal Benefit Areas” (SBAs), several of which could relate directly to a specific community (e.g. climate, biodiversity, agriculture).  Conversely, the ocean was considered a cross-cutting theme, but not singled out as an SBA, which made it difficult for the ocean community to know how to organise itself within GEO. To address this, and with support from the GEO Secretariat, and from many other “ocean allies” within the GEO community, Trevor put together a proposal for an Ocean Task to be included in the 2012-2015 GEO Work Plan. This was accepted by GEO, and thus Blue Planet was born. The original name included “Oceans and Society”, a clear reflection of Trevor’s passion for highlighting the role of the ocean in sustaining our life and its inextricable and diverse interdependencies with our society.

The next step, which Trevor worked tirelessly on, and obtained CSA funding for, was the Blue Planet Kick-Off Symposium, held in Ilhabela (“beautiful island”), Brazil, in November 2012. Brazil was chosen because it was hosting the GEO Plenary that year, and the Symposium was held back-to-back with the GEO Plenary, although in a different location in Brazil. Trevor also had a former student and close colleague in São Paulo, Milton Kampel, who took care of the logistical arrangements and local funding for the Symposium. Trevor also took the opportunity to arrange for a meeting of the recently formed Nippon Foundation- POGO Alumni Network for Oceans (NANO) to be held back-to-back with the Symposium, which was a great way to involve young scientists from all over the world in the Symposium. Trevor was truly dedicated to teaching and capacity building, and this passion guided much of the early development of Blue Planet. 

Sadly, Trevor was unable to attend the Symposium at the last minute due to a health issue, and neither was he able to attend the 2nd Symposium in Cairns, Australia, which he was also actively involved in organising.  An unexpected development after the Kick-Off Symposium was the publication of a Blue Planet book, which Trevor very much took to heart. “I still remember very vividly when Trevor suggested I take the lead in pulling together the Blue Planet book, he was a man who chose his wise and convincing words with a lot of care – there was no room to let him down. It was such an honour to work with him on this project” (~ Samy Djavidnia).   Trevor then assembled, and subsequently chaired, a Steering Committee for Blue Planet, with representatives of the main organisations within GEO that had contributed to the Blue Planet Task proposal: the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the GODAE-OceanView (now renamed as Ocean Predict), and thus Blue Planet was ready for action. 

Trevor’s role in the leadership of Blue Planet decreased as he stepped down as POGO Executive Director in 2014, but his vision and legacy live on as the Blue Planet Initiative continues to grow. “I remember sitting in many an ocean observing meeting (especially in Geneva), wondering how Trevor was going to bring about convergence toward Blue Planet goals, more so thinking there was no way that we would get there, but he never failed to amaze me with successful resolutions – often with a quick nod or glance over as if so say don’t worry, I’ve got this – and he always did!” (~ Paul DiGiacomo). 

The Steering Committee now comprises of around 30 people from a variety of scientific, cultural and geographical backgrounds, and the Blue Planet network has expanded from being comprised mainly of data and service providers to include various stakeholder groups.  The original focus on capacity development and societal benefit remains as strong as ever, with Blue Planet working with communities from the Caribbean to Cabo Verde and Bangladesh to Boston to address user priorities and ocean observation needs across the globe. 

The GEO Blue Planet Steering Committee and community-at-large are forever indebted to Trevor for his early vision of an “ocean task” within GEO, and for bringing the ocean community together in this joint venture. He will be greatly missed – as a true friend, an honourable colleague and unstoppable force - but his legacy burns bright and we will all benefit from his intellect, perseverance and vision of a “Blue Planet”.    

#CMEMSforCoastal – submit your use case

Copernicus Marine Service recently launched a campaign to highlight projects and companies that are using Copernicus Marine products and services in the Coastal Monitoring sector with the hashtag :

If you are in this case, you can submit a use case for your project/application/service.

Still wondering "Why should I submit a use case?"

By clicking to the image below, you will be redirected to the Copernicus Marine Service "submit your use case" webpage.



If you have developed an application using Copernicus Marine Service products that you would like to share with us, please click to the Submit Button below to send an email request to our marketing officer. He will interact with you and edit a first draft for your validation. A final version being validated by both parts will be published.



To fit more precisely with your needs, we also have created a web page dedicated to the Coastal Monitoring sector.


Linking Data to Actions on Marine Debris for the Ocean Decade Workshop

The 3rd Workshop on “Linking Data to Actions on Marine Debris for the Ocean Decade” will take place on May 29-30, 2020 in Cascais, Portugal. This third Workshop builds on the previous two workshops (November 2018 – workshop on “Technologies for Observing and Monitoring Plastics in the Oceans” and December 2019 – workshop on “Marine Debris Indicators: What’s Next?”), both in Brest, France.

The workshop will summarize the outcomes of the case study on “Reducing Plastics in the Ocean within a Growing Global Economy: Understanding the Information Needs to Support Interventions” initiated at the 2019 workshop.

The goal will be to have a comprehensive overview of the information needed to inform action on marine debris, both in terms of reducing the flows of debris into the ocean, monitoring the amount and trajectory of debris in the ocean, and assessing the impacts of the debris on the marine biosphere and feedbacks into the humansphere.

The status of implementation of the Integrated Marine Debris Observing System (IMDOS) will be reviewed and developments of means to link information to action will be discussed.
For more information and program, see

There will be no registration fee for the workshop, but for logistic reasons we require registration for your in person or remote participation at Note that this workspace provides a collaborative platform used in preparation of the workshop and during the workshop.

We are looking forward to work with you on addressing the mounting challenge of Marine Debris.
Best regards,
The program committee:
René Garello (IEEE OES/IMT Atlantique; Co-Chair)
Hans-Peter Plag (IEEE OES/ODU; Co-Chair)
Jillian Campbell (UNEP)
Emily Smail (GEO Blue Planet)
Jose Moutinho (Air Centre)


This workshop is sponsored by:


GEO Aquawatch Save the Date!

Mark you calendars to join  the GEO AquaWatch Meeting to be held at Deltares in Delft, Netherlands September 16-18, 2020!  More details will be available within the next 30 days.