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Colour of Ocean Data:
a symposium on oceanographic data and information management with special attention to biological data

The Palais des Congrès, Brussels, Belgium
25-27 November 2002

More and more, ocean data management has to play a crucial role in global as well as local matters. Vast amounts of physical, chemical and biological oceanographic data are collected in all seas and oceans of the world. International networks are created, to standardise data formats and facilitate data exchange. So far major emphasis has been on the standardisation and exchange of physical oceanographic data in open ocean conditions.

But the colour of the ocean data is changing. The 'blue' ocean sciences get increasingly interested in including geological, chemical and biological data (e.g. the newly created IODE Group of Experts on Biological and Chemical Data Management and Exchange Practises - GE-BCDMEP). Moreover the shallow sea areas get more and more attention as highly productive biological areas that need to be seen in close association with the deep seas. How to fill in the gap of widely accepted standards for data structures that can serve the deep 'blue' and the shallow 'green' biological data management is a major issue that has to be addressed.

There is more: data has to be turned into information. In the context of ocean data management, scientists, data managers and decision makers are all very much dependent on each other. Decision makers will stimulate research topics with policy priority and hence guide researchers. Scientists need to provide data managers with reliable and first quality controlled data in such a way that the latter can translate and make them available for the decision makers. But do they speak the same 'language'? Are they happy with the access they have to the data? And if not, can they learn from each other's expectations and experience?

With this symposium we want to harmonize ocean colours and languages and create a forum for data managers, scientists and decision makers with a major interest in oceanography, and open to everyone interested in ocean data management.

The symposium programme, running over three days, will consist of invited papers, technical sessions, selected oral and poster presentations, and a final panel discussion. Please check here for more information on the different sessions, a short description of the session content, and the type of contributions we're expecting. Check here for details on how to submit a contribution.

Organized by:
Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)
Federal Office for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs (OSTC), Belgium
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission / International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IOC/IODE)
Ocean Biogeographic Information System/Census of marine life (OBIS)

Members of the scientific committee

Efstathios Balopoulos (HNODC; IOC/IODE), Murray Brown (Phoenix Training Consultants), Mark Costello (OBIS; Ecoserve), Carlo Heip (NIOO/CEMO), Syd Levitus (NODC Washington; WDC-A), Jan Mees (VLIZ), Nick Mikhaelov (RIHMI-WDC), Savi Narayanan (MEDS), Peter Pissierssens (IOC/IODE), Peter Schalk (ETI), Ben Searle (AODC; IOC/IODE), Edward Vanden Berghe (VLIZ), Magda Vincx (University Ghent), Ron Wilson (University of Delaware)

Members of the organising committee

Chairman: Edward Vanden Berghe (VLIZ, Belgium)
Members: Rudy Herman (AWI, Belgium), Jan Mees (VLIZ, Belgium), Frank Monteny (OSTC, Belgium), Peter Pissierssens (IOC/IODE, France), Greg Reed (IOC/IODE, France), Serge Scory (MUMM, Belgium), Jan Seys (VLIZ, Belgium)

On our web site, you'll find more information on the sessions, the draft programme of the symposium, registration forms, and practical information.