Moana Project opens 9 fully funded Ocean Sciences PhD positions in New Zealand

The Moana Project is a large cross-institutional team of researchers and PhD students who are exploring ocean dynamics and connectivity, including marine heat waves. New sensors for measuring will help us better understand and manage ocean warming impacts on our seafood industry. We will also explore how mātauranga Māori connects and inter-relates with this physical data.

As part of the Moana Project 9 fully funded PhD positions are available with the following project topics:

  1. Informing Iwi Interests: An effective cross-cultural ocean knowledge-exchange platform

  2. Māori as Oceanographers

  3. Marine heat waves around New Zealand: Identification and Causes

  4. High resolution regional modelling and connectivity around Kaikoura, NZ

  5. Nested Regional Modelling of Bay of Plenty - Diagnosing dynamics and circulation to understand Greenshell mussels connectivity

  6. Connectivity of 3 Kaimoana species at the national scale

  7. Kaikoura region abalone (paua) population genetics based on GBS-derived SNPs

  8. Connectivity of Greenshell mussels from national to regional scales - Population Genetics

  9. Connectivity of Greenshell mussels from national to regional scales - Microchemistry

The PhD students will contribute to New Zealand capacity-building in marine science and environmental resources management. The positions include full university fees plus a tax free stipend for 3 years of approximately $27,000 NZ, and some research expenses. Project topics, university and supervisor information are outlined in the link below. Candidates should be willing to start by July 2019.

The Moana Project, led by MetOcean Solutions, a division of Meteorological Service of New Zealand (MetService), was awarded $11.5 million over five years from the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Fund and will shed new light on the performance of New Zealand’s oceans for an enduring seafood sector. The project was conceived through an industry-community-research partnership initiative, bringing together seafood sector data, Te Ao Māori knowledge, cutting-edge ocean sensing, and advanced numerical modelling to provide a reliable ocean forecast system to support marine industries.

For more information, visit www.moanaproject.org

Vacancy: Coastal Oceanographer / Scientist

We are currently seeking a talented Coastal Oceanography / Scientist to join our consultancy team. MetOcean Solutions, a division of New Zealand’s MetService, is a science-based consultancy and forecast supplier providing specialist numerical modelling and analytical solutions in meteorology and oceanography. With offices across New Zealand (Auckland, New Plymouth, Raglan, and Wellington) and in Sydney, Australia (MetraWeather) our international team works on projects and data analysis world-wide. We passionately believe in rigorous scientific method and in applying the latest information technology to data services. MetOcean occupies several niche marine consultancy and service roles and has a rapidly growing forecast and hindcast sector.

We are seeking a self-starter to work in our multi-disciplinary consultancy environment that includes aspects of research and development. Your role will be to provide data analysis, code development, numerical modelling, scientific research and technical report writing as required to support various consultancy and development projects at MetOcean Solutions. You will be supported by expert modellers and developers in our team.

Our employees enjoy an open-office, upbeat culture within a coastal town environment in the North Island of New Zealand. This position would be primarily based in New Plymouth with some opportunity to work from other offices in the future.  The city of New Plymouth is known for its sunny climate, art galleries, music festival, water sports and activities, and beautiful parks hiking trails of Mount Taranaki and Egmont National Park.

Our company promotes a positive working environment to achieve our shared goals, supported by flexible hours to ensure a healthy work-life balance. We encourage our people to bring fresh ideas to the table, rise to any challenge, and remain passionate about our products and the company mission.

This is a fantastic opportunity to work in a growing environment with an interesting and challenging mix of applied research, science and technology. You must have a post-graduate qualification (M.Sc or PhD level) in a relevant physical science. 

Qualifications: post-graduate qualification (M.Sc or PhD level) in a relevant physical science.

In order to apply you must have the following skills and experience:

  • Post-graduate qualification (M.Sc. or PhD level) in a relevant physical science

  • Strong scientific knowledge of hydrodynamic, wave and sediment transport coastal processes.

  • Scientific code development in Python and/or Matlab

  • Working with and organising large geophysical datasets

  • Working on a Linux or Windows platform

  • Ability to analyse and critically assess oceanographic models and observational data

  • Good knowledge of statistics and extreme value analysis

  • Experience in configuring and running hydrodynamic/wave models e.g. SCHISM, Delft3D, MIKE3/21, SWAN, SWASH, FUNWAVE

  • Experience with unstructured grid generation and associated hydrodynamic models

  • Strong technical and scientific report writing in English, with the ability to communicate complex science to a range of audiences

The following would be beneficial, but are not essential:

  • Working in a remote High-Performance Compute environment.

  • Scientific hydrodynamic (wave and/or currents), sediment transport modelling expertise and code development.

  • Experience interacting with large databases.

  • Ability to use GIS softwares (e.g. QGIS, ArcGIS, Surfer, Global Mapper)

  • Familiarity with NetCDF including creating CF compliant NetCDF files

Our ideal candidate would demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Capability to develop creative solutions to complex technical problems

  • Integrity and high standards

  • Agility to work on multiple projects simultaneously

  • High level of attention to detail

  • Enjoys being part of a team that moves quickly

  • Capacity to work in a team with minimal supervision

  • Effective decision-making skills

  • A quick learner with a “can do” attitude

  • Methodical logical approach to problem solving

  • An ability to prioritise tasks and manage projects in a timely fashion

  • A supportive and positive attitude

  • A curious mind that will encourage exploration

Please note before you apply: This role is a permanent full-time position, but hours can be flexible to suit your lifestyle. Pay is based on skill and experience. The job position is in our New Plymouth Office, New Zealand.

Applications close on 5 April 2019.

If any queries, contact recruitment at recruitment@metservice.com. To apply for this position, please go to: http://careers.metservice.com/

Drifting wave buoys pass the Drake Passage

In February 2018, MetOcean Solutions deployed five solar powered wave buoys (Spotters) in the Southern Ocean in partnership with Spoondrift and the Defence Technology Agency. Now, one year later, these buoys have travelled more than 6500 km and are currently crossing the stormy waters of the Drake Passage, the body of water between South America’s Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands.

 
DRIFT TRACK AND SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHTS MEASURED OVER THE LAST year.

DRIFT TRACK AND SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHTS MEASURED OVER THE LAST year.

 

The Southern Ocean programme is helping understand waves in the region and their impact on the climate system. The operation was led by MetOcean Solutions’ Technical Support Liaison Dr Aitana Forcén-Vázquez, Principal Investigator for Physical Oceanography aboard the Research Vessel Tangaroa on the science voyage to Antarctica with NIWA and the University of Auckland.

“The buoys were deployed in the Southern Ocean, home to the strongest current on Earth; the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The Southern Ocean is the circular ocean that flows uninterrupted around Antarctica and occupies almost one quarter of all the world’s oceans. It plays an important role in the climate system, cycling heat, carbon and nutrients. Persistent storms and the lack of landmass in the Southern Ocean result in large fetches and strong winds - ideal conditions for generating large waves,” states Forcén-Vázquez.

MetOcean Solutions’ Science Development Manager Dr Tom Durrant says, “The waves generated in this region have far reaching effects, contributing significantly to the wave climate in all the major ocean basins. The New Zealand West Coast, for example, is periodically battered by large swell systems generated in Southern Ocean storms.”

This is the first time that this kind of wave buoy has been deployed in the Southern Ocean. It is the perfect scenario to test the response of this new technology in an energetic open ocean. If effective however, they could revolutionise the way we monitor remote ocean basins through a constellation of drifting buoys.

 
The wave buoys (Spotters) deployment.

The wave buoys (Spotters) deployment.

 

“These buoys (Spotters) are surprisingly easy to deploy, very light and easy to handle, and can be lowered in the water by hand using a line. As a result, you can deploy them in almost any kind of conditions, which greatly facilitates Southern Ocean operations,” complements Forcén-Vázquez.

Spoondrift developed the Spotter buoy as a citizen sensor to drive distributed ocean sensing and democratized data access. Tim Janssen, CEO of Spoondrift, explains “The Spotter buoy is designed to be easy to use, low-cost and solar-powered. From the Spotter Dashboard the user can access data and change settings on the device. The current generation Spotters have a battery protection feature that triggers a hibernation mode during extreme temperatures and extended periods of darkness in the Southern Ocean winter. Spoondrift continuously innovates its technology to simplify deployments and provide high-latitude options to ensure continuous data acquisition in extreme conditions”.

In addition to the five drifting buoys, MetOcean has the world’s southernmost open ocean moored buoy which last year recorded the highest wave in the Southern Hemisphere.

In recognition of the importance of this programme of work, this data is freely available to the scientific community.

MetOcean Solutions is a science-based consultancy wholly owned by MetService. MetOcean specialise in providing numerical modelling and analytical services in meteorology and oceanography.

Scotia Boelee joins Moana Project team

We are delighted to welcome Scotia Boelee as Programme Manager for the Moana Project. With a science background and vast experience in commercial negotiations and project management at an executive level, Scotia will assist Prof. Moninya Roughan in establishing the Moana Project’s framework and structure to ensure the success of the project.

 
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The Moana Project, led by MetOcean Solutions, was awarded $11.5 million over five years from the Government’s Endeavour Fund and will shed new light on the performance of New Zealand’s oceans to support an enduring seafood sector (find more information here).

New Zealand is currently experiencing a marine heatwave with potential to affect the distribution and abundance of marine life (see more at Stuff’s news). The Moana Project will greatly advance our understanding of ocean circulation, marine population connectivity of kaimoana species and marine heatwaves, investigating the drivers and impacts of marine heatwaves to improve prediction.

General Manager of MetOcean Solutions Dr Brett Beamsley says the Moana Project, led by Prof. Moninya Roughan, is a cross-institutional programme involving all the oceanographic research organisations in New Zealand, in collaboration with international experts from Australia and the United States.

“One of our priorities at this stage is to ensure the project is well structured at the outset in order to maximise the potential for success of the project, both for MetOcean and MetService, and also for each of the project partners. Scotia’s knowledge and experience will assist us to continue delivering cutting-edge science to help underpin New Zealand’s blue economy. We are pleased to welcome her to the team.”

Scotia is an executive-level programme management and business case specialist with 26 years’ global experience. She has successfully influenced world-scale ventures and government organisations to think strategically and maximise both their commercial and research and development opportunities, whilst effectively mitigating and managing their HSSEQ and enterprise risk.

Following her MSc in Chemistry at University of Canterbury, Scotia completed an MSc in Gender at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2003.

“I am excited to be involved in a project as worthwhile as Moana,” she says.

Scotia is based in our New Plymouth office.

An operational high resolution hydrodynamic forecast model for Port Phillip Bay

MetOcean Solutions has recently operationalised a high resolution hydrodynamic forecast model that allows simultaneous simulation of waves, currents and their interaction for Port Phillip Bay, Australia.

This new capability was developed as part of a larger project funded by the Australian Cooperative Research Centres Projects initiative. The project, a partnership between OMC International, Pivot Maritime International, University of Melbourne and MetOcean Solutions will provide an integrated modelling system for predicting under-keel clearance to support port and shipping services in tidal inlets.

“This project was conceived through an industry-research partnership and has leveraged the technical expertise in all partners,” says MetOcean Solutions’ Development Manager Dr Tom Durrant. “By bringing cross-sector experience, it is possible to develop science value-added solutions designed to increase safety and assist informed decisions at sea.”

In this particular project, the circulation model (SCHISM) is coupled with an upgraded wave physics implemented in the Wind Wave Model (WWM-III). The ‘improved WWM-III’ combined with the state-of-the-art unstructured hydrodynamic model SCHISM develops a forecast model capable of simultaneous simulation of waves, currents and their interaction.

“This is of great importance in this part of the world,” says MetOcean Solutions’ physical oceanographer Phellipe Couto.

“Port Phillip Heads, connecting Port Phillip Bay and Bass Strait is a notorious stretch of water that has claimed many ships and lives. Strong tidal currents interacting with waves combine to create significant challenges to ship navigation. Explicit accounting of this interaction, combined with unstructured model grids allowing the complex features of the main channels to be resolved at much higher resolution than previously, offer significant improvements in our ability to accurately forecast both waves and currents in the heads.

“Working closely with the University of Melbourne has provided a great opportunity to rapidly transition cutting edge science into operational systems.”

The operational high resolution hydrodynamic forecast model developed will provide input into the under keel clearance system operated by OMC international, strengthening the offerings available through the Metocean Solutions and OMC partnership (find more information here).

Operational SCHISM is MetOcean Solutions’ powerful new capability in high resolution coastal hydrodynamics, improving forecast by well representing complex nearshore bathymetries. The forecast model was also operationalised for Tasman and Golden Bay, New Zealand. Click here for more information.

The SCHISM model for Port Phillip Bay is freely available at MetOceanView.

For more information visit www.metoceanview.com or contact us at enquiries@metocean.co.nz

Meet us at New Zealand Maritime Pilot Association Conference

Next week MetOcean Solutions and OMC International will be at New Zealand Maritime Pilots' Association Conference in Wellington.

Sébastien Boulay (MetOcean Solutions’ Business Development Scientist) and Giles Lesser (OMC’s NZ Business Development & Senior Coastal Engineer­) will be co-presenting the latest services developed to assist ports.

“The Australasia maritime pilots have been unmatched users and design contributors to our operational weather services for years,” says Sébastien. “It has been a privilege to work alongside them to develop unique tools and services that combine our ocean modelling expertise with the port and transit optimisation skills from OMC International.”

The conference, hosted by New Zealand Maritime Pilots Association, is being held 26th-30th of November at Te Papa Museum in Wellington. This year the focus theme is ‘Promoting Industry Understanding of Human Factors and Just Culture’.

For more information about the conference, visit nzmpa.org or contact us at enquiries@metocean.co.nz

 
 

Mariana Cussioli joins MetOcean Solutions

We are delighted to welcome Dr Mariana Cussioli to MetOcean Solutions. Mariana is an oceanographer, specialising in coastal environments. She will be joining our marine project consultancy team, based in Raglan.

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“Each of our scientists have their own scientific specialty and work interest. We continuously aim to diversify our overall team expertise whilst maintaining a strong coastal and ocean numerical modelling capability,” says MetOcean Solutions’ Marine Project Consultancy Manager Dr Alexis Berthot.

“We are really pleased to welcome Mariana to the team as her experience with a range of wave, current and sediment transport models and her solution-focused attitude will be a great asset for MetOcean.”

Following a MSc in Geological Oceanography at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Mariana recently completed her PhD in Coastal Oceanography at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Her research was focused on dredge plume dynamics in ports and harbours to guide improvements in predictive models and the planning of dredging operations.

With expertise on hydrodynamics and sediment transport modelling, Mariana’s research interests concern the ecological effects of turbidity variations, wave modelling in estuarine areas and effects of waves and river discharge on coastal morphodynamics.

Mariana is excited to be joining MetOcean Solutions and to contribute to the marine project consultancy team:

“MetOcean is an amazing group of experts who are passionate about what they do. Through continuous development and collaboration with external partners and within our teams, the company delivers a wide range of solutions and is a reference point in the sector. It’s fantastic to be part of this organisation.”



Meet us at SIOP 2018 in Chile

Next week, Dr Aitana Forcén-Vázquez, MetOcean Solutions’ Technical Support Liaison, will be at the International Seminar of Engineering and Port Operations - SIOP 2018 in Chile.

“We are delighted to come for the second time to the International Seminar of Engineering and Port Operation, in its eighth edition, organised by ‘Empresa Portuaria Talcahuano San Vicente’,” says Aitana. “In this occasion, we will discuss about long waves and how its forecast helps port operations.

“We will discuss the challenges behind an accurate forecast and solutions we have been implementing on this side of the Pacific for the last 10 years.”

 
 

At the conference, Aitana will present ‘Long waves forecast supporting port operations’ in the ‘Natural and anthropic risks in port areas’ session.

Long waves cause problems in harbours and terminals in many ports around the world, including New Zealand and Chile. These waves can't be seen as they are usually masked by the sea and swell waves. Since 2005, MetOcean Solutions has been providing a specialist service to help port operators better manage long wave problems. Having studied long waves at more than 35 locations worldwide, Metocean’s science team has experience with every type of long wave-affected port, and has developed a range of effective forecasting solutions that are ready to deploy.

The SIOP 2018 is being held 7-9 November in Talcahuano, Chile. The conference is build around the theme ‘Ports for the future’, an opportunity to discuss strategies regarding the upcoming challenges in the port industry.

Click here for more information on the seminar.

For more information on long waves forecast, contact us at enquiries@metocean.co.nz.

Oscar Key joins MetOcean Solutions

We are very pleased to welcome Oscar Key to MetOcean Solutions. Oscar is a senior scientific developer and is part of our services and development team in Raglan. In his role, he will work on improving backend Application Programming Interface (API) capabilities at MetOcean Solutions.

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With nearly ten years’ experience in a wide variety of fields, including yacht tracking, medical imaging and analysing financial data, Oscar is an exceptional programmer used to writing code under tight performance constraints.

Following a BSc (Honours I) in Computer Science at Otago University, Oscar has developed machine learning systems for large data search indices, as well as many APIs in C, C++, and Python. Along with the APIs themselves, he’s handled deployment and regression testing with Docker, Vagrant, and similar tools. His experience also involves embedded programming, protocol implementation, high-performance image processing, bytecode disassembly and reverse engineering, as well as GUI development.

“I'm looking forward to joining a great team,” says Oscar. “We'll be working hard together to improve MetOcean's APIs.”

MetOcean at Australian Coastal and Oceans Modelling and Observations Workshop 2018

Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions and Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist.

Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions and Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist.

Last week the Australian Coastal and Oceans Modelling and Observations Workshop (ACOMO) 2018 was held in Canberra, Australia

MetOcean Solutions’ Chief Scientist Prof Moninya Roughan, part of the organising committee, says ACOMO workshops have been a great success over the years, engaging initiatives to integrate marine observations and to grown national coastal ocean modelling capability.

“This year’s conference saw more involvement and representation from marine industry showing the relevance of ocean modelling and observing to supporting blue economy growth aspirations.

Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions and Sally Garrett, Research Lead New Zealand Defence Technology Agency.

Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions and Sally Garrett, Research Lead New Zealand Defence Technology Agency.

“The Moana Project, a five year project recently awarded through the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Fund, was conceived through an industry-community-research partnership initiative, bringing together the seafood sector, Te Ao Māori knowledge and oceanographic research organisations.”

MetOcean was also represented by Research Lead Sally Garrett from New Zealand Defence Technology Agency who gave a presentation on the Southern Ocean wave project. It is a collaborative effort between MetOcean Solutions and the New Zealand Defence Force to deploy the southernmost wave buoy that has ever been moored in the world, located about 11 km south of Campbell Island.

The full abstract of Garrett’s talk is provided below.


New Wave Observations in the Southern Ocean

Tom Durrant*, Peter McComb*, Jorge Perez*, Henrique Rapizo*, Sally Garrett^

The combination of persistent westerly winds, and the largely unbroken expanse of sea in the Southern Ocean, produces potentially enormous fetches, resulting in higher wave heights for longer periods than any other body of water. Due to the harsh ocean environment and remote location, it is also the least observed of any major ocean. While satellite altimeter data can be used to estimate the surface variance, the wave spectral characteristics cannot be measured remotely, and consequently the directional wave spectra in Southern Ocean are poorly sampled and not well understood.

In February 2017, MetOcean deployed a buoy off Campbell Island. At 52.7S, this is the Southernmost moored deployment to be made in the Southern Ocean. In February of this year, a second deployment was made at the site as part of a wider program in collaboration with the New Zealand Defence Force and Spoondrift which includes an additional five drifting buoys. These buoys complement the Australian SOFS mooring at 47S, and are collectively providing the first high quality in-situ wave observations in the Southern Ocean. They are already measuring phenomenal conditions, with the highest recorded wave in the Southern Hemisphere recorded in May of this year at 24.8m. These data are being used to quantitatively assess the performance of recent improvements in global wave models. An analysis of the relative importance of large scale ocean currents will also be presented. This project will inform the design of next generation of NZ Navy vessels supporting patrol responsibilities in the Southern Ocean.

*MetOcean Solutions. ^New Zealand Defence Technology Agency.

Check out the Southern Ocean wave buoy direct data feed.

An operational hydrodynamic forecast model for Tasman and Golden Bay

MetOcean Solutions has recently operationalised a high resolution hydrodynamic model for Tasman and Golden Bay, New Zealand.

The underlying forecast data is produced by a state-of-the-art unstructured hydrodynamic model (SCHISM), with offshore 3D boundary conditions sourced from a 3-km ROMS implementation of the central NZ region.  This new capability was developed as part of the Sustainable Seas Project together with the  Cawthron Institute and NIWA and will provide valuable information necessary to manage contamination risk in the aquaculture industry and beach water quality forecasts relevant to regional councils and recreational beach users.

General Manager MetOcean Solutions Dr Brett Beamsley says MetOcean Solutions’ science team has many years of experience with the SCHISM model (previously SELFE); applied primarily in high value consultancy services or research projects, with the unstructured domain capability key to representing complex nearshore bathymetries in a computationally efficient manner.

“This particular project has leveraged the strong scientific capabilities in all three research partners (NIWA, Cawthron and MetOcean Solutions) and illustrates what can be achieved when working together collaboratively.”

"SCHISM is a valuable addition to our operational hydrodynamic forecast system,” says MetOcean Solutions’ physical oceanographer Phellipe Couto. “It allows our model applications to account for an even better representation of topographic features (e.g. islands, embayments, navigation channels and tidal inlets) and engineering structures (e.g. ports and breakwaters) that pose critical aspects in the modulation of the hydrodynamic regime surrounding nearshore and coastal waters.

“In practical terms, this enable us to resolve multi-scale geophysical processes such as tides, river plume dispersion and storm surge with an extra degree of accuracy and therefore provide better forecast solutions to the end user.

“The impact of storm surges on coastal areas has become highly topical particularly in the last year and the rapid deployment of this type of operational modelling infrastructure has the potential to more accurately predict coastal nearshore water levels.

SCHISM model grid resolution from approximately 10 m nearshore to 1.5 km offshore.

SCHISM model grid resolution from approximately 10 m nearshore to 1.5 km offshore.

“In this particular project, we developed a model grid with resolution varying from 10 m in the nearshore to approximately 1.5 km offshore, defining estuaries, intertidal areas, channels, streams, major rivers and relevant beaches. The model is a full 3-dimensional implementation with atmospheric and oceanic initial and boundary conditions provided by high resolution in-house models developed for the Central New Zealand oceanic domain encompassing North and South Islands’ coastal areas around the Cook Strait. We also included fluvial discharges from 11 different rivers forecasted by NIWA’s hydrological modelling capability (TOPNET) as an important forcing to our model.”

“SCHISM presents a powerful new capability for Metocean Solutions in high resolution operational coastal hydrodynamics,” says MetOcean Solutions’ Development Manager Dr Tom Durrant. “This is the first of several planned implementations.”

The project ‘Near real-time forecasting using operational oceanographic forecasting of contamination risk to reduce commercial shellfish harvest and beach closures’ is a collaborative effort of experts from the Cawthron Institute, NIWA and MetOcean Solutions. A project to build connected land-river-sea models and provide a timely risk assessment of contamination to beaches and shellfish growing areas. For more information on Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge click here.

The SCHISM model for Tasman and Golden Bay is freely available at MetOceanView.

For more information visit www.metoceanview.com or contact us at enquiries@metocean.co.nz


MetOcean Solutions, BENTOS and OMC International at the AAPA Convention 2018 in Valparaiso, Chile.

At the 107th American Association of Port Authorities Annual Convention next week, MetOcean Solutions together with recognised world-leader in real time under keel clearance management technology, OMC International, and local partner BENTOS will be presenting tailored solutions designed to increase safety and efficiency of marine operations.

“Together we have a skill set that allows us to provide comprehensive services, maximising the benefits to ports and harbours,” says Sébastien Boulay, MetOcean Solutions’ Business Development Scientist.

“The environmental conditions met by the ports along the Chilean coast are very similar to those in New Zealand. Our expertise of the oceanic conditions and their operational impact in the Southern Pacific, brought by decades of studying the New Zealand and Australia wave climates, is now available to the maritime industry in Chile for those willing to improve their operational safety and efficiency.”

The APPA Annual Convention is the largest port event in the Americas and this year is hosted by Port of Valparaíso and American Association of Ports Authorities, an alliance of ports from Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States. After several editions, the event returns to Latin America and for the first time it is held in South America on 7-10 October in Valparaíso, Chile, gathering key worldwide industry leaders to discuss the main port projects.

Click here for more information on the convention.



$11.5 million grant to help safeguard New Zealand’s blue economy

A new research project spearheaded by MetService’s oceanography division, MetOcean Solutions will shed new light on the performance of New Zealand’s oceans to support the seafood sector.

The Moana Project was today awarded $11.5 million over five years from the Government’s Endeavour Fund.

MetService Chief Executive Officer Peter Lennox says the grant is an endorsement of the capability and expertise that exists within MetService, and the contribution the State-owned enterprise is continuing to make in advancing the knowledge of New Zealand industry and communities.

General Manager MetOcean Solutions Dr Brett Beamsley says there is a significant lack of knowledge about our marine environment despite the ocean providing vital social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits for New Zealanders.

“As a marine nation, New Zealand derives wealth and wellbeing from the ocean and yet, our oceans are very poorly understood.

“Our seafood sector alone is worth $4.18b annually to New Zealand’s economy and its resources are directly threatened by rising ocean temperatures and marine heatwaves.

“To safeguard these benefits for future generations we need to understand how our marine environment works so we can better manage our resources in a time of rapid ocean warming.

“This project will combine Māori knowledge, seafood sector data, cutting-edge ocean sensing, and advanced numerical modelling to provide a reliable ocean forecast system to support marine industries.”

The proposal was led by MetOcean Solutions’ Chief Scientist Professor Moninya Roughan who says: “The Tasman Sea is warming at one of the fastest rates on Earth, four times the global average, yet we currently have limited ability to comprehensively measure, monitor and predict the state of New Zealand’s oceans.

“Our marine industries are operating in the dark but through the Moana Project, all that will change.

“This programme will create a new, dynamic and more integrated marine knowledge base - reducing uncertainty, maximising opportunity and preparing for future ocean changes.”

The Moana Project is a cross-institutional programme involving all the oceanographic research organisations in New Zealand, collaborating with international experts and supported by a wide range of end-users in industry and government.

Professor Roughan says: “We are partnering with the seafood sector to develop a low-cost ocean sensor that will revolutionise ocean data collection. The sensors will be deployed throughout New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone with support from the commercial fishing sector.

“Through a research partnership with the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, we expect the project to  facilitate the exchange of oceanographic knowledge between Te Ao Māori and western science, and empower engagement in coastal management and policy fora.”

Research organisations involved include MetOcean Solutions, the Cawthron Institute, NIWA, and Victoria University of Wellington, Auckland, Waikato, and Otago Universities. The team will collaborate with international experts from Australia (the University of New South Wales), and the United States. 

In addition, the Moana Project has support from technology partners (including ZebraTech) and a wide range of ocean-information end-users, including the New Zealand Defence Technology Agency, the NZ Seafood sector (including Seafood NZ, Paua Industry Council, Deepwater Group, NZ Rock Lobster Industry Council, Terra Moana), the Ministry for Primary Industries and Regional Councils.  

MetOcean Solutions was fully acquired by State-owned Enterprise MetService in September 2017.

For more information, contact Deborah Gray, Communications Manager at deborah.gray@metservice.com or by calling +64 027 3700 700.

 

About the Moana Project

The seafood sector brings $4.18B to New Zealand annually. The resources that the sector depends on are threatened by increasing ocean temperatures. Thermal stress is one of the greatest threats to aquaculture and above average ocean temperatures are also impacting deepwater fisheries (e.g. Hoki). New Zealand has recently experienced its worst marine heatwave on record, yet nothing about these events is known.

This project will vastly improve understanding of coastal ocean circulation, connectivity and marine heatwaves to provide information that will support sustainable growth of the seafood industry (Māori, fisheries and aquaculture). Project partners will apply the internet of things concept to develop a low-cost ocean temperature profiler that will be deployed by the fishing communities ‘on all boats, at all times’. New Zealand’s first open-access ocean forecast system will be delivered by developing new ocean circulation models using a combination of advanced numerics, modern genomics and data from our smart ocean sensors.

The project will investigate the drivers and impacts of marine heatwaves so that they can be predicted, and investigate ocean transport pathways and population connectivity of kaimoana species. This project will provide a step-change in the oceanic information available to the seafood sector and the broader community, accessible through the open-access user-friendly datasets and tools developed.

This information will help the New Zealand seafood sector retain its competitive edge in a rapidly changing ocean impacted by marine temperature extremes and shifting currents. Project partners will build bridges to ensure this new knowledge informs regional marine policy and management.

This project is anchored in mātauranga Māori through the partners’ relationship with Whakatōhea, facilitating exchange of oceanographic knowledge between Te Ao Māori and western science and serve as an exemplar for other coastal iwi.

 About MetService

MetService is New Zealand’s National Meteorological Service. MetOcean Solutions was fully acquired by State-owned Enterprise MetService in September 2017.

As a State-Owned Enterprise its core purpose is to protect the safety of life and property in New Zealand while operating as a commercial business. MetService recently emerged as one of the highest rated agencies in Colmar Brunton’s annual survey of reputation in the public sector.  http://www.colmarbrunton.co.nz/opinion-does-our-public-sector-measure-up/



Dr Alexis Berthot as MetOcean Solutions’ Marine Project Consultancy Manager

MetOcean Solutions has appointed Dr Alexis Berthot as its new Marine Project Consultancy Manager. In this role, Alexis will manage high value scientific consultancy services, leading a team of expert scientists with vast oceanography experience.

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“I am really excited about the opportunities that lie ahead,” says Alexis. “Together with the Meteorological Service of New Zealand (MetService) and MetraWeather, MetOcean Solutions has strengthened its collaboration with external partners, building a joint effort to provide integrated  solutions to our clients, I am really looking forward to facilitate this initiative in the marine project consultancy space.”

“MetOcean Solutions is an unique, amazing group of people with not only a vivid passion for science, the ocean and the weather, but also with a strong sense of teamwork, striving for collective achievements. It is a privilege to be part of this team. ”

“Having scientific research, project consulting and operational forecasting teams working closely together is a highly successful structure that promotes the sharing of expertise across the MetOcean group and provides scientifically robust solutions for a whole spectrum of projects.”

Over the last year Alexis has been representing MetOcean Solutions in Australia, looking after the company's Australian clients and providing technical leadership to a wide range of coastal and maritime engineering projects.

Originally from France and passionate about the ocean, Alexis’ academic and professional background is in physical oceanography and coastal science. Following an MSc in Marine Environmental Sciences from the University of Marseille, France, he completed a PhD in Physical Oceanography at the University of Western Australia. He has worked in coastal and ocean research and engineering consultancy for more than 15 years, as a principal numerical modeller, technical lead or project director.

Alexis can be reached at a.berthot@metocean.co.nz. For more information on MetOcean Solutions’ scientific consultancy services, contact us at enquiries@metocean.co.nz.

MetOcean Solutions’ wavespectra library finalist for New Zealand Open Source Awards

MetOcean Solutions has been announced as a finalist in the 2018 New Zealand Open Source Awards. The nomination is for the company’s open source library for processing ocean wave data, released earlier this year (more information here).

"We are very proud to be nominated for this Award," says Dr Brett Beamsley, General Manager MetOcean. “We leverage from open source initiatives in our daily operations. It is great to contribute back to the scientific community, strengthening ocean scientists collaboration.”

“Our Wavespectra library is a powerful collection of tools which was created through the collaborative efforts of our science team, following their years of dealing with ocean wave spectral data.”

A sea state can be thought of as the combination of many different wave components, each of which with its own frequency and direction. The ocean wave spectrum (bottom panel) describes the relative amount of energy in each of these different wave components. Wavespectra allows easily converting multiple spectra into known statistical wave parameters such as significant wave height (top panel).

A sea state can be thought of as the combination of many different wave components, each of which with its own frequency and direction. The ocean wave spectrum (bottom panel) describes the relative amount of energy in each of these different wave components. Wavespectra allows easily converting multiple spectra into known statistical wave parameters such as significant wave height (top panel).

The Open Source Awards recognises outstanding work done with free and open source software and the artistic, scientific and social outcomes it delivers in New Zealand. The 2018 awards will look at the successes over the last two years.

MetOcean Solutions’ Wavespectra library is one of four finalists in the ‘Open Source use in Science’ category.

Senior Physical Oceanographer Dr Rafael Guedes says Wavespectra is a library for dealing with multi-dimensional ocean wave spectra data with the code focused on speed and efficiency for large spectral datasets, and is of value to scientists, students and consultants.

“It provides several methods for assimilating and processing wave spectra into simplified statistical wave parameters. By making this library freely available, we recognise the value of open sourcing, encouraging researchers to become involved, further develop and improve the code.”

For more information about MetOcean Solutions’ Wavespectra, the documentation is available at wavespectra.readthedocs.io/en/docs/ and the GitHub repository at github.com/metocean/wavespectra.

The winners of the 2018 New Zealand Open Source Awards will be announced on 23rd October 2018.

Read more about the nomination on the New Zealand Open Source Awards website.

MetOcean Solutions is a division of state-owned enterprise, Meteorological Service of New Zealand (MetService). MetService is New Zealand’s national weather authority, providing comprehensive weather information services, to help protect the safety and well-being of New Zealanders and the economy.

Meet us at New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference & Technical Day

This week, Prof Moninya Roughan is presenting the Moana Project at New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference & Technical Day in Wellington.

“NZ has recently experienced the worst marine heatwave on record, yet we know almost nothing about the magnitude and dynamics of the event, let alone the drivers and impacts,” says Prof Roughan. “Ocean circulation drives the transport of larvae, determines population connectivity and impacts fisheries recruitment, all of which are being impacted by ocean warming and changes in circulation patterns.”

“The comprehensive understanding of our marine environment, and the increased capability in ocean hydrodynamic observing and modelling, will help us evaluate threats and better manage fisheries, aquaculture, and the wider marine environment, and improve marine biosecurity, contributing to future-proofing our valuable seafood industries in the face of environmental change.”

The presentation on 'Ocean circulation, marine heatwaves and New Zealand seafood' discusses our understanding of NZ’s ocean circulation, the lack of fundamental knowledge of complex ocean dynamics, and the drivers and impacts of marine heatwaves.

New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference & Technical Day, hosted by Seafood New Zealand, is being held 1-2 August at Te Papa, Wellington. The conference is build around the theme 'Our people, our promise', representing an opportunity to discuss sustainability, innovation and environmentally responsible practices in the seafood industry.

For more information, visit the conference website: www.seafood.co.nz/conference-2018

Meet us at the NZ Marine Sciences Society Conference

MetOcean Solutions will be at the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society Annual Conference in Napier this week.

At the conference, MetOcean Solutions Project Manager Dr Brett Beamsley will present 'Near real-time forecasting of contamination risks to shellfish harvests and beaches' in the ‘Innovating through Technology’ session. This talk presents results of a research program involving Cawthron, NIWA and Metocean Solutions that contributes to the National Science Challenges through the Sustainable Seas – Valuable Seas research program. The goal of the project is to develop and supply near real-time forecasts of coastal water quality by combining catchment models with a high-resolution coastal hydrodynamic model to forecast contamination risk. Understanding the risk profile for beaches and aquaculture areas will allow better management of these valuable assets, leading to safer recreational use and increased productivity respectively.

Example of particle tracking simulation using MetOceanTrack.

Example of particle tracking simulation using MetOceanTrack.

In the ‘Special Session: Marine Biosecurity on the Frontline’, Brett will present 'Understanding the spread of nonindigenous species', showing MetOceanTrack, an interactive application that has been developed with the Ministry for Primary Industry to model the potential spread of an organism or contaminant around the coastline of New Zealand. The application integrates a particle tracking model that simulates an array of biological responses (die off, life stages, etc.) within both 3-dimensional regional and local scale hydrodynamics, represented by a 10-year hindcast.

Bathymetry of the Waikato Coastal Marine Area (east and west)

Bathymetry of the Waikato Coastal Marine Area (east and west)

In addition, Oceanographer Dr Sarah Gardiner will present ‘Habitat mapping for the Waikato Region Coastal Marine Area: Bathymetry and substrate type’ in the ‘State of the Marine Environment’ session. Effective management of coastal resources relies on an understanding of the state of, and the impact of pressures on, the coastal marine area. This study summarises the state of knowledge of seabed habitats within the Hauraki Gulf and the comparatively sparsely studied Waikato Coastal Marine Area west coast, to provide a single habitat and bathymetry resource for the entire Waikato coast (east and west). The bathymetric and substrate data have been used to identify what type of ecological communities are likely to be present, especially ecologically valuable areas.

The conference, which is being held 3-5 July at the Napier War Memorial Conference Centre, has as its theme ‘Weaving the Strands' - drawing together data, disciplines, and perspectives to tell the New Zealand marine story.

For more information, visit the conference website at www.nzmss2018.co.nz or contact us at enquires@metocean.co.nz

 

João Marcos Souza joins MetOcean Solutions

We are delighted to welcome Dr João Marcos Souza to MetOcean Solutions. João is a physical oceanographer with vast experience in hydrodynamic ocean modelling, and will be leading the ocean modelling component of the Moana Project, based in our Raglan Office.

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“João is a recognised expert in data assimilation modelling, and has strong international connections in the ocean modelling and observing community, an important link for Moana Project,” says Prof Moninya Roughan, MetOcean Solutions' Chief Scientist and Moana Project Director. “He brings a unique capability in ROMS Data Assimilation, and we look forward to advancing New Zealand’s contribution to international efforts in ocean data assimilation.”

With more than 15 years of experience, his expertise is in interdisciplinary ocean processes and data assimilative hydrodynamic simulations. In his most recent research position, João was the principal investigator on several projects, including the development of an ocean reanalysis using the ROMS model with 4-dimensional variational data assimilation to investigate predictability of ocean forecast systems, analysis of deep circulation in the Gulf of Mexico using a combination of observations and model results, and range of nearshore circulation studies coupling hydrodynamic and wave models.

Following his PhD in Ocean Engineering at Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Brazil, in 2008, João completed postdoctoral internships at the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea - IFREMER in 2011 and the University of Hawaii in 2014. Complementing his science role, he has mentored undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in physical oceanography. His most recent projects include the use of lagrangian analysis methods with biogeochemical and ocean circulation modelling.

“I am very excited to join the team and hope to add value to the fantastic work being done at Metocean Solutions,” says João. “It is clear to me that great science can only be achieved through strong collaboration which is valued so highly by the MetOcean team.”

Senegal-Mauritania wave and hydrodynamic hindcast models now available

MetOcean Solutions recently completed the development of high-resolution wave and hydrodynamic hindcast models offshore Senegal and Mauritania, West Africa.

“Senegal and Mauritania coastal areas are influenced by oceanographic processes, including tides, coastal upwelling/downwelling, eddies, internal waves, and highly-energetic wave conditions,” says Senior Oceanographer Dr Séverin Thiébaut. “Our challenge was to ensure the models would adequately replicate those multi-scale processes and both ambient and extreme metocean conditions.”

The Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN) model was used to resolve the wave climate and the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) was applied to simulate the hydrodynamic circulation. The technique implemented is known as ‘dynamical downscaling’, using information from large scale global models to drive regional/nearshore models at much higher resolution. All models were carefully calibrated with measured data from several current meters and wave buoys that were made available.

The SWAN model simulates the growth, refraction and decay of each frequency-direction component of the complete sea state, providing a realistic description of the wave field as it changes in time and space.

“In order to reliably replicate the regional and nearshore wave climate, the SWAN nests were defined with increasing resolutions of 5 km, 1 km and 100 m,” explains Séverin. “This approach allows the model to resolve fine-scale features near the coast while still accounting for remote influences to the area from far-field generated swell.”

Full spectral boundaries were prescribe from the MetOcean Solutions’ global wave model to the 5-km SWAN domain. The latter was used to force the boundaries of the 1-km SWAN domain, which in turn was applied to the boundaries of the high-resolution 100-m SWAN domain (Figure 1). All model nests were simulated in series over 39 years (1979 to 2017).

Figure 1: Snapshot of modelled significant wave height from the 5-km resolution SWAN parent nest off the Senegal/Mauritania coasts, delimited by the outer rectangle on (a). Extents of the 1-km resolution child nest are represented by the outer and inner rectangles on (a) and (b), respectively. Extents of the 100-m resolution child nest are represented by the inner rectangle on (b).

Figure 1: Snapshot of modelled significant wave height from the 5-km resolution SWAN parent nest off the Senegal/Mauritania coasts, delimited by the outer rectangle on (a). Extents of the 1-km resolution child nest are represented by the outer and inner rectangles on (a) and (b), respectively. Extents of the 100-m resolution child nest are represented by the inner rectangle on (b).

This ROMS model is an open source state of the art ocean model which has been used widely in the scientific community and industry for a range of ocean basin, regional and coastal scales. ROMS has a curvilinear horizontal coordinate system and solves the hydrostatic, primitive equations subject to a free-surface condition. Its terrain-following vertical coordinate system results in accurate modelling of areas of variable bathymetry, allowing the vertical resolution to be inversely proportional to the local depth. Two ROMS nests were defined with horizontal resolutions of approximately 6 km and 2 km for the regional and local model grid domains, respectively, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: ROMS (a) regional (6 km) and (b) local (2km) computational model grids. The red lines illustrate the transect corresponding to the vertical sigma grid structures provided in the following figure. Note the bathymetry is represented with distinct colorbars in (a) and (b).

Figure 2: ROMS (a) regional (6 km) and (b) local (2km) computational model grids. The red lines illustrate the transect corresponding to the vertical sigma grid structures provided in the following figure. Note the bathymetry is represented with distinct colorbars in (a) and (b).

The terrain-following grid configuration consisted of 30 and 23 vertical levels with increased resolution at surface and near-bottom to better represent the boundary layers (Figure 3). The model was produced over 25 years (1993 to 2017), delivering 3-dimensional current, water temperature and salinity and sea surface elevation data.

Figure 3: Representation of the 30 vertical sigma levels of the regional grid domain over a cross-shelf transect along the latitude of 16.064०N.

Figure 3: Representation of the 30 vertical sigma levels of the regional grid domain over a cross-shelf transect along the latitude of 16.064०N.

Hindcast datasets offer key baseline information for project scoping, offshore and coastal design, project planning and environmental impact assessments.

For further information about MetOcean Solutions hindcast datasets, please contact hindcast@metocean.co.nz.