NOAA's Integrated Coral Observing Network (ICON) is a global monitoring project funded by the Coral Reef Conservation Program, the High Performance Computing and Communications office, and the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, Florida, where it is based.
The ICON Vision
The ICON vision is to serve as a model for all of NOAA in establishing a high quality in situ coral reef monitoring network and for the integration of near real-time in situ, satellite, radar, and other data for ecological forecasting in coral reef ecosystems.
For the next few years, the ICON Program will be focusing upon:
- Integrating data from diverse independent sources, especially for developing ecological forecasting models for use by marine protected area managers and researchers.
- Ensuring consistency with the Integrated Ocean Observing System.
- Forging international partnerships.
- Facilitating development and transition to operations of promising relevant in situ instrumentation.
An International Network of Meteorological and Oceanographic Monitoring Stations
The growing ICON network is currently comprised of stations in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; La Parguera, Puerto Rico; Little Cayman Island, Cayman Islands; Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas; and Saipan, CNMI (in 2010-2011). New stations, including in Belize, are planned for the Caribbean through collaboration with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center. The stations are designed to deliver hourly measurements of important meteorological and oceanographic variables and will eventually serve to establish longterm databases at the world’s most threatened and important coral reef areas.
What do the Stations Measure?
The standard meteorological station measures air temperature, wind speed and gusts, wind direction, barometric pressure, precipitation, light (above and below water), sea temperature, salinity, and state of tide. Other instruments, such as the Pulse Amplitude Modulating Fluorometer, and a sensor for measuring partial pressure of carbon dioxide, have been deployed for research on coral stress and growth at the Bahamas and Puerto Rico stations.
Click here to download a two-page brochure on the ICON Network.
Click here to go to the ICON ecoforecasting site for downloading data.