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Newsletter #6

Dear BioGeoSCAPES Community, 

We have so many exciting updates to share with you since our last newsletter in January 2023! It has been a productive year of collaboration and coordination for our community. The NSF AccelNet award has supported two webinars and the first international science planning workshop. The early career BioGeoSCAPES Fellows program was launched in the fall of 2023 with representation from 9 nations. The Science Plan writing groups are being  formed and recruitment efforts continue for champions of BioGeoSCAPES to join working groups, which will launch in early 2024. An AccelNet Project Coordinator was also hired, Leslie Wallace Auerbach, who joins the group with extensive prior project management experience from Vanderbilt University.  We look forward to sharing the work of the AccelNet BioGeoSCAPES with the broader community at the Ocean Sciences Meeting Town Hall in February 2024. Planning is also underway for additional workshops in the coming year, including a convening of our first Fellows cohort and the launch of a second Fellows cohort. Keep reading below for more details on the development of the BioGeoSCAPES program and how you can become a champion

Looking back on 2023

Webinars: In preparation for the various in-person workshops planned in the AccelNet (Science planning, data intercalibration, data management and archiving, and modeling) a set of webinars/lectures/presentations and Q&A have been organized. So far, we have had two Webinars: 1.“Organizing intercalibration efforts for BioGeoSCAPES: a Panel Discussion” on January 25th, 2023; and 2. “Virtual Panel/Webinar on International Data Management and Repository Collaborations for BioGeoSCAPES”  on August 30th, 2023.  These events have included invited panel discussions, and have convened scientists and data managers from around the world to forge connections and begin to address the challenges in preparation for the workshops and for the BioGeoSCAPES launch. 

We continue to organize these webinars. Some of the practical topics we are presently discussing include: “How do we do reproducible OMICs 101?”; “How to sample for trace metals without a trace metal clean rosette”; and “How do we create a data system that is interoperable and discoverable across international boundaries”. We are also planning science talks to highlight how combining chemical, omics, biological and physical data sets can be very powerful. 

BioGeoSCAPES Fellows: We launched the NSF AccelNet funded BioGeoSCAPES Fellows program. This program brings together an international, interdisciplinary cohort of early career (postdocs and senior graduate students) researchers working in the areas of ocean metabolism, biogeochemical cycling, biological oceanography, chemical oceanography, and marine microbiology. We encouraged applicants from both experimental and modeling backgrounds and received nearly 100 applications from 20 nations. Ultimately,  11 fellows from 8 nations were chosen and have attended virtual one-on-one meet and greets, as well as monthly group meetings to share their backgrounds and opportunities for collaboration. 

International Science Plan Meeting: NSF AccelNet supported the BioGeoSCAPES international science planning workshop November 6-9, 2023, at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The event was very well attended with 72 in-person participants (pictured) and 90 virtual participants.

The objectives of this workshop were to 1) Facilitate community building and collaboration across nations and disciplines, and 2) Identify the scientific rationales for future international BioGeoSCAPES science activities and 3) Outline the BioGeoSCAPES science plan. By the end of the workshop, a collaboratively written, detailed outline of the research themes and topics of the science plan was developed with input from all workshop participants (in person and online), as well as the national meeting reports submitted, before the workshop, by 19 countries. Another outcome of the workshop was  a heeded call for participants to become champions of BioGeoSCAPES by volunteering to contribute to the science plan writing committee and/or other working groups. 

Publications: Past efforts and plans for the future of BioGeoSCAPES were shared in a recently submitted opinion manuscript to the GEOTRACES Special Issue of Oceanography, entitled The Dawn of the BioGeoSCAPES Program – Ocean Metabolism and Nutrient Cycles on a Changing Planet by Saito et al.

SCOR Working Group 170: Physiology and Rates in Microbial Oceanography (PRIMO) was announced in October 2023, with Erin Bertrand (Canada) and Robert Strzepek (Australia) named as co-chairs. PRIMO “proposes the development of a community and framework for co-designing physiological metrics as currency converters to link ‘omics datasets and biogeochemical models, a central aim of the international BioGeoSCAPES program”.

Looking forward to 2024 

Become a champion of BioGeoSCAPES: Over the next year, the BioGeoSCAPES Accelnet will help organize the writing of the Science Plan. The AccelNet will also host virtual and in-person activities to prioritize and plan foundational components of a collaborative international BioGeoSCAPES initiative, including Modeling & Data Integration, Standardization & Intercalibration, and Informatics & Data Management. These activities may include webinar series, topical workshops, and smaller group planning meetings. We are seeking YOUR collaboration and leadership to help plan these activities. The AccelNet will also include numerous education/capacity building & professional development activities. Please click here if you wish to be involved in a particular aspect of the AccelNet.

OSM24 Town Hall: Join us in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, February 20, 2024, for the AGU/ASLO Ocean Sciences Meeting. The NSF AccelNet will host a Town Hall on Accelerating Toward an International BioGeoSCAPES Program. This town hall will report BioGeoSCAPES activities associated with: 1) An international workshop held in November 2023 to develop the BioGeoSCAPES science plan. 2)  Education and training activities, funded by a US NSF AccelNet award, including the launch of the first cohort of a BioGeoSCAPES fellows program, webinars and summer schools. The town hall will disseminate information and build community engagement to facilitate BioGeoSCAPES progress and plans. 

          Date/Time: Feb. 20, 2024 12:45-13:45 CST

          Location: 225-227, Second Floor, New Orleans Convention Center, New Orleans, LA, USA

EGU General Assembly: Join us in Vienna, Austria, April 14-19, 2024, for the EGU General Assembly, Ocean Sciences Session 3.1: Understanding ocean ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles and their responses to climate change. This session invites submissions, from both observations and modeling efforts, that address the impact of historical variability and climate change on net primary production, biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and oxygen, and the ocean carbon cycle, including cascading effects for marine ecosystems to modulate biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Upcoming Workshops: The NSF AccelNet will support a number of workshops in 2024 including international workshops on Data Management and on the Status of Intercalibrations.

BioGeoSCAPES Fellows: The first cohort of Fellows will continue monthly meetings and will convene in person for a workshop/summer school in the summer of 2024. 

Stay in Touch!

Follow us on Twitter/X (@biogeoscapes) and BlueSky( Visit our website ( and scroll to the bottom to subscribe for future Newsletters and other email updates. Want to get involved? Click here to become a champion of BioGeoSCAPES!


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