In early May, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey Deputy Hydrographer John Nyberg, Ph.D., was elected as a director of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) during its Third Assembly. The six-year term begins in September and promises to be a critical time for the evolution of digital navigation infrastructure and capacity worldwide, with the implementation of the S-100 hydrographic model. John was nominated by the secretaries of commerce, defense, and state. His role will be to serve as part of the directing committee which is composed of a Secretary General and two directors to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization in order to advance the goals of the Member States.
“We are honored that John was elected to serve in this capacity,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “For years he has led efforts to modernize access to nautical charts and ensured our stakeholders are well informed.”
The IHO is an intergovernmental organization that works to ensure all the world’s seas, oceans and navigable waters are surveyed and charted. Every three years, 98 member states are invited to convene at their Assembly to make decisions on proposed initiatives.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for John and reflects the esteem in which the United States and NOAA are held in the international hydrographic community,” said Rear Adm. Benjamin K. Evans, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey.
In addition to electing a new director and re-electing the Secretary General, the Assembly tackled other topics, many of which are NOAA priorities. Key outcomes for NOAA include passing a budget and work program to guide the organization in realizing the next generation navigation services (S-100 data framework), approval of a U.S. led proposal to explore expanded resources for global capacity, and strengthening U.S. leadership and visibility in the hydrographic community.
Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator Richard Spinrad, Ph.D., signed a memorandum of understanding reaffirming NOAA’s relationship with the International Hydrographic Organization as the host of the organization’s Data Center for Digital Bathymetry. This received positive feedback from the IHO Secretary General at the Assembly.
Staff also showcased a selection of more than 1,000 datasets on NOAA’s Science on a Sphere® for audiences to visualize and appreciate a variety of earth science topics, including the role of hydrography in sustainable development. This interactive format was a first for the Assembly and the NOAA exhibit took first prize in the Member State exhibition.