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NF / GEBCO Training Programme

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Nippon Foundation/GEBCO Scholars attend NOAA workshops

A Nippon Foundation/GEBCO training programme Year 13 family photo at the NOAA Open House with Capt. Andrew ArmstrongThe Nippon Foundation/GEBCO Training Programme is a twelve-month course leading to a Postgraduate Certificate in Ocean Bathymetry (POCB). It is held at the University of New Hampshire, USA and aims to build a new generation of seafloor mappers.

The Year 13 scholars recently had the opportunity to attend the first NOAA Open House on Nautical Cartography held at the Ocean Science Center in Maryland, USA.

The Open House was an opportunity for the six scholars from Egypt, Japan, Madagascar, Mauritius, Russia and Thailand to meet engineers, representatives from government agencies and many international charting officers that work hand in hand to provide nautical charts worldwide.

Presentations and poster sessions during the day focused on four topics: ‘From Hydrography to Cartography’, ‘Nautical Products’, ‘Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure’, and ‘Databases and Innovative Cartography’.

The project manager of the Nippon Foundation / GEBCO training programme, Dr. Rochelle Wigley and Dr Karen Marks from the NOAA Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry, Chair of the GEBCO Technical Sub-Committee on Ocean Mapping, gave the opening address focusing on the GEBCO and its contribution to the future of the ocean mapping. The opportunity was taken to formally introduce the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project as well as the other GEBCO related activities that are planned to improve knowledge of our oceans.

The scholars also attended the Third Annual Workshop on Nautical Chart Adequacy, a three day training programme jointly organised by the NOAA Office of Coast Survey and the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center, University of New Hampshire.

The workshop is designed to introduce the use of satellite images and maritime automatic identification system (AIS) with an emphasis on cartography and the ability to produce charts following NOAA's procedure. The participants acquired knowledge on chart production at NOAA, reviewed the NOAA charted symbols and abbreviations, the AIS and satellite derived bathymetry (SDB) concepts and they had an overview of the chart adequacy procedure.

With the practical approach of the training, the participants increased their experience on using satellite imagery for land/water separation, using AIS to identify safe areas for navigation, deriving near shore SDB and how to conduct a chart adequacy evaluation.

A visit of the Gateway to NOAA and the Science on a Sphere was included in the participants activities to allow them learn more about how data and charts can be used as a tool for both raising awareness among the general public and for decision making.

The Year 13 students are now about to end their year of training. The Year 14 class will start their adventure soon. The programme is funded by the Nippon Foundation of Japan.

The Nippon Foundation

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