About AOOS

Vision: Safety, Economy, Environment

As the “eye on Alaska’s coasts and oceans,” AOOS represents a network of critical ocean and coastal observations, data and information products that aid our understanding of the status of Alaska’s marine ecosystem and allow stakeholders to make better decisions about their use of the marine environment.


The mission of AOOS is to address regional and national needs for ocean information, gather specific data on key coastal and ocean variables, and ensure timely and sustained dissemination and availability of these data


  • Support navigation safety, weather, climate, and marine forecasting, marine commerce, energy siting and production, economic development, ecosystem-based marine and coastal resource management, national defense, public safety, and public outreach training and education;
  • Promote greater public awareness and stewardship of the Nation’s ocean and coastal resources and the general public welfare;
  • Enable advances in scientific understanding to support the sustainable use, conservation, management, and understanding of healthy ocean and coastal resources; and
  • Improve the Nation’s capability to measure, track, explain, and predict events related directly and indirectly to weather and climate change, natural climate variability, and interactions between the oceanic and atmospheric environments.


To achieve these goals, AOOS will:

  • Identify priorities for coastal and ocean observations and information based on the needs of users of Alaska’s coasts and oceans;
  • Coordinate State, Federal, local and private interests at a regional level to meet the priority needs of user groups in the Alaska region;
  • Identify gaps in existing ocean observing activities and data, make recommendations for needed enhancements to both Federal and non-Federal assets, and fill gaps when appropriate;
  • Increase efficiencies of existing ocean observing activities and data;
  • Enhance the usefulness of ocean observations for a wider variety of users; and
  • Integrate observations and data through data management, planning, coordination and facilitation.

AOOS 10-year Build Out Plan

In 2011, AOOS and the other 10 ocean observing regions were asked to develop a build out plan depicting a bare-bones observing system in 10 years.  This plan was created through stakeholder and partner input to address needs specific to Alaska, and was not funding-dependent. AOOS will use the plan to work towards these goals as funding and partnership opportunities become available. Read the AOOS 10 year build out plan.

Organizational Structure

AOOS is the umbrella regional association for three Alaska regional observing networks (Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and Arctic) being developed as part of the national Integrated Ocean Observation System (IOOS) under the National Ocean Planning Partnership (NOPP).

AOOS internal structure appears below.

Memoranda of Agreement

In 2005, a Memorandum of Agreement establishing AOOS and describing its functions and responsibilities was approved in concept at a meeting of the AOOS Board November 24, 2003, and ratified in 2005. Download 2005 MOA

The 2005 MOA was updated in 2009. Download 2009 MOA

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