Improving the flow of critical information to key stakeholder

The social relevance of measurement and sampling at sea, and the need to disseminate the results as widely and in as user-friendly a manner as possible, cannot be overestimated.29 Improving flow to key stakeholders is about user expanding engagement. It builds on interoperability and supports the objective for sustainability. The key issues are understanding user requirements and providing timely, trusted data. This needs strong communication, not only in the provision of data, but also in the gathering of feedback. In particular, the state of the ocean is critical to human health and welfare and timely access to trusted information sources is essential for disaster and emergency response. The benefits of tsunami warning systems are an example30. For scientists, the advanced two-way communications may be from sensors to computers for monitoring remote sensors or autonomous operations31 on cabled observatories. The RCN will engage to improve the flow of information starting with understanding key requirements through contributions to ongoing activities. For example, GEO has done extensive work on user requirements through its User Interface Committee32 and only a small portion of this relates to oceans. This needs to be expanded through RCN support to GEO in collaboration with GOOS, IOOS and others. The RCN will also address global perspectives of the flow of information – how can it be improved and what are the critical blocks. Innovative approaches will be encouraged. GEONETCast/DEVCOCast33 are examples of innovative approaches by GEO for global distribution. Transmission of data to users via mobile phone is another area the RCN should encourage for improved communication. The RCN, with Steering Committee input, will decide if and at what level it should engage in this area. The other key aspect of effective flow to users is easy real-time access to comprehensive and trusted data sources. This was discussed above under sustainability and it is a common theme that the RCN will engage from a global perspective, creating workshops and outreach for further dialogue among observation system operations and users.