Frank Muller-Karger

November 6, 2017

News from: GEO BON projects


I. NASA Announced the winning proposals in support of the GEO Work Programme. MBON received support for 2 activities with substantial international participation through GEO BON and AmeriGEOSS:

1) the Pole to Pole Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (P2P MBON) proposal submitted by the Americas team led by Enrique Montes (University of South Florida) (

2) A proposal submitted by a team led by Maria Kavanaugh (Oregon State University) to develop a time history and near-real-time, dynamic, global marine biogeographic ‘seascapes’. Maria will continue to work with the Ecological Marine Units effort (EMU; USGS/Roger Sayre, Esri/Dawn Wright) to cross-validate the satellite-derived and EMU classification schemes. This adds a time-evolving dimension to integrated marine biogeographic area products at the global scale. There will be an Arctic case-study, ongoing efforts along the US West Coast and Gulf of Mexico, and integration with the MBON Pole to Pole for the Americas project. (Contact:

II. MBON is working with Blue Planet on how to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in small Island states. This was a topic in several side events during the GEO week in Washington, D.C., and also on panels during the GEO Plenary. Information on the side event organized by the Blue Planet Initiative is available MBON will participate in a Blue Planet meeting in St Vincent on this topic in January 2018.

III. Reef Life Survey joins MBON:
Rick Stuart-Smith of the global Reef Life Survey has joined MBON. RLS is a leading standardised shallow reef survey using citizen scientists that is now well established.

IV: MBON Explorer Tool:

The GEO BON Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) carried out a demonstration of prototype products developed to support SDG #14 requirements at the GEO-XIV Plenary in Washington DC. The presentation was conducted by MBON investigators, Ben Best (Ecoquants), and Enrique Montes (University of South Florida). The tools were developed by a large, international multidisciplinary team of researchers led by the U.S. Sanctuaries MBON Project and the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). The session was organized by US MBON, Gabrielle Canonico (US IOOS) and Woody Turner (NASA), with MBON co-chair Frank Muller-Karger (University of South Florida).

The prototype online tools are available at They integrate biological records from OBIS and environmental observations collected by satellites (e.g., sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a concentration, biogeographic seascapes). The online tools use interactive maps that allow users to examine data by political jurisdictions including marine protected areas (MPA’s).  The SDG14 prototype tools allow users to consult biodiversity data on benthic communities, key species and broad taxonomic groups.

The results obtained with the tools can be used to see how much data there is in any one area and to assess gaps. It shows how ecosystems are changing over time with interactive information and graphics (infographics). These tools seek to assist decision- and policy-makers around the world in the development of strategies for achieving targets 14.2 (Ecosystems), 14.5 (Marine Protected Areas) and 14.a (Technology Transfer).

The SDG14 prototype tools can be accessed at

MBON news and prototype tools for SDG14