Using modern techniques, the scientists of the research focus Operational Oceanography detect the environmental conditions of oceanic and coastal waters (e.g. temperature, salinity and current speed) and thus provide important information for almost all fields of marine research. The data may be used for testing computer-based models and forecasting, for understanding ecosystem processes and for quantifying the transport of matter in the sea. The measurements are carried out aboard research vessels, permanent research platforms or with the help of drifting detection buoys (drifters). The research is integrated in major national and international cooperation such as COSYNA, NOOS, GOOS and other interdisciplinary projects.
The group runs a research platform in the Wadden Sea close to the Island of Spiekeroog that has provided oceanographic, meteorological and chemical year-round data since 2002. Extreme events such as storm surges, hurricanes or unusually strong algal blooms are detected. The researchers develop new methods for assuring the quality of long-term data series. In addition, they design new measuring devices and sensors and adapt existing systems to the relevant research areas and questions.
A major focus is on the education of young scientists and engineers: Various study programmes at the University of Oldenburg and the Jade University of Applied Sciences provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge in observational oceanography.