The Next Generation of Big Data Management and Digitalization to Support a Sustainable Blue Economy

Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Time: 1:30-2:50 pm

Location: Virginia Beach Convention Center

Colleen Peters, Bathymetry Data Manager, Saildrone

Corinne Bassin, Data Solutions Architect, Schmidt Ocean Institute

Meme Lobecker, Technical Sales Manager, Kongsberg Maritime

Dan Pisut, Senior Content Manager for ArcGIS Living Atlas, Esri

Katharine Weathers, Scientist and Data Content Manager, NOAA NCEI


Joel Scott, NASA



The past two decades has witnessed major developments from academia and industry in marine technology.  This has included major advancements in autonomous systems, and with more and more technologies entering the ocean space, the question is how do we plan for the storage and processing needs for the associated rapidly increasing volumes of remotely collected data?  It’s a complex question that requires a robust answer.  In the ocean community if we consider the various platforms that collect data, both autonomous and fixed, the main question is what approaches can be used to not only collect and store data but visualize and distribute data.

The goal of this panel discussion is to provide a forum for academia, government, and industry to inform the community on approaches currently being used and why collaboration by these entities around data collection is essential for the Blue Economy.

This session will task the presenters to present their views on the following questions:

1) What examples do we have of various stakeholders in the ocean community (e.g. Aquaculture, Fisheries, renewables, oceanographic research), working together to collect and share data that benefits the sustainable Blue Economy and the Research Community.

2) How can academia, government, and industry work better together?  In other words, how do we not work in silos and collaborate better. How do we share and understand needs and develop and mature capabilities to keep pace with these needs?

3) With the increase in uncrewed platforms rapidly increasing volumes of data are being collected, and onboard capability is limited. How is machine learning, AI, and digitalization (e.g., cloud-based solutions) aiding this challenging situation?

The panelists will also be asked to provide input on major initiatives their institutes or companies are leading; and/or their role in major initiatives such as Seabed 2030, the Decade for Ocean, etc. How are the major initiatives handling the challenge of big data management and digitization?



Joel Scott, Program Scientist, Ocean Biology & Biogeochemistry, NASA

Joel Scott is a program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC supporting the Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry program within the Earth Science Division of the Science Mission Directorate. Joel has formal training in radiative transfer theory and in satellite remote sensing of the earth, ocean, and atmosphere. He has extensive experience in earth system research, data science, and program building and management. Joel has focused his career on using earth observations to study aquatic ecosystems, the carbon cycle, and the elements that support life on our home planet. Joel firmly believes that NASA’s advanced earth observations, leveraged for societal benefit, will enable us to thrive under a changing climate.



Colleen Peters, Bathymetry Data Manager, Saildrone

Colleen has spent most of her professional career collecting and managing scientific data. As a Senior Survey Technician for NOAA, and a Lead Marine Technician for Schmidt Ocean Institute and OceanX, she has a breadth of experience acquiring and managing data collected with a wide variety of scientific instrumentation. She joined Saildrone in 2021, after graduating from the University of Rhode Island with a Masters in Oceanography and a Masters in Business Administration in 2019. In her current position, Colleen has played an integral role in developing the data management strategy for the collection and dissemination of bathymetry data acquired on Saildrone Surveyor and Voyager class uncrewed survey vehicles.


Corinne Bassin, Data Solutions Architect, Schmidt Ocean Institute

Corinne has worked in the private and public sectors with experience in oceanography, scientific programming, software development, and data. She has a B.S. in Math/Applied Science from UC Los Angeles and an M.S. in Interdisciplinary Marine Science from UC Santa Barbara. Following graduate school, Corinne worked as an oceanographic researcher at the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory, clocking in many hours aboard research vessels on Puget Sound. Before joining Schmidt Ocean Institute, Corinne was contracted to NOAA Fisheries as a developer on various software and analytical tools. She led the NOAA Fisheries Integrated Toolbox, and the grassroots effort to adopt strategies to encourage open-source software development across NOAA Fisheries.


Katharine Weathers, Uncrewed Systems Data Coordinator, NOAA
Katharine joined NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in 2021 as an Uncrewed Systems Data Coordinator. Katharine had previously worked with NCEI as a contractor for General Dynamics Information Technology, as well as at the Cooperative Institute, Northern Gulf Institute at Mississippi State University in various capacities. She has also worked as a contractor with Peraton, previously Perspecta, supporting the Naval Oceanographic Office with her expertise in remote sensing. She received her master’s degree at the University of Southern Mississippi in Physical Oceanography. Katharine has been an active participant of the Marine Technology Society since 2012 and is the current Chair of the Gulf Coast Section.


Meme Lobecker, Technical Sales Manager, Kongsberg Maritime

Meme has a technical background with the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) where she was a Lead Expedition Coordinator for ocean mapping using the NOAA Ship Okeanos

Explorer.  Meme has been a multibeam and split-beam echo sounder user for over 10 years and has worked out of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping / Joint Hydrographic Center, where the mapping aspects of mission planning, remote operations, and live-feed outreach of Okeanos Explorer missions were managed and/or supported.  She joined Kongsberg Maritime in 2021 as Technical Sales Manager, focusing on supporting the NOAA and UNOLS fleet new builds and upgrades of their integrated acoustic systems.


Dan Pisut, Principal Engineer Lead, Esri

Dan leads development of Esri’s online environmental content, which includes data and information products about Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and ecosystems. Prior to Esri, Dan worked at NOAA for two decades, leading data visualization efforts for research, communications, and education. He has a background in marine and environmental sciences and is passionate about applying geographic approaches to tackle community and coastal resilience initiatives.