Digital Ocean Forum 2024


Kate Larkin


Head of Secretariat

Dr. Kate Larkin is Head of Secretariat for the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet), an EC in situ marine data service funded by the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, and a key marine knowledge initiative of EC DG MARE. In her role, Kate works with the > 130 EMODnet partners and hundreds more stakeholders across the European and global marine knowledge value chain, from data collection efforts to end-users. This includes EMODnet's long-standing partnership with Copernicus Marine Service which includes co-delivery of the marine data infrastructure backbone and associated common data lake for the European Digital Twin Ocean. Kate works at the interface between research, policy, private sector, NGOs and wider society, with the core motivation being to unlock hidden data and make it available in easy to find, accessible, interoperable and reusable formats so that ocean observations can be collected once, with the resulting marine data used many times, making marine knowledge a common good, for all. Kate is a marine scientist (PhD, 2006) who has worked in the areas of Ocean Observation and Ocean Data for over 15 years, starting as a field scientist at the NOC, Southampton, UK, before moving to Belgium to work for the European Marine Board and, since 2019, with EMODnet. She continues to conduct fieldwork, including joining expeditions to the Arctic and conducting ocean observation campaigns, citizen science and societal engagement activities to continue filling the gaps in data and to inspire and empower society with ocean knowledge, to drive positive change. For more than a decade, the EC EMODnet marine data services has provided the most comprehensive pan-European offer of marine environmental and human activities data, spanning seven broad thematics and hundreds of parameters. Each data layer is the result of ocean observations and marine data being aggregated, standardised and harmonised into FAIR data from Europe's diverse ocean observation capability, provided by hundreds of data providers spanning research and policy-driven to private sector and citizen science data collection efforts. As a large network of experts, EMODnet produces both high resolution integrated data layers, and also produces flagship data products that are open and free for all. these include the EMODnet Bathymetry Digital Terrain Model, the EMODnet Seabed Habitat EUSeaMap, the European Chemistry marine litter database, the EMODnet Human activities Vessel Density composite maps which are all unique EMODnet assets, among others. EMODnet's unified service was launched in January 2023 and continues to evolve, also in partnership with Copernicus Marine Service to deliver the technical backbone and common data lake for the European Digital Twin Ocean. EMODnet is an implementing partner of the UN Ocean Decade and is interoperable - and harvested by - global ocean data initiatives including the Ocean Data Information System (ODIS) of IODE of IOC/UNESCO and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

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