April 13, 2021

The IQOE Science Plan published in 2015 featured the concept of an International Year of the Quiet Ocean (IYQO).  This year would seek quieting of the ocean in specific areas to study how much human additions of sound could be reduced and how organisms would react, as well as more generally focus effort on IQOE-related observations and research. The IQOE Science Plan suggested the IYQO as year 7 of the 10-year IQOE project.  IQOE also foresaw studies that would take advantage of serendipitous events that change ocean noise levels. 

During Year 5 of the IQOE project (2020) the COVID-19 pandemic provided an unanticipated interval of reduced sound levels larger than IQOE dreamed possible through an IYQO based on voluntary reductions of anthropogenic sound.   Appreciating this extraordinary occurrence, IQOE has designated 2020 the International Year of the Quiet Ocean and is focusing project resources to encourage study of changes in sound levels and effects on organisms during 2020.  Fortunately, the worldwide ocean acoustics community had deployed hundreds of hydrophones able to capture the ocean soundscape during 2019-2021.

IQOE-related teams are releasing software to enable comparable analyses of sound observations and a data management system to assemble data from observations in many different locations.

Preliminary results from individual studies of 2020 indicate that the effects on marine animal behavior of changes in human activities in different locations depend on particular features of local and regional sound source reductions, pandemic-mitigation policies adopted in each area, and national maritime and marine recreation cultures.

November 5, 2020

IQOE Newsletter #6 is now available.

June 4, 2020

IQOE Newsletter #5 is available here

April 6, 2020

IQOE welcomes ideas about how the present quieting of the world economy may advance research in marine sound.  High-quality observations of the ocean soundscape, as well as possibly related behavior of marine life during this period, may offer unique opportunities of exceptional value. Send ideas to Ed Urban (   

March 30, 2020
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) has issued a call for papers for a special JASA issue on Ocean Acoustics in a Changing Arctic (see The deadline for manuscripts is 31 March 2021. Papers will be published in regular JASA issues as soon as accepted and will be identified as part of the special issue. Many of the topics of interest are relevant to IQOE. Please pass this email to interested colleagues.
January 6, 2020

IQOE Newsletter #4 is available at

August 7, 2019

IQOE Newsletter #3 is now available.

July 26, 2019

Dear colleague,


In an effort to foster and further both the distribution and use of “big data”, as well as goals of the International Quiet Ocean Experiment (IQOE) , the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) is seeking to fill two positions to conceive, implement and operate a data portal that will allow easy access to acoustic data and basic data products.


These positions are part of an AWI effort to build data portals for bathymetric, biological (benthic video surveys) and oceanographic data in close collaboration with the AWI’s computing center, supporting a team of 8 full-time professionals as currently announced to jointly achieve these goals. 


It is intended to transform these positions into tenure-track positions, such that this data management and accessibility effort can be sustained in the long run.


With regard to the acoustic positions, a close collaboration with the IQOE WG on Data Management and Access and the WG on Standardization is intended and shall actively be sought and maintained by the data scientist/curator.


Please distribute this email amongst potentially interested colleagues and/or access the application portal for these positions at:


Data scientist / data curator:


Data engineer / software developer


Applications are due by 31 August 2019.


Please do not hesitate contacting Olaf Boebel in case of any questions.


Olaf Boebel

Senior Oceanographer / Head Ocean Acoustics Group


Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar und Meeresforschung

Klußmannstr. 3d

DE-27570 Bremerhaven

Tel +49 (0) 471 4831 1879

Fax +49 (0) 471 4831 1797