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Jan Newton

Senior Principal Oceanographer

Affiliate Professor, Oceanography






Dr. Jan Newton is a Senior Principal Oceanographer with the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington and an affiliate professor with the UW School of Oceanography and the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, both in the UW College of the Environment. She is the Executive Director of the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), the US IOOS Regional Association for the Pacific Northwest. She is a Co-director of the Washington Ocean Acidification Center and the Co-chair of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network.

Jan is a biological oceanographer who has studied the physical, chemical, and biological dynamics of Puget Sound and coastal Washington, including understanding effects from climate and humans on water properties. Currently she has been working with colleagues at UW and NOAA to assess the status of ocean acidification in our local waters.

Department Affiliation

Ocean Physics


B.S. Biology, Western Washington University, 1981

M.S. Oceanography, University of Washington - Seattle, 1984

Ph.D. Oceanography, University of Washington - Seattle, 1989


Washington Real-time Coastal Moorings (NEMO)

The Northwest Enhanced Moored Observatory (NEMO), which consists of a heavily-instrumented real-time surface mooring (Cha Ba), a real-time subsurface profiling mooring (NEMO-Subsurface) and a Seaglider to collect spatial information, aims to improve our understanding of complex physical, chemical and biological processes on the largely unsampled Washington shelf.

27 Sep 2011

NVS: NANOOS Visualization System

The NANOOS Visualization System (NVS) is your tool for easy access to data. NVS gathers data across a wide range of assets such as buoys, shore stations, and coastal land-based stations. Never before available downloads and visualizations are provided in a consistent format. You can access plots and data for almost all in-situ assets for the previous 30-day period.

2 Nov 2009

NANOOS: Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems

This Pacific Northwest regional association is a partnership of information producers and users allied to manage coastal ocean observing systems for the benefit of stakeholders and the public. NANOOS is creating customized information and tools for Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.

1 Jan 2004

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Ocean Acidification: Co-designing data connections to underserved communities for equitable outcomes

A global collaborative team advances momentum around science-based innovative solutions related to global ocean action within the United Nation's sustainable development goals.

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27 Jul 2022

The Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) program for Ocean Acidification Research and Sustainability (OARS) raises local voices, especially those of indigenous, small island, and developing states that depend on ocean-based economies for survival. Now over 900 scientists from 100 nations are co-designing activities for adaptation and response strategies on local scales to advance United Nations sustainability goals.
More: www.goa-on.org/oars/overview.php

Backyard Buoys: Equipping Underserved Communities with Ocean Intelligence Platforms

Backyard Buoys is a new community-led project funded by the National Science Foundation's Convergence Accelerator program. This critical initiative empowers Indigenous coastal communities to collect and use ocean data to bolster maritime activities, food security, and coastal hazard protection. Oceanographic buoys deployed in Alaska, the Pacific Islands, and along the Washington coast, will provide accessible and actionable ocean data that bridges to Indigenous knowledge via a web-based application. Post-deployment, a sustainable and Indigenous community-led stewardship program will oversee management of the buoys.

15 Jun 2022

Environmental Sample Processor: A Sentry for Toxic Algal Blooms off the Washington Coast

An undersea robot that measures harmful algal species has been deployed by APL, UW, and NOAA researchers off the Washington coast near La Push. Algal bloom toxicity data are relayed to shore in near-real time and displayed through the NANOOS visualization system. The Environmental Sample Processor, or ESP, is taking measurements near the Juan de Fuca eddy, which is a known incubation site for toxic blooms that often travel toward coastal beaches, threatening fisheries and human health.

22 Jun 2016

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2000-present and while at APL-UW

Advancing best practices for assessing trends of ocean acidification time series

Sutton, A.J., and 13 others including J. Newton, "Advancing best practices for assessing trends of ocean acidification time series," Front. Mar. Sci., 9, doi:10.3389/fmars.2022.1045667, 2022.

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22 Dec 2022

Assessing the status of ocean acidification across ocean and coastal waters requires standardized procedures at all levels of data collection, dissemination, and analysis. Standardized procedures for assuring quality and accessibility of ocean carbonate chemistry data are largely established, but a common set of best practices for ocean acidification trend analysis is needed to enable global time series comparisons, establish accurate records of change, and communicate the current status of ocean acidification within and outside the scientific community. Here we expand upon several published trend analysis techniques and package them into a set of best practices for assessing trends of ocean acidification time series. These best practices are best suited for time series capable of characterizing seasonal variability, typically those with sub-seasonal (ideally monthly or more frequent) data collection. Given ocean carbonate chemistry time series tend to be sparse and discontinuous, additional research is necessary to further advance these best practices to better address uncharacterized variability that can result from data discontinuities. This package of best practices and the associated open-source software for computing and reporting trends is aimed at helping expand the community of practice in ocean acidification trend analysis. A broad community of practice testing these and new techniques across different data sets will result in improvements and expansion of these best practices in the future.

Biological sensitivities to high-resolution climate change projections in the California current marine ecosystem

Sunday, J.M., E. Howard, S. Siedlecki, D.J. Pilcher, C. Deutsch, P. MacCready, J. Newton, and T. Klinger, "Biological sensitivities to high-resolution climate change projections in the California current marine ecosystem," Global Change Biol., 28, 5726-5740, doi:10.1111/gcb.16317, 2022.

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1 Oct 2022

The California Current Marine Ecosystem is a highly productive system that exhibits strong natural variability and vulnerability to anthropogenic climate trends. Relating projections of ocean change to biological sensitivities requires detailed synthesis of experimental results. Here, we combine measured biological sensitivities with high-resolution climate projections of key variables (temperature, oxygen, and pCO2) to identify the direction, magnitude, and spatial distribution of organism-scale vulnerabilities to multiple axes of projected ocean change. Among 12 selected species of cultural and economic importance, we find that all are sensitive to projected changes in ocean conditions through responses that affect individual performance or population processes. Response indices were largest in the northern region and inner shelf. While performance traits generally increased with projected changes, fitness traits generally decreased, indicating that concurrent stresses can lead to fitness loss. For two species, combining sensitivities to temperature and oxygen changes through the Metabolic Index shows how aerobic habitat availability could be compressed under future conditions. Our results suggest substantial and specific ecological susceptibility in the next 80 years, including potential regional loss of canopy-forming kelp, changes in nearshore food webs caused by declining rates of survival among red urchins, Dungeness crab, and razor clams, and loss of aerobic habitat for anchovy and pink shrimp. We also highlight fillable gaps in knowledge, including specific physiological responses to stressors, variation in responses across life stages, and responses to multistressor combinations. These findings strengthen the case for filling information gaps with experiments focused on fitness-related responses and those that can be used to parameterize integrative physiological models, and suggest that the CCME is susceptible to substantial changes to ecosystem structure and function within this century.

Ocean acidification research for sustainability: Co-designing global action on local scales

Dobson, K.L., and 11 others including J.A. Newton, "Ocean acidification research for sustainability: Co-designing global action on local scales," ICES J. Mar. Sci., EOR, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsac158, 2022.

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14 Sep 2022

The global threat that ocean acidification poses to marine ecosystems has been recognized by the UN 2030 Agenda under Sustainable Development Goal, Target 14.3: to reduce ocean acidification. The Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) is a collaborative international network to detect and understand the drivers of ocean acidification in estuarine-coastal-open ocean environments, the resulting impacts on marine ecosystems, and to make the information available to optimize modelling studies. The Ocean Acidification Research for Sustainability (OARS) programme, endorsed by the 2021–2030 UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, will build on the work of GOA-ON through its seven Decade Action Outcomes. By employing a Theory of Change framework, and with the co-design of science in mind, OARS will develop an implementation plan for each Decade Action Outcome, which will identify the stakeholders and rights-holders, as well as the tools, means, and positive consequences required for their successful delivery. The organizational structure of GOA-ON, with nine regional hubs, will benefit OARS by providing a vital connection between local and global scales. GOA-ON regional hub case-studies illustrate how activities in the past and future, informed by global and regional priorities, support capacity building and the co-design of ocean acidification science.

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In The News

How Dungeness crabs' complex lifecycle will be affected by climate change

UW News, Hannah Hickey

New research on the Pacific Northwest portion of the Dungeness crab fishery, which spans the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada, projects how this crustacean will fare under climate change. Results show that by the end of this century, lower-oxygen water will pose the biggest threat. And while these crabs start as tiny, free-floating larvae, it’s the sharp-clawed adults that will be most vulnerable, specifically to lower-oxygen coastal waters in summer.

28 Oct 2021

Three UW teams awarded NSF Convergence Accelerator grants for misinformation, ocean projects

UW News

Three separate University of Washington research teams have been awarded $750,000 each by the National Science Foundation to advance studies in misinformation and the ocean economy. One team is led by APL-UW's Scott David and another by Jan Newton.

1 Oct 2021

NOAA awards $41 million for ocean observing

NOAA News, Jennie Lyons

The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) office announces new 5-year agreements with its 11 regional systems including NANOOS, the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems, Jan Newton, Executive Director. The year one award to NANOOS is ~$4M.

14 Sep 2021

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Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center