Capabilities in the field of ocean optics have progressed greatly since the days when we could only measure Secchi depth, chlorophyll fluorescence, and beam attenuation. We now have tools for measuring a multitude of in-water optical properties at many wavelengths and both airborne and satellite sensors for detecting ocean color. We also understand more about the relationships among optical properties, the impacts of various constituents on optical properties, and the spatial and temporal variability of optical properties. The Hyperspectral Coastal Ocean Dynamics Experiments were conceived to explore the utility of hyperspectral ocean color data for evaluating optically important constituents, estimating vertical structure in the near-surface ocean, developing optical property and bathymetry algorithms, and refining treatment of optical properties in coupled ocean-atmosphere models. In this special issue, the authors have tried to present aspects of their results that apply to broad oceanographic research questions.
I thank all the HyCODE investigators and collaborators for their hard work, boundless energy and enthusiastic teamwork. Thanks also to Jennifer Ramarui and Ellen Kappel for the opportunity to guest edit this special issue.
— Joan S. Cleveland, Guest Editor