GCOOS is the Gulf of Mexico regional component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). Our mission is to provide timely, reliable and accurate information on the open and coastal ocean waters of the Gulf of Mexico to ensure a healthy, clean, productive ocean and resilient coastal zone.
October 2018 - In This Issue:
Things are moving right along this fall at GCOOS. We just wrapped up our fall meeting, held this year in Tampa, Florida. Speakers included Admiral Jon White, from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, Chris Cooley and Dr. Mark Luther about the Port of Tampa Bay and Jonathan O'Neil gave us an overview about NOAA's Big Data Project. We also heard from several of our subcontractors. Dr. Kate Hubbard, from Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Wildlife Research Institute gave an update on Florida's red tide, which has been especially virulent this year. Her talk was especially timely, as just a couple of weeks later we announced the development of a new Experimental Red Tide Respiratory Forecast (details below). This new forecast, which is being hosted by GCOOS, is designed to provide beach-level information about red tide respiratory impacts. NOAA led the forecast development and GCOOS developer Bob Currier was instrumental in making it publicly available and accessible.
We're tracking product usage and are continuing to work with our partners at FWRI, NASA and NOAA to expand this tool to other communities.
Until next time, 

Barb Kirkpatrick
Executive Director
Contact GCOOS
Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick , Executive Director

Dr. Chris Simoniello
Outreach and Education Coordinator

Dr. Shinichi Kobara
, Assistant Research Scientist, Product Developer

Felimon Gayanilo
, Interim DMAC Manager

Bob Currier
, Research Specialist, Product Developer

Stephanie Watson, Strategic Program Manager

Marion Stoessel,
Senior Research Associate

 Jennifer Vreeland-Dawson, Research Associate 

Nadine Slimak, Public Relations & Content Marketing, Vetted Communications, LLC

Grant Craig, Program Coordinator

Laura Caldwell, Staff Assistant

In Memoriam: Matt Howard, 1952-2018
News from GCOOS HQ
New Experimental Forecast Brings Info on Red Tide Respiratory Impacts to Pinellas County, Florida, Beachesred
Pinellas County residents and visitors who are susceptible to the respiratory impacts of Florida's red tide - especially people with asthma and other chronic lung diseases - now have a new tool that will help them know their risks before they visit area beaches during red tides. 
habscope.gcoos.org/forecasts is a new website that provides a risk level forecast for red tide respiratory impacts on each of Pinellas County's beaches. The 24-hour Experimental Red Tide Respiratory Forecasts are updated every three hours, following the collection and analysis of water samples. The forecast will typically be available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
This experimental forecast was developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Ocean Service in partnership with GCOOS, the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Pinellas County Government Environmental Management. The forecast was developed through funding from the NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Health and Air Quality Program and is hosted by GCOOS.
A Few Headlines
Teaming Up for Outreach
GCOOS's Grant Craig and Chris Simoniello tagged teamed up with SECOORA's Abbey Wakely to conduct one of our biggest outreach events of the year -- the St. Petersburg, Florida, Science Festival. This marked the eighth year of the event and included a student day on Friday, Oct. 19, and a day for the community on Saturday, Oct. 20. GCOOS and SECOORA have partnered to teach the community about ocean observing, the U.S. IOOS and ocean science since the inception of this fun event to raise awareness through fun, hands-on activities. This year, visitors learned about the International Code of Signals (ICS) and the information regional associations are providing to support navigation and maritime operations. Students made classroom banners using the ICS flagging system and Saturday's visitors made coded bracelets. Students reported that the ice cold lemonade served by "Junior Scientist" volunteers Patrick Tran and Kennedy Pauley was among the highlights of the day. Simoniello was also an invited participant of the WMNF 88.5 FM "Women in Science" panel that was broadcast live from the festival.

Internationally Speaking
Former GCOOS Board Member Mike Spranger was recently invited to Taiwan to give the keynote speech at the International Pacific Marine Educator Network. His topic was "Using the Ocean Observation System in the Classroom, Community and Business World. (We've no doubt his speech was well received!)
The International Pacific Marine Educators Network (IPMEN) is a network of marine educators and scientists whose shared vision is to nurture a fuller understanding of the ocean's value leading to informed, responsible and creative decisions that conserve and restore the integrity of ocean ecosystems. IPMEN aims to foster collaborative relationships that will create the resources, programs, training and leadership necessary to build ocean literacy at every level of society in the Pacific region.

Partner News
Living Shorelines
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWC-FWRI) recently completed "Living Shoreline Suitability Model for Tampa Bay: A GIS Approach." The project, funded through the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, helped predict the suitability of living shorelines in the area and resulted in the story map: "Living Shoreline-Tampa Bay."
The work was funded through the 2016 inaugural cycle of the GOMA Gulf Star program and the Habitat Resources Team concluded the development of a living shorelines site suitability model and pilot tested it on Mobile Bay, Alabama. It was successful in predicting where natural shoreline restoration techniques will be successful and where they won't. As a continuation of the project, the Team funded the living shoreline model approach on additional sites in Tampa and Perdido, Florida.
The Great Red Snapper Count
The Harte Research Institute has created a new website to share information about the Great Red Snapper Count.
In 2016, Congress made funding available to independently estimate the population size of U.S. Gulf of Mexico red snapper. A total of $10 million was awarded by Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant for a two-year project, which will run from 2017 - 2019. The project, officially titled 'Estimating the absolute abundance of red snapper in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico,' but better known as the Great Red Snapper Count, aims to estimate the population size of red snapper in U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The goal is to provide an independent estimate (separate from the stock assessment-derived estimate) of red snapper abundance in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Results from this study will be compared with stock assessment results to examine what accounts for any differences observed. This project represents a unique opportunity to challenge the stock assessment-derived estimate of red snapper abundance in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, with the goal of ensuring the most robust management possible for this iconic fishery species.
Gulf Restoration News
GOMRI Newsletter
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative recently released its latest newsletter. It includes updates on outreach and education efforts - including a new paper summarizing some best practices for including outreach in proposals and new publications from the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Team.
It also includes links to recently published papers of studies funded by GOMRI
2018 Restoration Summit
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) will host its next Mississippi Restoration Summit on Nov. 13 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center in Biloxi. The public is invited to learn about current restoration projects in Mississippi and the announcement of new projects. Registration is not required.
Making Better Ocean Models
Listen to the latest podcast from "Dispatches from the Gulf." This episode is about using 1,000 or so GPS chip-equipped drifters to collect data on ocean circulation patterns and - eventually - improve ocean models that will help to mitigate future oil spills.
Restoration Resources
Restoration Funding Calendar
By State:

Funding Opportunities
NASA has posted a National Oceanographic Partnership Program Announcement that includes seven ocean research and technology topics and up to $27.3 million over three years. (ONR BAA # N000014-18-S-B007)
The research opportunities are for:
  • CubeSat Sensors for Investigating Littoral Ocean & Atmosphere Dynamics
  • Sustained observations of marine biodiversity for improved understanding of marine ecosystem responses to changing environmental conditions
  • Advanced Sensor Technology
  • Autonomous Profiling Floats for Investigating Tropical Pacific Ocean Biogeochemistry
  • Improving Arctic Operational Forecasts Arctic Observing System Simulation Experiments using Year of Polar Prediction data (Arctic OSSE)
  • New Approaches for Data Assimilation to Improve Operational Ocean Prediction
  • Autonomous Mapping
The funding will be available subject to appropriation, availability of funds and final approval by the participating NOPP agencies.
  • More Info: NASA will not be soliciting proposals for this program through NSPIRES. Full details and instructions for proposal submission can be found here
  • Questions? Email Paula Bontempi at Paula.Bontempi@nasa.gov
Harmful Algal Bloom Research Funding (NOAA-NOS-NCCOS-2019-2005810)
The Monitoring and Event Response for Harmful Algal Blooms (MERHAB) Program expects to fund seven to nine projects at $200,000 to $600,000 per year, per proposal, up to approximately $2.5 million may be available for the first year for all MERHAB projects combined. Projects are expected to last three to five years. MERHAB builds the capacity of local, state, and tribal governments, regional observing systems, the wild and farmed seafood industry, and other HAB-impacted sectors for less costly and more precise and comprehensive HAB monitoring and response. Proposals should meet one or more of the following priorities:
  • Mitigate HAB impacts by incorporating research products into monitoring applications and encouraging their adoption into routine operation;
  • Compare new and existing technologies;
  • Provide training needed to effectively utilize and support adoption of new monitoring approaches;
  • Demonstrate the value of enhanced HAB monitoring for HAB early warning and forecasting.
  • Letters of Intent due: Nov. 5, 2018.
  • Full applications due: Jan. 22, 2019.
  • More info: Marc Suddleson, Marc.Suddleson@noaa.gov.
Please note that the actual funding amounts available are contingent upon FY19 appropriations. Find the full FFOs on  grants.gov .
The Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) Research Program
The Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) Research Program expects to fund up to three regional projects at $700,000 to $1 million (including ship time) per year per proposal. Up to approximately $3,000,000 may be available for the first year for all ECOHAB projects combined. Projects are expected to last 5 years.
ECOHAB objectives are:
  • To develop quantitative understanding of HABs and their toxins with the intent of developing new information and tools, predictive models and forecasts, and prevention strategies to aid management of coastal environments;
  • To develop understanding that will inform models of trophic transfer of toxins, knowledge of biosynthesis and metabolism of toxins, and assessment of impacts of toxins on higher trophic levels.  Regional or cross-regional proposals addressing the second objective are especially encouraged.
  • Letters of Intent due: Nov. 5, 2018.
  • Full applications due: Feb. 4, 2019.
  • More info: Quay Dortch, Quay.Dortch@noaa.gov.
Please note that the actual funding amounts available are contingent upon FY19 appropriations. Find the full FFOs on grants.gov.
Natural Hazards Center Quick Response Grant Program   
This program provides small grants to help eligible researchers travel to disaster-stricken areas and document disaster before memories fade and physical evidence is erased. Apply now for 2018.
Employment Opportunities
Lab Research Technician, The New Mexico Consortium
The New Mexico Consortium (NMC) is seeking a Lab Research Technician to join a team of scientists at the NMC and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to advance a DOE-funded project focused on enhancing productivity and stability of algal cultures through the development of microbial consortia. This is a full-time position that offers a competitive salary and benefits (health, dental, life, disability and retirement plan). The minimum qualifications for this position include a B.S. in biology or other relevant discipline, as well as the following KSAs: 

  • Knowledge of: biology, physiology, or ecology; sterile technique; standard laboratory equipment and practices; and methods of data collection and analyses. 
  • Ability to: conduct collaborative research; complete tasks timely and efficiently; establish and maintain strong working relationships with others; and utilize problem-solving techniques. 
  • Skills to: plan and coordinate work assignments; collect, record and analyze data; communicate effectively; maintain records; write technical reports; and understand and apply applicable rules, regulations, policies and procedures. 
To apply, please fill out an application and upload a cover letter, CV, and list of three references in a single PDF file at: http://newmexicoconsortium.org/home/jobs. Documents can also be mailed to the NMC at 4200 W. Jemez Road, #301, Los Alamos, NM 87544. Inquiries can be directed to Dr. Alina Corcoran at acorcoran@newmexicoconsortium.org. Priority will be given to applications submitted by October 18 th, 2018.  
NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program
Auburn University's School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences is inviting applications for a National Science Foundation-supported summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program focused on the ecology of southeastern ponds, rivers, reservoirs and estuaries. Ten undergraduate students will work closely with a team of Auburn University faculty to explore aquatic ecosystems, complete a student-driven research project, participate in a variety of professional development and social activities, develop and lead an outreach project, and share their research findings in a symposium at the conclusion of the program.  Participants will work closely with our mentors to develop an interdisciplinary project involving complementary fields, such as community ecology, limnology, evolution, fisheries management, molecular biology, conservation, biogeochemistry, biodiversity, and microbiology.  The program will run from May 19 to July 28, 2019 (10 weeks).
Support: Participants will receive a stipend ($5,500) plus housing and subsistence, financial assistance for travel to and from Auburn, and support for lab and field supplies.  For full consideration, on-line applications must be received by 1 February 2019.

Events & Meetings
Register now for the 2018 Alabama-Mississippi Bays and Bayous Symposium, Nov. 28-29 in Mobile, Alabama. 
Clean Gulf, November 13-15, 2018. New Orleans, LA. 
The CLEAN GULF Conference & Exhibition is the premier event for industry and government to come together and discuss planning and preparedness issues for oil and hazardous materials spills. The main focus of the conference sessions are case studies, best practices and lessons-learned, and the exhibit hall is filled with products and services for prevention and response. CLEAN GULF brings together all parties responsible for response operations from North America and beyond to hear best practices and build relationships vital to a successful response on land or water. A strong relationship between all parties is the foundation of a successful response, and CLEAN GULF has helped forge these relationships for the last 27 years.
Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, Long Beach, California
AGU Fall Meeting, December 10-14, Washington, DC. 


Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Orleans, February 4-7, 2019

Coastal GeoTools: Building on the Past to Create a Better Future, February 11-14, Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

ASLO 2019 Aquatic Sciences Meeting, PlanetWater, Challenges and Successes, February 23 - March 4, 2019, San Juan, Puerto Rico. 
Share Your News with GCOOS
Do you have a meeting, job or funding announcement? Please let us know so we can help spread the word. Email info, including all pertinent details and website links, to Laura Caldwell, GCOOS Staff Assistant, lcaldwell@gcoos.org.

Are you starting or finishing a research project, reporting new findings, have a new publication or other big news to share with the GCOOS community? Please email our Public Relations and Content Coordinator, Nadine Slimak at Vetted Communications, nadine@vettedcommunications.com.

Your input, guidance, support and membership are important to the development of data, products and services that you need. Contact the  GCOOS Business Office to become a GCOOS member and for more information. We welcome your feedback and ideas for relevant news items. Please email your feedback and ideas to Laura Caldwell.