New GCOOS Board Seated at Fall Meeting

GCOOS members hold annual elections for nonprofit's Board of Directors
The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) seated the organization's elected and reelected Board members recently during its Fall Members Meeting.

GCOOS is the Gulf of Mexico regional component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and the only federally certified system dedicated solely to the Gulf of Mexico. The GCOOS mission is to provide timely, reliable, accurate and on-demand information on the open ocean and coastal ocean waters of the Gulf of Mexico to ensure a healthy, clean, productive ocean and resilient coastal zone.

The organization includes 55 data partners and more than 100 members representing governmental and nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions and private industry from around the Gulf of Mexico.

The GCOOS membership elects new board members on a rotating basis each spring and newly elected or re-elected members take their seats during the Fall Meeting, which was held virtually on Oct. 26.

Newly elected or reelected members in 2021 are:
  • Private Sector Representatives: Alyssa Dausman, Vice President for Science of The Water Institute of the Gulf; and Bill Lingsch, Coordinator for the U.S. Underwater Glider User Group.
  • Government Sector: Dr. Kate Hubbard, Director of the Center for Red Tide Research at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWC-FWRI).
  • Academic Sector: Dr. Lynn K. (Nick) Shay, Associate Dean and Professor in the Department of Ocean Sciences at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Director of the Upper Ocean Dynamics Laboratory; and Rene Collini, who holds a dual appointment as a Coastal Climate Resilience Specialist with Mississippi State University and Sea Grant.

Additional Board representatives are:
  • Private Sector Representatives: David Driver, physical oceanographer for Fugro; Ruth Perry, Marine Scientist and Regulatory Policy specialist with Shell Exploration and Production Co.; and Jan van Smirren, Ocean Sierra LLC.
  • Government Sector: Dr. Kimberly Yates, Research Oceanographer with the U.S. Geological Survey; Dr. Pat Hogan, Ocean Sciences Branch Chief for NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), Mississippi; Kirsten Larsen, Coastal Data Science Advisor, for NOAA/NCEI, Mississippi, who was also recently elected as Vice Chair of the Executive Committee.
  • Academic Sector: Dr. Antonietta Quigg, Senior Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies at Texas A&M University at Galveston; and Dr. Stephan Howden, Associate Professor in the Department of Marine Science at the University of Southern Mississippi
  • Outreach and Educator Sector Representatives: Dr. Sara Graves, Director of the Information Technology and Systems Center for the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees and University Professor and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville; Joe Swaykos, Chief Scientist (retired) National Data Buoy Center and Dr. Nan Walker Director of the Earth Scan Laboratory in Louisiana State University's College of the Coast and the Environment.

The GCOOS Executive Committee is:
  • Chair: Joe Swaykos
  • Vice Chair: Kirsten Larsen
  • Treasurer: Jan van Smirren
  • Immediate Past Chair: Sara Graves

(The position of secretary is currently unfilled)

The Fall Members meeting included presentations by Carl Gouldman, Director of the U.S. IOOS Program Office, Josie Quintrell, Executive Director of the IOOS Association, and Dr. Jorge Brenner, GCOOS Executive Director. The meeting also included an update on the 2021 hurricane season glider deployment activity in the Gulf by Bill Lingsch, U.S. Glider User Group Coordinator, and GCOOS Oceanographer Dr. Kerri Whilden.

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