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.
November 2016 - In This Issue:
Last week we had our first joint meeting of our GCOOS Outreach & Education and Products & Services advisory councils. By holding co-located meetings -- something we plan to continue in the future -- we're hoping to not only increase input on the products and services that GCOOS offers to its stakeholders, but find better and more efficient ways to share the tools we develop with even more of our Gulf Coast constituents. I believe the meeting was a resounding success and sets the stage for even more engagement in the future.

I'd also like to congratulate Joe Swaykos, a member of the GCOOS board of directors, who was appointed this week as Chief Scientist of the National Data Buoy Center in Stennis, Miss. Joe has been a member of our board for about the past five years and has served on our Outreach & Education Advisory Council for the last 10 years. He's been very involved in helping to shape our organization and mission and we're fortunate to be able to work with him. We wish him much luck and success in his new role!

It's hard to believe that we're almost upon Thanksgiving, but that is indeed the case. We have much to be thankful about here at GCOOS -- but mostly I'm grateful for the staff, members and partners who are helping us fulfill our mission and create a better Gulf of Mexico.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! 

Contact GCOOS
Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick , Executive Director

Dr. Matthew K. Howard
DMAC Coordinator

Dr. Chris Simoniello
Outreach and Education Coordinator

Dr. Shinichi Kobara
, Assistant Research Scientist, Product Developer

Felimon Gayanilo
, Systems Architect

Bob Currier
, Research Specialist, Product Developer

Stephanie Watson, Strategic Program Manager

Marion Stoessel, Senior Research Associate

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

Laura Caldwell, Staff Assistant
News from GCOOS HQ
GCOOS Joint Committee Meetings
Members of the GCOOS Products & Services Advisory Council and the Outreach & Education Council met last week in New Orleans. Overlapping meeting dates and locations allowed for the groups to have a half-day combined meeting to collaborate on ideas for product and services needs, along with ways to adapt the products and services that GCOOS provides for the public and the marine education community.
Jointly, the groups decided to look into the possibility of making available a 3-D data model viewer that was developed by the University of Southern Mississippi's Center of Higher Learning Data Visualization team. That team developed a tool that allowed viewers to see the impacts of rising water levels based on storm predictions in three dimensions.

Making communities more resilient to inundation is intricately linked to enabling them to make informed decisions and the USM visualization tool provides local references to make it easier for people to determine whether evacuation is necessary and helps them identify the safest evacuation routes. 

The P&S council also suggested creating an environmental anomalies data map, with the initial step of focusing on a visualization for water temperature and salinity showing monthly, seasonal and yearly mean and trend, as well as the actual value at the observing station. Anomalies would be shown with a red flag or a different marker on a map. This environmental anomaly map can be applied to other products including water quality and beach monitoring and coastal hazards.

The O&E council provided professional development as the team learned how to implement crowd-sourcing techniques to aid in tracking the spread of Zika-carrying mosquito species in the Gulf.
Our Ocean's Future
GCOOS Outreach and Education Coordinator Dr. Chris Simoniello and GCOOS staff member Grant Craig attended "Our Ocean's Future Forum," a public meeting hosted by the Sierra Club, the Surfrider Foundation and the Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition, on Nov. 4 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Pete Stauffer, Environmental Director for the Surfrider Foundation, gave an overview of the last 15 years of U.S. ocean policy, highlighting the challenges and successes of the 2010 National Ocean Policy. 
Reaching the Next Generation
Numerous GCOOS staff, members and partners participated in the Great American Teach In this week, traveling to classrooms throughout the Gulf Coast to share information about oceans and ocean observing to students from elementary to high school.

GCOOS staff also helped to organize the St. Petersburg Science Festival, which draws more than 25,000 visitors each year. GCOOS has participated in both the Sneak-Peek Day for Tampa Bay-area students and the public open house since inception of the festival in 2011.
Partner News
NDBC Appoints New Chief Scientist
Helmut Portmann, Director of the National Data Buoy Center, has announced that Joe Swaykos has been assigned to the position of Chief Scientist of the NDBC, effective Nov. 16. 

Swaykos, a member of the GCOOS Board of Directors who also serves on its Outreach & Education Council, has served as the Data Management and Communications/Mission Control Center Branch Chief since 2012.  He holds Masters Degrees in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School and is a Fellow in the American Meteorological Society.

NOAA Committee Needs Your Input 
NOAA's Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) is seeking feedback from stakeholders interested in fisheries and aquaculture to help them learn more about the information resources that fishery stakeholders need and use regarding the effects of large-scale environmental change on fisheries, aquaculture, and coastal communities.

The short survey includes 14 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete. The Committee is seeking information on the types of information resources they need and use, the leaders they trust and the information formats they find useful. The information will be used to formulate recommendations for NOAA regarding the information needs of stakeholders, how NOAA communicates with stakeholders and the tools or methods that are most useful.
Mississippi Beach Outfalls Challenge
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has created a Beach Outfalls Challenge to address the water quality impact of beach outfalls along the Mississippi Sound. The Challenge is soliciting design ideas and solutions from individuals, students, companies and teams who will compete to create innovative solutions for untreated stormwater and improve water quality. It is expected that the designs will be implemented at a larger scale across the Mississippi Coast.
Gulf Restoration News
Mississippi Announces Restoration Projects 
Gov. Phil Bryant announced 15 restoration projects totaling more than $114 million that primarily focus on water quality, marine resources and land acquisition for conservation.

The majority of the funds ($60 million) target improving water quality. The projects will be administered by MDEQ and were announced as part of the organization's Mississippi Restoration Summit. The Summit included presentations and exhibits about Mississippi's restoration efforts, an Open House, a Restoration Finance 101 class, Restoration Highlights and a presentation about Mississippi's Restoration Game Plan.
Workshop Report: Ecosystem Impacts and Recovery from Petroleum Exploration and Extraction
A workshop in Mexico City summarized the current research foci on impacts and ecosystem recovery from two large accidental oil releases (Deepwater Horizon in 2010 and IXTOC-I in 1979-1980), and the acquisition of environmental baselines prior to additional exploration and production in the Gulf.
  • Reports and documents from this workshop are now available online
More Dispatches from the Gulf
Screenscope, Inc., in partnership with GoMRI has released 50 short videos complementing the Dispatches from the Gulf documentary. The videos include highlights from the film, interviews with GoMRI scientists and graduate students, and more. An associated Educators Guide provides detailed descriptions and keywords for each video. The videos were generated as an extension of the film to be used in classroom curriculum and in other educational efforts.
Restoration Resources
Restoration Funding Calendar
  • NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program hosts a three-year calendar that consolidates planned funding opportunities
By State:

Employment Opportunities
Society for Conservation Biology
The SCB -- the world's leading professional society for conservation scientists and practitioners established to focus on advancing the science and practice of conserving the Earth's biological diversity -- is seeking an executive director.
Stony Brook University
The Gobler Laboratory within the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook University is seeking a full-time post-doctoral associate with expertise in the application of high throughput sequencing and other molecular techniques to answer questions related to the ecology and the physiology of aquatic plankton and microbes. This one year appointment is renewable after the first year
pending satisfactory performance. Applications due Nov. 25.
Smithsonian Institution
MarineGEO Postdoctoral Fellowship
The Smithsonian's Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network (TMON) invites proposals for the MarineGEO Postdoctoral Fellowship Program that advance the goals of the Marine Global Earth Observatory. MarineGEO is a growing, long-term, worldwide research program focused on understanding geographic and temporal patterns and processes in coastal marine biodiversity and ecosystems using comparative approaches. By specializing in coastal systems, MarineGEO studies can reveal the role marine biodiversity plays in maintaining resilient ecosystems in the portion of the ocean where people and marine biodiversity are concentrated and interact most.
Buck Postdoctoral Fellowship
The Global Genome Initiative Buck Fellowships are two-year fellowships that contribute specifically to the goals of the Global Genome Initiative (GGI) at the National Museum of Natural History and include a 60% time commitment to biodiversity genomic research and 40% commitment to other GGI related activities. The fellowships are aimed at increasing the capacity for biodiversity genomics at the National Museum of Natural History.
Applications for both Smithsonian Fellowships are due Dec. 15.
Funding Opportunities
Gulf Research Program Funding Webinar: Thursday, Nov. 17 
GRP is hosting a one-hour webinar at 2 p.m. EST Thursday, Nov. 17, that will provide a first look at funding opportunities in 2017. The webinar will include 2016 accomplishments, preview next year's opportunities and include a Q&A session.
Graduate Student Scholarship
Friends of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center are offering the 2017 Gordon Gilbert Research Grant for graduate students; these are competitive scholarships of $2,500 for students who are pursuing graduate degrees in a marine science field or one related to the Center's mission "to support coastal and marine education, conservation, research and preservation." Application deadline is Feb. 10.
MDEQ Invitation to Bid
MDEQ is seeking sealed bids for construction of the MDEQ - DEER ISLAND MARSH RESTORATION PHASE 3 (DIMR 3) PROJECT administered by MDEQ and funded through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, Agreement # 45721.
  • Info & materials
  • Optional pre-bid meeting: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, Holiday Inn Gulfport-Airport, 9515 Highway 49, Gulfport, MS 39503
Sealed bids will be received until 10:30 a.m. CST, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016 at MDEQ 1141 Bayview Avenue, Suite 208, Biloxi, MS 39530. Bids will be publicly opened at 10:45 a.m. CST, Thursday, Dec. 15 in the same location.
Gulf of Mexico Alliance Funding Announcement Summary
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance offers a
summary of funding announcements from
numerous sources on its website.
readGood Reads
Mapping Migratory Pathways of Gulf Species
Understanding the migratory pathways of fish, sea turtles, marine mammals and birds is critical not only to species survival, but also to the overall health of the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem.

Now, the Nature Conservancy has released a new report synthesizing information about the migrations of 26 species to and from the Gulf of Mexico.

Dynamic Reusable Workflows for Ocean Science
From the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering: Digital catalogs of ocean data have been available for decades, but advances in standardized services and software for catalog searches and data access now make it possible to create catalog-driven workflows that automate -- end-to-end data search, analysis and visualization of data from multiple distributed sources.

10-Year Anniversary
Over the last 10 years, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has removed more than 5,500 tons of marine debris through more than 100 community-based projects.

The Program celebrates its 10th anniversary in its new annual report, now online.  


Events & Meetings

Registration is open for the 2016 Mississippi-Alabama Bays and Bayous Symposium Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Biloxi, Miss., at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center. The theme for the two-day symposium is "From Thoughts to Actions - Restoration on the Gulf Coast."
Marine Renewable Energy Committee releases agenda for November TechSurge
The MTS Marine Renewable Energy Committee released the full conference program for Production of Renewable Ocean Energy For Small Non Grid Connected Applications, the TechSurge event taking place in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on November 2-3.
Introductory Training in GIS Applications for Natural Resource Management, Dec. 12-15, Gainesville, Fla., by Florida Sea Grant and the University of Florida IFAS Extension. 3.5-day intensive workshop on ArcGIS 10.3.1

Rising Seas Summit, New Orleans, sponsored by the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), December 13-15. The summit brings together thought leaders, community and urban planners, engineers and policy experts to discuss different methods for adapting to sea level rise.

The American Meteorological Society will host its 97th Annual Meeting with the theme "Observations Lead the Way." Meeting in Seattle Jan. 22-26, 2017.
Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Sciences Conference, February 6-9, 2017, Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Orleans

Radiowave Operators Working Group Meeting (ROWG) is scheduled for March 13-14, 2017 at TAMU-Galveston. CODAR will also hold a user group meeting on March 15 in Galveston.

3rd Blue Planet Symposium: Dates have changed
The Symposium will serve as a forum for discussion of societal information needs resulting from the important role the ocean plays in Earth's life-support system and the challenge of minimizing the impacts of human activities on the oceans while utilizing the resources of the oceans to meet our needs.
  • Details
  • College Park, MD, May31-June 2, 2017
Other Gulf-Related Events
Have a meeting announcement? Please email details to Laura Caldwell at GCOOS.

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.