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.
March 2017 - In This Issue:

We're gearing up for our annual Members meeting in NOLA later this week, and we're looking forward to seeing many of you there. During Thursday's meeting, GCOOS Members will have an opportunity to hear updates about what staff has been up to at GCOOS headquarters and learn the latest details on GCOOS-supported projects from some of our sub-award recipients.

Voting for our Board of Directors is also winding down this week -- voting will end at the close of business this Friday, March 24. If you haven't voted yet, please take a moment to do so now. Only GCOOS voting members may participate in the election of new board members -- you should have received an email with a link to the ballot earlier this month. If you did not receive an email and you are a voting member of GCOOS or if you don't know whether you or your organization is a voting member, please contact GCOOS Research Associate Jen Vreeland. And, of course, if you or your organization would like to join GCOOS, please send me an email. 
Earlier this month, we worked with the IOOS Association to host a Congressional briefing in Washington, D.C., focused on the need for ocean observations and the benefits our collective work provides to Gulf communities and to the nation as a whole. Read more below  and on our website.

Until next month!


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

Jennifer Vreeland, Research Associate 

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

Grant Craig, Program Coordinator

Laura Caldwell, Staff Assistant
Our Condolences  
Our condolences go out to former GCOOS Executive Director Dr. Ann Jochens, whose husband, Hans, recently passed away after an illness. Jochens led GCOOS for its first 10 years before retiring in 2014. A celebration of Hans's life is being planned for May 20 in College Station. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to a charity of your choice in Hans's name.
Announcing the Vembu Subramanian Ocean Scholars Award 
SECOORA is accepting donations to create the Vembu Subramanian Ocean Scholars Award to honor his memory and offer financial support to train the next generation of ocean experts.

Vembu Subramanian was Deputy Director, RCOOS and DMAC Operations for SECOORA, who died in a car accident on Jan. 24. The scholars award will honor his commitment to teaching students about oceans. SECOORA's goal is to raise $50,000 to establish an annual scholarship of approximately $2,500 in perpetuity in Vembu's honor.


News from GCOOS HQ
GCOOS on "The Hill"hill
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.)
The Congressional briefing we helped to organize with the IOOS Association in early March was a great success. About 80 people attended and we had positive feedback following the event.

The Tuesday, March 7 informational briefing for Congressional representatives and their staff members was sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), and Roger Wicker, (R-Miss.). The panel included Vice Admiral Paul Gaffney, U.S. Navy (Ret.), a member of the National Academies of Sciences: Gulf Research Program Advisory Board, Dr. Christopher D'Elia, dean of the LSU College of the Coast & Environment, Dr. Monty Graham, of the University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Larry McKinney, Director of the Harte Research Institute, Dr. Russell Callender, NOAA Assistant Administrator for the National Ocean Service, and Dr. Ruth Perry, Marine Science and Regulatory Policy Specialist and Oceanographer for Shell Exploration and Production Company and member of the GCOOS Board of Directors.

GCOOS Board Members Sara Graves and Mike Spranger also participated in visits to Congressional offices to help spread the word about the need for ocean observing tools in the Gulf.
Barbara Kirkpatrick, Larry McKinney, Chris D'Elia, Ruth Perry,  
Monty Graham, Paul Gaffney and Josie Quintrell
New Print Materials for You
We recently put together five one-page documents discussing the need for ocean observations in the Gulf and how such tools and data can benefit each of the five Gulf states. Each document includes an overview about ocean observing in the Gulf on one side; the second side is state specific about the benefits ocean observing provides to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

We're particularly focused on the need for high-frequency radar and additional gliders and glider support. The documents also call for a funding commitment to ocean observing from each state.

You might find these documents helpful in your discussions with potential funders or lawmakers. We've posted these materials to our website, where you're welcome to download them and utilize the talking points they contain.
Educating the Next Generation of Climate Stewards
At the start of the 2016-17 school year, GCOOS Outreach and Education lead, Dr. Chris Simoniello, began implementing a mini-grant from the NOAA Climate Stewards Education Project. As part of the grant award, students must participate in hands-on activities focused on mitigating or adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Leveraging this opportunity with ongoing outreach efforts of GCOOS and the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) project, Simoniello developed weekly hands-on lessons and collaborated with teachers and students at Bay Point Elementary School. The younger students were also partnered with the Lakewood High School Aquatic Management Systems and Environmental Technology program, which cultivates marsh plants later used in restoration projects.

In addition to learning STEM lessons from their teachers, the younger students also had the opportunity to learn from the high schoolers, who taught them about cultivation and restoration projects. Later, all the students participated in a hands-on restoration project at Bay Vista Park, where Tampa Bay Watch provided the tools the students needed to get the job done.

After a successful project, GCOOS educator Grant Craig is now taking the STEM lessons Simoniello developed, cross-referencing with state and federal standards and guidelines and developing web-ready content for educators throughout the Gulf to use in their own projects and classrooms. These materials should be available at gcoos.org in April.
Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming G-CAN Seminars
As part of G-CAN, the GCOOS Coastal Ocean Acidification Network, we're hosting a series of webinars about ocean acidification. Our goal is to identify vulnerabilities in the Gulf ecosystem that may be impacted by OA, foster collaborations to increase ocean observations and develop strategies to help mitigate impacts.
We've scheduled two upcoming seminars; details and topics will be announced later.
  • 2 p.m. EST May 18: Xinping Hu, Assistant Professor, Chemical Oceanography, Chemistry Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
  • 2 p.m. EST June 22: Dr. Ruoying He, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences at North Carolina State University. His research expertise spans from coastal circulation dynamics, air-sea interaction, to biophysical interactions.
G-CAN is a collaboration between GCOOS and NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program and includes federal and state agency representatives, resource managers, industry partners and research scientists.

Partner News
BOEM Gulf Lease Sale 
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recently announced that the Department will offer 73 million acres offshore of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida for oil and gas exploration and development. The proposed region-wide lease sale scheduled for Aug. 16, 2017 would include all available unleased areas in federal Gulf waters.

Lease Sale 249 will include about 13,725 unleased blocks, located from three to 230 miles offshore, in the Gulf's Western, Central and Eastern planning areas in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (3 to 3,400 meters). Excluded from the lease sale are blocks subject to the Congressional moratorium established by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 ; blocks that are adjacent to or beyond the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone in the area known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap; and whole blocks and partial blocks within the current boundary of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. 
GOMA All-Hands Meeting 
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance 2017 All-Hands Meeting begins March 26. GCOOS is an All-Hands meeting sponsor.

At the beginning of the week, the Alliance is partnering with the Harte Research Institute's One Gulf Summit, March 26 - 28. This will serve as the "opening plenary" for All Hands. During this program, attendees will hear high-level discussions on important Gulf issues related to the challenges and opportunities of a sustainable Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf Restoration News
DWH Tracker
Just a reminder that the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) offers a comprehensive tracker for DWH-related funding available and projects currently under way. Information on activities related to Deepwater Horizon oil spill research and restoration is updated monthly. 
Restoration Resources
Restoration Funding Calendar
  • NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program hosts a three-year calendar that consolidates planned funding opportunities
By State:

New Reports & Good Reads
 Agencies Team up to Accelerate Earth System Predictions
Accurately predicting the weather -- at short and long time scales -- is among the most complex and important challenges science faces. Protecting the nation's security and economy will increasingly rely on improved skill in forecasting weather, weather-driven events like floods and droughts and long-term shifts in weather, ocean and sea-ice patterns.

A new paper co-authored by officials from NOAA Research and NOAA's National Weather Service, other federal agencies and the military, captures the 60-year history of U.S. numerical weather prediction and details a five-agency strategy underway to coordinate and accelerate the America's environmental prediction capability. 
  • Read more
Surface Elevation Table Gaps Report
The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative (NGOM SSC) published a report identifying the gaps in Surface Elevation Table (SET) data for the Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment
Climate, sea level rise and urbanization are having a combined and ongoing impact on the Gulf's coastal natural resources. Management decisions to address these effects require an understanding of the relative vulnerability of various resources to these stressors. The four Landscape Conservation Cooperatives along the Gulf partnered with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to conduct a Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment.
Gaining Louisiana Coastal Restoration Permits Will Take Years
The environmental permits required to begin construction of the $1.3 billion Mid-Barataria sediment diversion near Myrtle Grove, a key piece of Louisiana's coastal protection and restoration master plan, will not be issued until at least 2022, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers told the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on March 15. The diversion would be designed to capture Mississippi River sediment during high-water periods and move it west into Barataria Bay. The goal is to build land in open-water areas and add sediment in existing wetlands. The state has hoped to be ready to begin construction as early as the first quarter of 2020.
Employment Opportunities
Department of Defense, Stennis Space Center
The DOD is seeking a physical scientist/oceanographer for a position that is interdisciplinary in the Full Spectrum Geoint Branch, Geoint Analysis Division, Littoral and Riverine Department, Naval Oceanographic Office, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi.

The candidate will serve as an analyst responsible for scientific and technical evaluation, correlation, derivation, fusion and presentation of complex derived oceanographic data including bathymetry, other Navy Meteorology & Oceanography (METOC) data, and navigational hazards and maintain the technical adequacy of data analysis that is required to produce products and publication of scientific conclusions derived from detailed evaluation of this data. 
Engility Corp., Stennis Space Center
ENGILITY Corp. is seeking a full-time GIS Analyst for a program opening in Hancock County, Mississippi. This position will support the analysis and processing of environmental data and provide written or graphical input to acoustic, physical, and geologic oceanographic sections of Digital Environmental Reports and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) products. Part-time hours authorized will be less than 1,000 hours for a full contract/calendar year. Travel may be required.
University of Barcelona, Spain
The Department of Earth and Ocean Dynamics from the University of Barcelona is seeking a highly motivated geochemist to assist in the sample processing and instrumental analysis of radiogenic isotopes and trace element geochemistry. Candidate needs to be qualified to oversee and perform daily operations and maintenance tasks for a new MC-ICPMS and clean laboratory facilities.

Full-time grant-paid position, with initial three-year appointment, with the possibility of extension. Six-month probationary period. 
  • Application deadline May 5
  • Details
Funding Opportunities
National Academies
The National Academies' Gulf Research Program is investing up to $5 million in projects that advance science and apply it in one of two topic areas:
  • Integration of Monitoring and Evaluation into Environmental Restoration Projects to Improve Outcomes in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Improving Risk-Based Evaluations to Support a Public Health Response to the Next Oil Spill
Proposed projects must be hypothesis-driven and seek to improve science and practice by bringing together researchers, practitioners, or other relevant perspectives.
  • Full details  
  • Webinar: April 6
  • LOI due May 3
  • Deadline June 28
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
MDEQ is soliciting proposals in support of the Sea Grant Education and Outreach (EOE) Grant Program. The primary goal of this Program is to fund education, outreach, and extension programs to provide information regarding how upland restoration and conservation work provides benefits to connected downstream estuarine and marine ecosystem. This Program is funded through the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, CFDA No. 87.051, Award # GNTCP17MS0020.
  • Webinar: March 29
  • Deadline: 3 p.m. CST April 13
  • Details 
Texas Sea Grant 
This Grants-In-Aid of Graduate Research Program provide research support to graduate students currently enrolled in Master's or Ph.D. programs at Texas A&M University in College Station (TAMU), Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) or Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) whose marine- or coastal-related research in any field of study is relevant to Texas, though not necessarily based in Texas.
  • Deadline: April 14, proposals due to Texas Sea Grant by 4 p.m. CDT (no exceptions)
  • Full details
Red Snapper Abundance
The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC) is accepting proposal submissions to estimate the abundance of red snapper in the U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Projects must use the design criteria described in the funding request.
  • Letter of Intent due by 5 p.m. CST April 7
  • Full proposals due by 5 p.m. CST June 9
  • Details
Events & Meetings
State of the Gulf Summit , March 26-28, 2017. Houston, TX. The Summit if followed by a
GOMA all-hands meeting from March 29-30.

International Research Needs Meeting hosted by BOEM, HRI, GRP and NOAA, March 29-30, 2017, Houston, TX. Invitation-only.

ArcGIS 10.3.1 , May 1-4: Florida Sea Grant and the University of Florida IFAS Extension invite you to register for a premier 3.5-day intensive workshop on ArcGIS 10.3.1, a powerful tool for managing natural resources and guiding growth and development.

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
Gulf of Mexico Climate Community of Practice Annual Meeting, bringing together extension, outreach and education professionals with community officials in the Gulf to learn how coastal communities can adapt to sea-level rise, precipitation changes and other climate-related issues. May 16-18, 2017, Covington, Louisiana

The 2017 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins will provide a forum for academic, government and private sector scientists to exchange ideas on harnessing advances in biology, chemistry, ecology, plant pathology, epidemiology and risk assessment to address the problems associated with occurrence of these natural toxins.
Other Gulf-Related Events
Have a meeting, job or funding 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.