January 2023
Greetings from GCOOS!

We’re off to a busy start to the New Year! We’re working with IOOS on our recertification, reviewing reports from our PIs and hoping to hear soon about some additional support for glider missions through supplemental hurricane funding.

I’m pleased to note that we expect to host more glider missions than ever this hurricane season — as well as missions of other autonomous platforms — via our piloting dashboard, GANDALF, in 2023.

In addition to partnering with the U.S. Navy, which will run up to five additional gliders in the Gulf, we’re also supporting missions to be conducted by the University of South Florida (USF), Texas A&M’s Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (TAMU-GERG), Mote Marine Laboratory and the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), which will also be piloting a new shallow-water glider along the coast. GCOOS Oceanographer Dr. Uchenna Nwankwo and I are working with IOOS and other glider partners in the Gulf to finalize our deployment plans this spring.

We’ve also scheduled our Spring Members’ Meeting and hope to see you in person in Mississippi (registration is now open — please keep reading for the link and other details) and will be opening nominations for our Board of Directors elections in February.

In February, we’ll also be kicking off our Spring Webinar Series. We’re really excited this year to offer GCOOS PIs an opportunity to showcase their work and impacts on ocean observing in the Gulf of Mexico and how these efforts are supporting GCOOS’s mission to provide robust and real-time data to communities! Please mark your calendar and register for the webinars today.

Until next month,
News from GCOOS HQ
Register Today for Our Spring Meeting
Registration is now open for our Spring Members' Meeting, scheduled to take place in person in Mississippi. We’ll share the agenda as soon as it’s finalized.

  • When: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT, Tuesday, April 18
  • Where: Hardy Hall/Ballroom on the Gulf Park campus of the University of Southern Mississippi, 730 East Beach Blvd., Long Beach, Mississippi 39560
  • Room block: We’ve reserved a room block at the Marriott Courtyard Gulfport Beachfront, 1600 E Beach Blvd., Gulfport, MS 39501.
  • Please be sure to click the link below to register early, as we will need to add you to the room block list for the special rates. ($159 block rate/$95 federal rate, based on availability.) Once your name has been added and your room reserved, you will receive a confirmation number.
  • Meeting Registration: Click here
2023 GCOOS Board Elections
GCOOS will open nominations for our 2023 Board Elections on Feb. 21. Board members have the opportunity to be involved in helping to chart the course for GCOOS and support ocean observing opportunities across the five Gulf states, along with international efforts throughout the wider Gulf of Mexico. (View current board list here.) Self-nominations are welcome; you may also nominate a colleague.

Board seats are based on sectors. In 2023, we will be electing:

  • One member each from the private and academic sectors
  • Two members each from the government and outreach & education sectors

Only GCOOS members may vote for the Board.

  • Not yet a member but interested in joining? Click here for details and to join.

Important dates and deadlines

  • Feb. 21: Nominations open
  • March 21: Nominations close
  • March 28: Ballots sent to electors
  • April 11: Voting ends

Questions? Please contact GCOOS Research Associate Jennifer Vreeland-Dawson. jen.vreeland@gcoos.org
Register Now for the GCOOS Spring Webinar Series
Registration is now open for the GCOOS Spring Webinar Series, which will take place in February and March. This year’s series will focus on our Principal Investigators and include an overview of their GCOOS-supported work in the Gulf and how it supports the organization’s Strategic Plan and Focus Areas.

Our first webinar will include an introduction and overview by Executive Director Dr. Jorge Brenner, along with a presentation by physical oceanographer Dr. Mark Luther of the University of South Florida’s Center for Maritime and Port Studies, who will discuss AIS and port security.

  • When: 3-4 p.m. EST Wednesdays in February and March

Feb. 8
Dr. Jorge Brenner and Dr. Mark Luther.

Feb. 15
Felimon Gayanilo, GCOOS co-Data Manager, will discuss Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Notice to Lessees and Operators (NLT) data.

John J. Langan, Senior Engineer and Manager of the Ocean Technology Program at Mote Marine Laboratory, will discuss GCOOS-funded glider operations.

Feb. 22 — High Frequency Radar (HFR) mini-symposium
Ben Williams and Dr. Kerri Whilden, Fugro, HFR and surface current data at ports

Dr. Stephan Howden, University of Southern Mississippi, HFR, buoys and gliders

Drs. Tony Knap, TAMU-GERG, Texas HFR Network

Please note: This webinar will be 1.5 hours to accommodate three speakers.

Coming Up in March

  • 1: Satellite Products, Dr. Frank Muller-Karger, USF, and Dr. Nan Walker, Louisiana State University (LSU).

  • 8: Water Quality, Dr. Eric Milbrandt, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and Dr. Chuanmin Hu, USF.

  • 15: Gliders, Chad Lembke, USF; WAVCIS, Dr. Chunyan Li, LSU.

  • 22: Satellite altimetry data, Dr. Robert Leben, University of Colorado (UCO) Boulder; nutrient sensors, Dr. Beth Stauffer, University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL).

  • 29: Imaging FlowCytobots (IFCB) with Dr. Kenneth Hoadley, University of Alabama (UA), and Dr. Lisa Campbell, TAMU.
Join Our New DEIA Task Team
On Jan. 24, we mark the fifth celebration since the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed it as an International Day of Education. At a time when more than 244 million children and youth are not in schools and more than 700 million adults are illiterate, education is key to achieving equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of people behind.

At GCOOS, we are committed to breaking down barriers and providing inclusive educational opportunities. And we need your help! Have ideas about how we can do better? Interested in helping to guide our path forward? Please consider joining our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Task Team.

  • Task team members must be GCOOS members. Contact Outreach & Education Manager Dr. Chris Simoniello chris.simoniello@gcoos.org for more information.
Data Spotlight
The Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed (COMT)
Research continues on the U.S. IOOS COMT project that supports the mission of NOAA’s National Water Center and other groups that need next-generation water models.

The project stems from critical gaps in our ability to predict exchanges across the river/ocean boundary that become especially important during large storms. At these times, ocean surges and extreme precipitation can cause large fluctuations and even reversals in flow direction — like the one in Tampa Bay, Florida, during Hurricane Ian and at Cedar Key, Florida, during Hurricane Irma.

Models can help researchers gain insight into important questions such as: Will contaminants trapped in coastal sediments be transported onshore? Will drinking water become unpotable? The team, led by Kevin Xu, Director of the Coastal Studies Institute at LSU, is coupling models that factor in temperature, salinity, water level, buoyancy, and sediment transport to see whether they can more accurately predict contaminant transport across the river-estuary-ocean continuum. As the team advances the coupling of the model components, GCOOS co-Data Manager Felimon Gayanilo is preparing to host project outputs on the GCOOS data portal.
Tickets On Sale Now for Oyster South Symposium
The Oyster South Symposium brings together producers, gear suppliers, distributors, chefs, food writers, vendors, researchers, students and managers from the southeast and Gulf coast regions to discuss pressing issues and relevant, practical research on oyster aquaculture. Oyster South is a nonprofit organizing that connects communities and provides resources to foster the success of oyster farming in the southern United States.

Marine Operations
"Zodiac" — A New Warm-Core Eddy
LSU’s Earth Scan Laboratory detected a new warm core eddy detachment in the Gulf of Mexico around Dec. 28.

Instabilities in the Loop Current flow lead to detachment and separation of large clockwise-rotating warm-core eddies every 4 to 18 months. Several detachments and re-attachments can take place before the final separation event occurs after which the eddy slowly moves westward, where it eventually loses energy from friction, interacting with the continental slope in the western Gulf.

The eddy has been named Eddy Zodiac.

UG2 Webinar: 'What's in My Garage?'
The next Underwater Glider User Group (UG2) Webinar is scheduled for Jan. 26. "What's in My Garage?" will include a panel of glider users and researchers who will discuss their lab infrastructure, tricks and tips they employ, and any operational challenges and shortcomings they face. Coordinator Bill Lingsch will also provide community updates.


  • Adam Comeau, Coastal Environmental Observation Technology and Research (CEOTR), Dalhousie University
  • Fiona Elliott and Ailin Dale Brakstad, The Norwegian National Facility for Ocean Gliders, University of Bergen
  • Hank Statsewich, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska-Fairbanks
  • Karen Dreger, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, University of Georgia
  • David Aragon and Brian Buckingham, Rutgers Centers for Ocean Observing Leadership (RUCOOL), Rutgers University
  • Uchenna Nwanko, Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG), Texas A&M University

UG2 Seattle Workshop Proceedings
The final report and proceedings from the UG2 Workshop held in Seattle in September 2022 are now available.

  • Proceedings captured during the event are available on the UG2 website.
  • Workshop presentations are available here.
  • Download the final report here
Healthy Ecosystems & Living Resources
Tracking Species Over Space and Time
The Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) Acoustic BioTrack work group has been busy! Led by Drs. Neil Hammerschlag, MBON Investigator, and Thiago Couto, a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Miami’s Shark Research and Conservation Program, the group has collaborated on an unprecedented aggregation of acoustic telemetry data.

The data acquisition process they established resulted in a compilation of more than 43 million detections of tracked animals based on 3,509 unique receiver locations distributed along the east coast of the USA, Canada, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico (see map).
  • The full dataset spans 74 species: 39 teleost fishes; 19 sharks; eight species of ray; four sea turtle species; two species of sturgeon, one mammal and even a crustacean.

The dataset has undergone quality control procedures and is in the process of being refined for analysis by clarifying metadata with individual providers. Different approaches to modeling species’ distributions are now being investigated as a necessary first step before generating the desired multi-species indicators.
The integration of these datasets was only possible because of the effort of scientific groups and telemetry networks over the past 20 years: nearly 50 principal investigators from 38 institutions conducting about 50 acoustic telemetry projects contributed to this effort. Members of telemetry networks such as the Atlantic Cooperative Telemetry Network (ACT), the FACT Network, the Ocean Tracking Network and the Integrated Tracking of Aquatic Animals in the Gulf of Mexico (iTAG), as well as data from independent contributors, made this effort possible.
Photo courtesy of Ocean Tracking Network
New National Nature Assessment
NOAA and its partners are calling for public input on the development of the first U.S. National Nature Assessment (NNA). The goal of this historic effort is to assess the state of the nation's natural resources, services and uses in a changing climate. NOAA is part of an interagency steering committee charged with developing the NNA pursuant to Executive Order 14072.

Living Shorelines
NOAA has a new storymap highlighting shoreline restoration projects across the nation, including 38 living shoreline projects in the Gulf of Mexico. Living Shorelines have gained attention as an alternative to traditional hardened shoreline stabilization techniques like bulkheads, revetments and concrete seawalls, which create barriers at the land-water interface.

Long-Term Change
Preparing for More Intense Storms
NOAA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) have announced a record investment in projects that will help communities prepare for increasing coastal flooding and more intense storms, while improving thousands of acres of coastal habitats. The funding, in collaboration with the Department of Defense (DOD) and private sector partners, provides more than $136 million to support 88 natural infrastructure projects in 29 states and U.S. territories.

Partner News
Gulf of Mexico Alliance Receives Federal Authorization
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance has received federal authorization under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This authorization recognizes the four existing Regional Ocean Partnerships (ROPs) and establishes governance structures and procedures to be used when new Partnerships are created. The purpose of the authorization is to recognize ROPs as intergovernmental coordinators for shared priorities related to the collaborative management of oceans and coastal regions, thereby reducing duplication of efforts and maximizing opportunities to leverage support.

GOMA also recently welcomed Katie Wallace as their new Program Coordinator supporting the Data & Monitoring Team and Dr. Kate Harrison as their new Water Resources Coordinator.
Seaside Chats
The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary will begin its annual Seaside Chats webinar series in February. Speakers — including Sanctuary staff and invited guests — are focused on FGBNMS ocean science and conservation topics. Webinars are free and educators can receive continuing education certificates.

Applications Being Accepted for Women in Sciences Leadership Workshop
Applications are now being accepted for the Women in the Sciences Leadership Workshop — an opportunity for scientists (graduate students to senior scientists) to interact with each other, build new networks and develop important skill sets.

The program highlights emotional intelligence, leadership styles and individual strengths and the workshop will foster communication among researchers in academic, federal, nonprofits and private sectors across all scientific fields. 

The workshop goal is to train women in leadership, mentoring and team building, help them to gain self-confidence in promoting themselves, network with other women in similar career stages and also connect with leaders from major scientific organizations. The participants will be taught about their specific personality types, how they can optimize their own strengths for different leadership styles and how to best assess the needs of the personnel working for them. The skills and network gained through the workshop will better prepare women to seek out leadership positions, be successful in obtaining leadership positions and help them retain leadership positions.

Only 50 applicants can be accepted to ensure connections between the women.
  • Applications are due Feb 17. Women from scientific fields science are welcome to apply — including administrative support staff. Selections will be made by March 23.
  • Apply now
HRI “Current” Now Out
The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies has released the latest issue of Currents, featuring news and information from HRI. The publication includes a feature about new interim Executive Director, Dr. Greg Stunz.

Science Policy Fellowship Applications
The National Academies Gulf Research Program has opened applications for their 2023 Science Policy Fellowship. Science Policy Fellows gain first-hand experience at the interface of science and policy as they spend one year alongside decision-makers at agencies across Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Call for Proposals
The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and NOAA have put out a call for proposals and postdocs related to synthesis science in the Gulf of Mexico. The NCEAS and NOAA Restore Gulf Ecosystem Initiative is funding two to three working groups at $75,000-$125,000 to conduct synthesis science on important ecological issues in the Gulf of Mexico. They are also hiring two postdocs to join their Gulf Ecosystem Initiative, with room for solo and group research around Gulf of Mexico fisheries, climate change and management.

Just for Students
Steidinger Scholars Applications Now Open
Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is accepting applications for the Steidinger Scholars Program, which is designed to inspire students to explore careers in fisheries and wildlife research through experiential learning. Successful applicants participate in three-month long part-to-full time paid internships during summer, fall or winter terms.

Mentored by FWRI scientists, these future investigators work on a variety of projects that inform the protection, conservation and management of Florida’s fish and wildlife resources.

The program was established in honor of Dr. Karen Steidinger, a world-renowned pioneering woman in harmful algal bloom research and a formative figure in the history of FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI).

  • Designed for recent or expected high school graduates and college students in their freshman or sophomore years.
  • Application deadline for summer term: March 1
  • Full details and information
Kids’ Art Contest
The Ocean Exploration Trust has opened submissions for the 2023 kids’ artwork patch contest. The winning artwork will become the official Nautilus Expedition Season Patch and Sticker and will be worn and displayed by members of the Corps of Exploration during the annual exploration cruises and represent the expedition season for the team.

NOAA Student Photo Contest
NOAA has opened submissions for “Picture Climate Change,” a photo contest for students in grades five through 12. Each entry must include:

  • A photograph showcasing an example of climate change impacts or resilience of climate change in the United States or one of its territories; and
  • A 3-4 sentence description of the climate change or impact, from your perspective.
  • Deadline: Feb. 15
  • Click here
Job Opportunities
GCOOS maintains a jobs listing for positions and fellowships in the ocean observing community. Want to advertise a position? Email Laura Caldwell

  • Texas A&M University: GIS Developer
  • Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi: System Administrator II
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration NOS: Deputy Assistant Administrator
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service: Environmental Specialist
  • Texas General Land Office, Coastal Resources Program: Natural Resources Specialists III (Project Manager)
  • Lynker: Coastal Hydrodynamic Modeler
  • Lynker: Communications Specialist
  • State of Louisiana: Coastal Resources Scientist Senior DCL B
  • The University of Massachusetts Boston: Assistant Professor of Coastal Oceanography
  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance: Program Coordinator
  • Mote Marine Laboratory: Communications Cooridinator, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ray Biology and Conservation Research
  • GOOS Biology: Data Manager

Postdoctoral Positions:
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration: National Centers for Coastal Ocean Sciences, NRC Research Programs
  • National Research Council: Research Associateship Programs Postdoctoral and Senior Research Awards
  • Rosenstiel School's Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences: Postdoctoral Associate

  • NMFS-Sea Grant Joint Fellowship Program
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration - Coastal Management Fellowship
  • National Academies of Science, Engineering and Mathematics: Early Career Fellowships
  • Department of Defense: Visualization of Coastal Data, Coastal Vulnerability Assessment Fellow
Funding Opportunities
GCOOS maintains a listing of funding opportunities. Have an opportunity you'd like to advertise? Email Laura Caldwell

  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration: Infrastructure and Jobs Investment Act
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration: Translating Coastal Research into Application
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine: Safer Offshore Energy Systems
  • Gulf Research Program: Safer Offshore Energy Grant
  • Gulf Research Program: Safer Offshore Energy Systems Grants
  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance
  • Restore America's Estuaries: 2023 NEP Watershed Grants RFP
  • Restore America's Estuaries: 2023 CITGO Caring for our Coasts Gulf Region Grant Program
  • Texas Sea Grant Request for Proposals: 2024-2026
  • Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Request for Proposals: 2024-2025
25: Webinar - The State of GOMA
24-25: Bays and Bayou Symposium, Mobile, Alabama
31- Feb 1: GOMA Data and Monitoring Team Mid-Year Meeting, Virtual
8 and 15: GOMA Wildlife and Fisheries Team Mid-year-Meeting, Virtual
4-6: Ocean Visions Biennial Summit 2023, Atlanta, Georgia
4-9: ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2023, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Have meeting or workshop info you want to share? Email Laura Caldwell.
Contact Us
GCOOS is the Gulf of Mexico regional component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and the only certified system dedicated solely to the Gulf of Mexico. Our mission is to provide on-demand information about the Gulf’s coastal and open ocean waters that is accurate, reliable and benefits people, ecosystems and the economy.
Dr. Jorge Brenner, Executive Director • Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick, Senior Advisor  Bill Lingsch, Underwater Glider User Group Coordinator  Dr. Chris Simoniello, Outreach & Education Manager  Felimon Gayanilo, Systems Architect, Co-Data Manager • Bob Currier, Product Developer, Co-Data Manager • Dr. Uchenna Nwankwo, Oceanographer  Marion Stoessel, Senior Research Associate • Tuomo Saari, Scientific Computing Specialist • Jennifer Vreeland-Dawson, Research Associate, GCAN Coordinator • Grant Craig, Program & Volunteer Coordinator • Laura Caldwell, Program Assistant • Nadine Slimak, Public Relations & Content Marketing, Vetted Communications, LLC
In Memoriam: Matt Howard, 1952-2018