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.
February 2018 - In This Issue:
I'd like to thank you all for the outpouring of support that we at GCOOS have received following the unexpected death of
Matt Howard, our Data Management and Communications lead. It is consoling to hear about the many positive impacts he had on friends and colleagues both personally and professionally and to read the tributes posted online.

You can learn more about his life in the tribute below that was written by Worth Nowlin, who founded GCOOS with Matt's help, and Matt's son, Nathan Howard.

For those able to attend, a memorial service will be held for Matt at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, at the Callaway-Jones Funeral Home, 3001 S College Ave., Bryan, Texas 77801. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Hospice Brazos Valley in Matt's name.

At GCOOS, we are also developing a scholarship to honor Matt's life and will share those details with you as we have them.

Matt was truly a towering personality in Gulf oceanography and his contributions were many and widespread. He is already greatly missed here at GCOOS and I share this photo with you today in his honor. I think Matt would have appreciated it.    

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
, Systems Architect

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
News from GCOOS HQ
Please Get Your Nominations in Now    
GCOOS' Membership Committee is seeking nominations for the organization's Board of Directors. People interested in and committed to working within an organization dedicated to providing data, information and products to the Gulf of Mexico stakeholder community from all sectors -- governmental, NGO, industry and academia -- are invited to nominate themselves or a colleague.
Partner News
Bringing Researchers and Practitioners Together
The Gulf Research Program announced the award of $5.3 million in grant funding for seven new projects aimed at bringing researchers and practitioners together to transfer knowledge and work jointly on efforts that advance both science and its application.
Five of the projects involve developing or testing new technologies or methods for monitoring or evaluating environmental restoration projects to improve future restoration efforts. The remaining two projects focus on improving the information available for evaluating public health risks resulting from oil spills.
Disaster Recovery Grants Deadline
Don't forget that the grant deadline for disaster recovery grants from the Gulf Research Program is drawing near. Up to $2 million in fast-track grants is available to help natural and social scientists recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Apply for up to $50,000 to help with the repair, replacement, or recovery of equipment, data, or other research materials, including communication with study participants.
  • Deadline: 5 p.m. EST Feb. 28
  • Details
Gulf Star Program Annual Report
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance has released the Gulf Star program 2017 annual report. In 2016, regional projects received in total $631,000. In 2017, the Alliance is on track to implement more than $750,000 in regional, additional projects. This report presents an overview of the 2016 and 2017 Gulf Star projects. 
The Gulf Star program is a public-private partnership of agencies, businesses, and non-profits that support the priorities directly tied to healthy ecosystems that impact Gulf economies. Current partners include Anadarko, The Nature Conservancy, Freeport-McMoRan, BHP, Shell, NOAA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the five U.S. Gulf States.   
New: GulfCorps
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has launched an innovative regional initiative called the GulfCorps Program. Three hundred jobs are expected to be created over three years thanks to the innovative conservation effort. The $7 million-dollar project will be carried out by a partnership formed with TNC, The Corps Network, the Student Conservation Association (SCA), and NOAA. The project is funded through coordination with the NOAA Restoration Center and the RESTORE Council.

The intent is to hire local young people impacted by the 2010 oil spill. These new local stewards will engage projects that protect and restore critical habitat in the region. The initial program is for three years; but, organizers hope the program can expand to support restoration efforts in the long-term.
Power of Partnerships: Advancing Ocean Science and Tech
On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, Consortium for Ocean Leadership's annual Public Policy Forum will take place at the Reserve Officers Association on Capitol Hill. This year's theme is "Power of Partnerships: Advancing Ocean Science and Tech" and will feature leadership round tables and case studies with experts from across the federal government and around the country, as well as remarks by several members of Congress. Breakfast and lunch will be provided and a reception will be held in the evening.

Power of Partnerships investigates partnering as a tool to advance the national ocean science and technology enterprise.
Gulf Restoration News
Deepwater Horizon Tracker Updates Made 
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance and partners, Ducks Unlimited and The Trust for Public Land, continue to build the Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker launched in April 2015.  
Recent project updates to the Tracker include: RESTORE Council bucket 2 and 3 projects, NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund awards, NAS Gulf Restoration Projects, NRDA edits to existing projects, and updates to Department of Treasury materials. Only funded projects and programs are included in the Tracker.
Restoration Resources
Restoration Funding Calendar
  • NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program hosts a three-year calendar that consolidates planned funding opportunities
By State:

In Memorium: Matthew K. Howard, 1952-2018
Matthew K. Howard of College Station died suddenly on Feb. 8 while attending a business conference in Seattle. He was 65 years old. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, at Callaway-Jones Funeral Home in Bryan.

Matt was born Aug. 29, 1952, in Killeen, Texas to Lt Col (USA Ret) Walter A. Howard and May-Jean Warren Howard RN. As a member of a military family, Matt lived in many places, including New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Germany, Missouri and finally Rialto, California, where he graduated from high school in 1970. 

Preceding him in death were his parents, a brother Samuel Howard, sisters Ami Howard, Lara Howard York, Kim Howard, and a nephew, Joshua Howard.

Matt was a loving husband and devoted father who cared deeply for a large and extended family.  Matt's legacy is one of a husband, father, brother, uncle, son, and friend who put family first.  When Matt was with his family, he was always present and focused fully in the moment and with the company he shared.  Matt had a passion for entertaining. He could prepare an exquisite meal for 5 or for 50 with multiple courses, perfectly paired with red wine and martinis that matched the occasion. 

Matt proposed to his wife Ailene, on bended knee with 30+ family members present, proving that sharing his life extended beyond his words, beyond his commitment and now, beyond his life on earth.

Matt is survived by his wife, Ailene Howard, son Nathan K. Howard and former wife Debbie Partain, all of College Station. He is also survived by two brothers and one sister: brother Dan Howard of Anchorage, Alaska; brother Lt Col (USAF Ret) Luke Howard and wife Leverne of Charleston, S.C.; sister Dallis Crow and husband Sean Crow of Centennial, Colo.; sister-in-law Kelly Howard Daley of Indio, Calif; brother-in-law Jim York and wife Susan of New Richmond, WI.  His surviving nieces and nephews are Addison Howard, Caroline Howard, Emily York, Mary-Jean Barnes and husband Clifford Barnes, Ashley Campagna and husband Chris Campagna, Amanda Speck and husband Frank Speck, Samantha Crow, Jackson Crow, Lucas Crow and Matt Howard. Grand nieces and nephews are Lana Barnes, Veda Barnes, Alana Campagna, Alexa Campagna, Brooks Campagna and Fiona Speck.

Matt's family circle expanded when he married the love of his life, Ailene in 2015. The following members of her family also survive Matt: step daughter Kandice Trujillo and husband Manny Trujillo and their children Kade, Karson and Mia; step son Kevin Hay and wife Tamara and their daughter Haley; step sister-in-law Darlene Anderson and husband Bruce; step brother-in-law John Bowling and wife Sharon; step nephew Marc McKeehan and wife Nikki and children Sloan, Payton, Hailey, Garret and Kacie; step niece Nicole Anderson and children David and Regan; step nephew Chris Bowling and wife Cristy and children Adam, Cole, Jaxon, Kyndal and Joslyn; step niece Andrea and husband Tucker; and step nephew Brent Bowling and wife Marissa.

Matthew Howard received a B.S. degree in physical oceanography in 1977 from Humbolt State University, Calif. He was employed by Interstate Electronics Corp. in Anaheim Calif. (1977-80) and Dynamics Technology Inc. in Torrance, Calif. (1980-82). Matt then moved to College Station and enrolled as a graduate student in the Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University, receiving the Ph.D. in oceanography in 1992. Meanwhile, he worked for Applied Research Corporation and the Geochemical Environmental Research Group at TAMU, both in College Station, from 1989 to 1994. He then joined the Department of Oceanography and advanced to be an Associate Member of the TAMU Graduate Faculty in 2006 and Research Scientist in 2011.

Matt was an accomplished research scientist with many contributions to the study of ocean science. Beginning in 1992, Matt was the data manager and researcher on a series of five major studies in the Gulf of Mexico sponsored by the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service: a study of the circulation and transport processes over the Texas and Louisiana continental shelves; a study of the chemical and physical oceanography of the northeastern continental shelf waters; a synthesis and reanalysis of all physical data from deep water regions of the Gulf; a study to understand processes that maintain dissolved oxygen levels in the deep water Gulf; and a study of sperm whales and their reaction to seismic activity (noise) in the Gulf. These studies continued for 13 years during which time he also served as data manager for various studies funded by petroleum companies.

From 2001 to 2003, Matt's contributions to oceanic research were extensive, and his work will continue to advance the sciences for many years to come. Matt worked with Worth Nowlin, distinguished professor of oceanography emeritus at TAMU, to promote open data sharing (to all) by entities with ongoing observations in the Gulf of Mexico, using support from the Office of Naval Research. Subsequently, this concept of data collection, management, product development and open distribution to all users evolved by 2005 into the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Incorporated and granted tax-exempt status in 2012.

As Data Management and Communications Lead for the GCOOS since its inception, Matt provided the technical leadership for this regional association and was engaged in many related activities. His areas of professional interest and expertise were physical and coastal oceanography; integrated ocean observing systems; ocean data management systems; information architecture; informatics, semantic mediation, and ontologies; and model-data comparison.

Matt's passions included gardening, cooking, popular culture and enjoying the company of his family and many friends.  The last several years brought Matt so much joy to be able to spend significant time with his love Ailene, Nathan his son who he adored and his large family who loved him beyond measure.  His humor, creativity, ability to regale stories and love for his family will be profoundly missed.
Funding Opportunities
Joint Technology Transfer Initiative
NOAA's Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) Service Office of Weather and Air Quality (OWAQ), (through the Joint Technology Transfer Initiative (JTTI)) is soliciting proposals to conduct research and development activities related to advancing data assimilation of new observations and data assimilation techniques for convective-scale weather prediction, improving water prediction capabilities through enhancements to National Water Model, improving daily to subseasonal scale prediction of Arctic sea ice, and communicating forecast uncertainty.
  • Additional information is available at  grants.gov.  The FFO can be found by searching for "Joint Technology Transfer Initiative" or NOAA-OAR-OWAQ-2018-2005496.
GOMA Funding Opportunities Resource
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance maintains a Funding Opportunities web page of current opportunities.
Employment Opportunities
Smithsonian Seeks Marine Biodiversity Scientist
The Smithsonian is seeking an energetic and innovative Marine Biodiversity Scientist, with expertise in experimental and/or molecular ecology, to help develop and advance a program of comparative research on change in coastal marine life and ecosystems within the Marine Global Earth Observatory ( MarineGEO). The Scientist will work closely with the MarineGEO leadership team, and will play a key role in shaping and advancing the research program, leveraging MarineGEO's substantial and growing network of infrastructure and collaborating partners. The position is full-time for up to five years, pending satisfactory performance. 

This position involves a component of service in helping coordinate and implement MarineGEO's core research across sites. We have a strong Program Manager and technicians to help with coordination, so for the candidate with interests in comparative ecology and biodiversity studies, there is tremendous research opportunity.
University of Miami
The Department of Marine Biology and Ecology at the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) is seeking candidates for Associate or Assistant Professors in Marine and/or Estuarine Systems focusing on Microbial Ecology/Microbiome Biology or Environmental Biology. Microbial candidates should have research experience in marine microbiomes and the interactions between marine microbial communities and marine ecosystems. Strengths in microbial dynamics and community interactions using current genomic tools to characterize microbial assemblages are desirable. Environmental biology candidates should have a strong background in organism-environment interactions in multicellular organisms focusing on nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, immune, reproductive, or homeostatic systems. For both fields, an interest in the responses to climate change and other environmental impacts in the marine/estuarine environment is highly desirable.
Events & Meetings
Consortium for Ocean Leadership; Power of Partnership - Advancing Ocean Sciences and Technology
March 7, 2018, Reserve Officers Association Building, One Constitution Avenue NE, Washington, D.C.
Reception 6:00-8:00 PM Dirksen Senate Building, Room G50 
The joint OCEANS and Techno-Ocean meetings at the Kobe Convention Center, Kobe, Japan 
June 11-14, 2018, Hilton Bayfront Downtown, St. Petersburg, Florida

June 10-15, 2018, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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.