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.
July 2018 - In This Issue:
Ocean data plays a critical role in our daily lives -- in everything from transportation to storm prediction; oil and gas exploration to keeping coastal residents and visitors healthy. Earlier this month, the IOOS Association, in partnership with the Consortium for Ocean Leadership and the Senate Oceans Caucus, illustrated the importance of ocean data during a special briefing on Capitol Hill. Rear Adm. (Ret.) Tim Gallaudet (Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) moderated the briefing, which included remarks by GCOOS Board Member Ruth Perry, of Shell, Senators Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Leigh Habegger, Seafood Harvesters of America, Zack Klyver, Bar Harbor Whale Watch, and Joy Baker, Director, Port of Nome Alaska. I'm pleased to say that the meeting was standing-room only and that many Congressional staffers had the opportunity to learn more about the tools and technology put into place by the ocean observing community -- by all of you.
Reaching out to lawmakers and their staff members is an important way to elevate knowledge about our community and what we do. If you ever need help educating your lawmakers -- whether they're local, state or national -- about ocean observing, we've created fliers that outline the role ocean observing plays in protecting environments, economies and lives in each Gulf state. You can download them from our website
On another note, I'm sad to share news of the passing of Dr. Wes Tunnell, who was perhaps the best among us. His obituary in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times calls him a marine ecologist, biologist and author. But the ocean community knows him as a true visionary who was there at the beginning of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies and who helped to guide it to its place as a research leader in the Gulf of Mexico today. As HRI Director Larry McKinney said in his tribute to Wes "Many hands made HRI what it is today, but at its foundation, its soul, stands Wes Tunnell alone."
Wes's memorial is scheduled for 11 a.m. to noon, Saturday, July 28, at St. Johns United Methodist, 5300 S. Alameda St. Corpus Christi, Texas, 78412. Details about the family's memorial wishes are here.

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
, Interim DMAC Manager

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

In Memoriam: Matt Howard, 1952-2018
News from GCOOS HQ
HABs in Florida
Florida is being hit by a one-two punch from harmful algal blooms right now: a severe red tide impacting the state's west coast from Sarasota to Collier county and a blue-green algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River on the state's west coast. In June, GCOOS participated in a Congressional briefing on harmful algal blooms in Florida and the federal response and urged the federal reauthorization of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA) to protect the public. This 1998 Act created a funding stream for new harmful algae research and monitoring programs that forecast bloom movements and help ensure a safe seafood supply.
GCOOS is working with partners at NOAA, Mote Marine Laboratory, the Florida Department of Health and others to develop better HAB-detection methods using facial recognition software. You can learn more about the HABscope project here.
In the meantime, here are some helpful resources already in place:

Partner News
Buoying Our Nation's Economy: The Role Of Ocean Data In Supporting The Blue Economy
Photo courtesy of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership
The Consortium for Ocean Leadership and the IOOS Association, in conjunction with the Senate Oceans Caucus chaired by Senators Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), recently sponsored a Congressional briefing titled "Buoying our Nation's Economy: The Role of Ocean Data in Supporting the Blue Economy."
The ocean economy is growing, and increased ocean science can facilitate its success while ensuring the ocean remains healthy and productive. Scientific observations and data expand our ocean knowledge and should underpin decision making on the use of the ocean's resources. Experts who depend on our ocean and coasts discussed how shared ocean observations can improve safety and prosperity.
"Ocean data can create a more sustainable and balanced blue economy," GCOOS Board Member Dr. Ruth Perry, Shell Exploration and Production Company, told the audience.
All experts noted that ocean observations permit smart business decisions by informing vessels and platform operators of storms so they can avoid injury to equipment, crew or tourists.
Ocean Policy Statement from the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative
The JOCI has released a statement in response to President Trump's June Executive Order Regarding the Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States.
The Order "clarifies the Administration's ocean priorities, while repealing the 2010 National Ocean Policy and shifting focus away from ocean conservation, stewardship, and resilience," according to the JOC statement, which "insist(s) that America can have both economic prosperity and a healthy ocean. In fact, they go hand in hand."
JOCI Leadership Council member Vice Admiral Paul Gaffney, U.S. Navy (Ret.), and Janis Searles Jones, CEO of the Ocean Conservancy, also responded to the Order in an op-ed -- "For science and security, Trump should prioritize our oceans" -- in The Hill. 
National Ocean Sciences Bowl Needs Your Questions on Ocean Observing
Are you a science teacher or a marine scientist with a strong interest in education? Are you a National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) alum who wants to educate and challenge the next generation of ocean leaders? If so, write buzzer and team challenge questions for the 2019 NOSB competitions.
The NOSB is an academic competition and program that addresses a national gap in environmental and earth sciences in public education by introducing high school students to and engaging them in ocean science, preparing them for ocean science-related and other STEM careers, and helping them become knowledgeable citizens and environmental stewards. The program is in its 21st year.
For 2019, organizers are especially interested in questions regarding ocean observing systems and data and encourage individuals with relevant experience and expertise to contribute. While NOSB is no longer accepting applications for hired question writers this year, they do accept questions from volunteers. Guidelines for question writing, as well as examples and templates, are available on the NOSB website.
New Videos
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance has unveiled new videos developed by GOMA Headquarters working through the Coastal Resilience Team, Education and Engagement Team and the Marine Debris Initiative. These short pieces showcase some of GOMA's projects. 
Embrace the Gulf
The Gulf of Mexico provides food, shelter, protection, security, energy, habitat, recreation, transportation, and navigation -- playing an important role in our communities, states, region, and nation. To highlight the value and the vitality of the Gulf of Mexico region, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance conceived an awareness campaign "Embrace the Gulf" for the entire year 2020. The awareness campaign will culminate in a multi-stakeholder, cross-sector celebration of the importance of the Gulf of Mexico throughout the year 2020.
Gulf Oil Lease Sale
Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt has announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will offer approximately 78 million acres offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida for oil and gas exploration and development. The region-wide lease sale scheduled for Aug. 15, 2018, includes all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf Drilling Legal Challenge
The U.S. Government is facing a legal challenge from environmental groups for expanding Gulf of Mexico drilling by 78 million acres.

According to Offshore Technology: The challenge comes at a time when the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is about to conduct another lease sale. The suit has been filed by Earthjustice on behalf of multiple groups in the federal district court in Washington DC. It alleges that the permit to expand offshore drilling in the region poses significant risks to the environment, marine life, and people. The lawsuit challenges the upcoming lease sale, as well as the round in March, that involved 50% more acres sold compared to the sale in August 2017.
Gulf Restoration News
Preparing for Future Oil Spills
The Gulf Research Program is collaborating with the Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program  to convene a series of regional workshops aimed at improving community preparedness for future oil spills.
The workshops are being organized in response to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine workshop held in August 2017 that identified opportunities for action to improve protection of community health and well-being from oil spills.
Dispatches from the Gulf: To Disperse or Not Disperse? 
During the Deepwater Horizon spill, dispersants were sprayed onto oil slicks on the surface of the water, as well as directly into the escaping oil, to break up as much as possible. Ever since, scientists have been studying the impacts of these dispersants.
They're now evenly split on whether their use was ultimately a good or bad choice for the environment. For some organisms, dispersant plus oil is a very toxic mix. For others, the dispersant itself was actually more toxic than the oil alone. And, for yet other another set of organisms, the dispersant helped, as oil posed the most serious threat.
Interactive Story Map on Deepwater Horizon Oil 
The Smithsonian's Ocean Portal published an interactive tool featuring maps and graphics showing where Deepwater Horizon oil traveled. The story map also includes locations for where responders applied chemical dispersants on the Gulf's surface and other sources where oil enters the Gulf, such as offshore oil and gas platforms and natural seeps.
Restoration Resources
Restoration Funding Calendar
By State:

Good Read
Storms & Spills
A new fact sheet from the Sea Grant oil spill science outreach team outlines the ways high winds and water levels can cause oil and chemical spills, offers precautions residents can take to avoid harmful chemicals that can remain in lingering flood waters and provides a national contact number to report oil or chemicals in need of attention from authorities. A sample of some of the oil spills caused by major named storms in the past thirty years rounds out the information.
Protecting Gulf Corals
According to the New Orleans Times Picayune: Federal fisheries regulators have approved a plan granting new protections to some of the Gulf of Mexico's oldest and most fragile stands of deep-sea coral.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council unanimously voted to designate about 480 square miles as Habitat Areas of Particular Concern, a status that would make them a priority for conservation and scientific study. The protected areas are broken up into 21 sites, most off the Louisiana coast.
New Report: Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System
A better understanding of the Gulf's natural-human coastal system can help promote resilience and future habitability in the area, as well as support effective decision-making and policies. To gain insight into these coastal zone dynamics, the Gulf Research Program sponsored a study by the National Academies' Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, Ocean Studies Board, and Board on Environmental Change and Society.
The resulting report identifies critical knowledge gaps where research is needed to increase understanding of the interactions between human and natural processes along the Gulf Coast, along with a research agenda and strategies to help address these gaps. The report also presents barriers to effective communication between scientists and stakeholders and opportunities to address these barriers.
Funding Opportunities
NOAA RESTORE Science Program FFO-2019 
This funding competition will support long-term projects to investigate trends in the Gulf of Mexico's living coastal and marine resources and the processes driving them.
  • Required pre-proposals due July 30, 2018
  • Full proposals are due Oct. 29, 2018.
  • Details 
EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Request for Proposals 2018 
Solicitations under this announcement from eligible entities are for projects that address water quality improvement; coastal habitat and ecosystems enhancement, restoration and/or protection; environmental education and outreach; and community resilience in the Gulf of Mexico region and its watersheds.

American Honda Foundation 
Grant making that supports youth education with a specific focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is pleased to announce the National Coastal Resilience Fund. Projects funded under this national program will provide benefits to communities, as well as for fish and wildlife.

NFWF will award up to $30 million in grants to create, expand and restore natural systems in areas that will both increase protection for communities from coastal storms, sea and lake level changes, flooding, and coastal erosion and improve valuable habitats for fish and wildlife species. NFWF will invest in projects in two focus areas:
  • Project planning and design
  • Project implementation
  • August 7, 2018 11:59 PM EDT
  • Full proposals due: 11:59 p.m. EDT Aug. 7, 2018
  • Details 
Employment Opportunities
Postdoc and Ph.D. Student Position, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics and Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Canada
Postdoctoral fellow: A 3-year postdoc position is available as the main  project coordinator and data analyst to conduct environmental DNA (bulk  samples, water) analysis of macroinvertebrates in Canadian watersheds. The position involves design and coordination of sampling, genomics and  bioinformatics analysis with emphasis on ecological/environmental  analysis using Illumina MiSeq/NovaSeq data as well as data integration  and visualization. A background in molecular ecology/evolution,  familiarity with high throughput sequence analysis, ability to work at  the command-line in a Linux environment, knowledge of a scripting language (ex. Python) and R is required. Experience with large-scale  multi-investigator project/data management is an asset. Preferred  starting date: October 2018.

Ph.D. student: A Ph.D. student position is available to conduct ecological  genomics research (DNA metabarcoding, transcriptomics) on  macroinvertebrate communities from Canadian watersheds. The position
involves optimizing protocols (metabarcoding/  transcriptomics,  bioinformatics) to generate comparative data to study environmental  responses of freshwater benthic taxa. An MSc in biological sciences  (molecular evolution/ecology, genetics or related fields) is required  but applicants with a BSc and an exceptional academic/research record  will also be considered. Preferred starting date: January 2019.
Please send a copy of your CV, a cover letter and names/contact  information for three references to: Mehrdad Hajibabaei . Please indicate the title of the position you are  applying for in the subject line of your email. We will start reviewing  applications on July 15, 2018.

Cluster Hire for Coastal or Marine Science Faculty Positions at LUMCON
The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium for Research and Education (LUMCON) seeks to hire two new Assistant Professors in the second phase of multi-year faculty expansion. We invite well-qualified coastal or marine scientists, regardless of discipline, to apply. We are interested in scientists that address a wide range of fundamental problems in ocean and coastal sciences, as well as interdisciplinary research questions, using observations, modelling, theory and/or field and laboratory experiments. Candidates should have notable research achievements, demonstration of funded research, or potential for funded research, and a strong commitment to education and outreach. Preference will be given to candidates who can clearly demonstrate a research program that maximizes the locality and research assets of the DeFelice Marine Center and complements and extends the strengths of LUMCON and the consortium. 

The position carries a nine-month salary. The initial appointment is for three years; following a review, the contract may be renewed for three more years. A six-year review similar to tenure is conducted for promotion to Associate Professor, but LUMCON is not a tenure-granting institution.

Submit electronic copies of 1) a letter of interest; 2) curriculum vita; 3) research statement; 4) education and outreach statement; 5) a statement of how your research program would use the location of LUMCON's Defelice Marine Center and its assets, develop collaborations with faculty at both the Marine Center and at consortium member universities, and collaboratively utilize the resources of the consortium member universities; and 6) the name, affiliation, address, phone and email address of three references to hr@lumcon.edu with the subject LUMCON FACULTY CLUSTER HIRE. Specific questions about the positions can be directed to Dr. Craig R. McClain, Executive Director (985-851-2801).  Review of applicants will begin Sept. 15, 2018.
University of South Florida seeks two Tenure Track Faculty
The University of South Florida College of Marine Science invites applications from geological oceanographers whose research complements the strengths of the current faculty. We seek a hypothesis-driven scientist who uses a process-based approach to understand problems central to the ocean and its connections to the Earth systems. The candidate will use innovative techniques to investigate the effects of environmental change on the evolution of the stratigraphic record over a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. Candidates will be selected on the basis of their potential to conduct transformative research within their discipline, their productivity with respect to acquisition of external research funding and peer reviewed publication, and a potential for outstanding mentoring and teaching.  For information regarding the available position, please contact Dr. Brad Rosenheim or TimTrowbridge (727-553-3375).  

Apply online at Careers@USF. Please submit a cover letter stating qualifications. Please append research and teaching statements, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three referees. Position is open until filled, however, priority review of applications will begin by Aug. 1, 2018. Appointment is anticipated to commence Aug. 1, 2019.

The College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida invites applications for a tenure-track, nine-month academic appointment in Chemical Oceanography at the Assistant, Associate, or Professor level. Rank is dependent on qualifications and experience.   We seek a Chemical Oceanographer who will contribute to an understanding of the ocean/climate system, from basic disciplinary topics to ecosystems analyses. Qualified candidates will employ modern tools of multi-disciplinary science to understand regional and global issues critical to the ocean system. Candidates will be selected on the basis of their potential to conduct transformative research within their discipline, their productivity with respect to peer reviewed publications, acquisition of external research funding, and a potential for outstanding mentoring and teaching. The successful candidate would be expected to contribute to core courses in oceanography and teach specialty courses at the graduate level.   For information regarding the available position, please contact Dr. Kristen Buck or Tim Trowbridge (727-553-3375). 

Apply online at Careers@USF . Please submit a cover letter stating qualifications. Please append research and teaching statements, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three referees. Position is open until filled, however, priority review of applications will begin by Aug. 1, 2018. Appointment is anticipated to commence Aug. 1, 2019.  
Boston University seeks to hire Two Full Time Post Docs
The Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University seeks to hire a two full time post-doctoral scholars to support a new NASA-funded project focused on mapping global land cover, land use, and land cover change using historical and current Landsat imagery. The overarching goal of this project is to create a record of global land cover, land use, and land cover properties from 2000-present at 30-m spatial resolution and annual time step. We seek motivated candidates with training in physical geography, environmental science, or related fields. These positions will provide leadership to a larger team that is being jointly coordinated by the Friedl and Woodcock labs at Boston University.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, CV, and names for three references in a  single PDF document to Mark Friedl . Screening has already begun and  will continue until the positions are filled.
2019 Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship
Applications are now open for the 2019 Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship. In this 12-week program, early-career individuals are placed in different divisions within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, DC-including the Gulf Research Program. Fellows gain hands-on experience in science and technology policy while learning about the role scientists and engineers play in advising the nation.
Events & Meetings
A Special Meeting of the Biodiversity Ad Hoc Working Group- Focus on MBON: the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network at 1 p.m. ET, Thursday, July 26, 2018.
The webinar will feature updates on the US MBON demonstration projects and partner MarineGEO efforts, success stories, including products for targeted user needs, progress on shared priorities, such as eDNA and seascapes. With presentations by Dr. Bob Miller, Santa Barbara Channel MBON, Dr. Frank Muller-Karger, Sanctuaries MBON, Dr. Katrin Iken, Arctic MBON, Dr. Emmett Duffy, Smithsonian/MarineGEO. Webinar info:
  • Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 1:00pm ET
  • GoToMeeting Webinar ID 840-131-621
  • Call-in number (224) 501-3216
August 20-24, 2018, University of Washington, Seattle
This 5-day hands-on workshop is aimed at exploring, creating and  promoting effective computation and analysis workflows for large and  complex oceanographic data. The focus will be on data provided by the
National Science Foundation's Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI).  Comparisons to other large-scale ocean observing assets, such as Argo,  IOOS, etc. are welcome and encouraged. Travel and lodging grants are available for non-local accepted participants. Participants are expected to attend the entire workshop.
To apply, please fill out the  application  by May 7, 2018. Accepted  applicants will be notified no later than May 21, 2018
OOI Deep Ocean Observing Workshop
Aug. 27-29, 2018, an Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Deep Ocean Observing Workshop will be held in Seattle, WA. This workshop will provide an interdisciplinary forum to develop deep ocean science questions and identify societal needs that could be addressed using the existing OOI infrastructure. The workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to gather detailed information about OOI infrastructure, data availability, and discuss existing and prospective Essential Ocean Variables that deep-water observatories can address. Expected workshop outcomes may include identification of new cabled and stand-alone instrumentation and platforms needed to address Deep Ocean Observing Strategy goals and opportunities to leverage other regional ocean observing assets (e.g., the US Integrated Ocean Observing System - Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems, Oceans Network Canada).
More info
IOOS Advisory Committee Meeting
The next meeting has been scheduled for Aug. 28-29, 2018 in Juneau, Alaska (note new location!). This will be the final meeting of the current committee. More information will be made available on the https://ioos.noaa.gov/community/u-s-ioos-advisory-committee/ website. The meeting is occurring concurrently with NOAA's Hydrographic Services Review Panel meeting and will allow for a joint session of the two groups, as well as engagement with senior NOAA and other federal leadership also in attendance.
Glider Data Management
International Conference on Glider Data Management - "Connecting glider data flows in Europe and beyond": 18-20 September 2018, Aquario du Genova, Italy. Since 3 years and the end of the EGO COST Action and the GROOM FP7 European project, a lot of improvements have been made on real time glider data management (new format, new tools, better management of the metadata, new platforms) but few issues still remain and the community struggles to reach a full European harmonization of the gliders data management and a full contribution to research, ocean monitoring and operational services. Moreover, delayed mode data management is becoming a priority for the glider community. Many operators and PIs are putting a lot of efforts in the qualification of their data sets after recovery. Several existing data management tools are freely available through toolboxes and scientific publications. Unfortunately, there is not yet a clear agreement on how these datasets can be shared in delayed mode nor a common strategy to handle these questions at the community level.
Call for Applications: Student Workshop on International Marine and Coastal Management
The 4th Student Workshop on International Marine and Coastal Management in the Gulf of Mexico (SWIMM 2018) is scheduled for Oct. 7-16, 2018 in northern central Cuba (Yaguajay, Caguanes National Park, and Cayo Santa Maria.
The program brings together graduate students from the United States, Mexico, and Cuba for week-long workshops involving peer-to-peer exchanges, shared learning, and intensive interactions with scientists, managers, and practitioners.  The focus of SWIMM 2018 will be on northern central Cuba, an area that experienced the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Irma in August 2017.  Students will participate in the development of a set of indicators and a visual report that provide a synoptic evaluation of the damage caused by the hurricane and the degree of ecological recovery.

Applications are invited from graduate students who are enrolled in Ph.D. or M.S. programs:
  1. in the United States, Mexico, and Cuba, or
  2. who are citizens of any of these three countries, but enrolled in a graduate program elsewhere.
Candidates should be engaged in a program of studies and/or research in areas of environmental management, environmental or ecological sciences, environmental anthropology or political and social sciences with a focus on environmental issues, adaptation to risk and disasters, coastal or marine sciences, oceanography, biology, ecology or marine zoology, and related disciplines.

The program will cover roundtrip airfare from the U.S. or Mexico to Cuba and transport, food, and lodging expenses related to the workshop while in Cuba.

The 2018 Alabama-Mississippi Bays and Bayous Symposium Program Committee has released a call for abstracts and sessions for the Nov. 28-29 event in Mobile, Alabama. Abstracts must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Aug. 31.
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.