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.
May 2018 - In This Issue:
As spring moves into summer, many of us have been busy with graduations and watching up-and-coming generations move from one life stage to the next. At GCOOS, we have a commitment to supporting young oceanographers through a student scholarship.

We also hope to develop the Howard Innovation Challenge -- an annual competition for students to develop novel products based on GCOOS/IOOS data or novel ways to share data - through the new fund named in honor of Matt Howard. The Matthew K. Howard Memorial Fund will also support the Innovation Award to recognize exemplary and visionary data management practices in the GCOOS footprint and the Howard Mockumentary Competition, which will celebrate Matt's humor through a video contest that uses humor to tackle a serious ocean monitoring or data management issue.

Right now, we're in the early stages of building the fund and hope to raise enough money to spark student interest that will ultimately lead to the development of new innovations that will get ocean data into the hands of more users. It's an idea I've supported through a donation of my own and one that I know Matt would have believed in.

Please consider making a contribution of your own today. 

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
Buyer Beware -- Especially When it Comes to Ocean Sensors
Ocean observing equipment lost from a Texas A&M subsurface mooring located about 50 miles south of Louisiana has turned up -- unfortunately it doesn't seem like it will be coming home anytime soon, according to Dr. Anthony H. Knap, Director of the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG) and Professor of Oceanography, who found that several pieces of his group's equipment were being sold on the Internet auction site eBay. According to the seller, the items were found washed up on the beach after a hurricane.
An Aanderaa Recording Current Meter (RCM) Doppler Current Profiler, worth about $35,000, was sold for $3,550. A Teledyne Benthos Model 866-A Transponding Acoustic Release, worth $25,000, was sold for $1,025. Also sold were a RBR Solo T Temperature Logger, for 99 cents, and an SBE 39plus Temperature (P) Recorder for $17.50.
The Texas A&M markings were removed, but Ocean Observing Team Lead at GERG, Dr. Steve DiMarco, was able to identify the items based on eBay pictures that included their serial numbers.

"We notified the seller that the equipment was ours, but it was sold anyway," said Knap. "Now, we want to put the word out to the ocean observing community in case they were the buyers. We do want the equipment back. The buyers should also be aware that it is illegal to sell state equipment across state lines and so we've had to notify law enforcement."
Anyone with information about the sensors or their buyers can contact Knap at  tknap@geos.tamu.edu  to help with the return of the instrumentation.

Follow Along: GERG Glider Deployment
The Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG) at Texas A&M has launched a glider to patrol the waters near the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. The mission reports and data are being tracked by GCOOS's Gulf AUV Network and Data Archive Long-term storage Facility (GANDALF).  
The Slocum G2 glider, Sverdrup, was deployed for an expected 45-day mission on May 9 and is reporting on water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, CDOM and density.
The glider is also equipped with a MicroRider, an instrument package that provides turbulence measurements. In this case, it will provide information on the hydrodynamics of water over the upper and mid slopes of the Continental Shelf, said mission leader Dr. Steve DiMarco, Professor of Physical Oceanography at Texas A&M.

The data gathered will help researchers understand how mixing occurs over areas with differing topography -- for example, the area of greater contours it is now patrolling compared to how mixing occurs over smoother ocean bottom.

The glider mission is part of a wider study "Understanding How the Complex Topography of the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Influences Water-column Mixing Processes and the Vertical and Horizontal Distribution of Oil and Gas after a Blowout"  that is led by Principal Investigator Dr. Kurt Polzin, Associate Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and is funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GOMRI).

The information the Sverdrup glider gathers will be
TAMY Oceanography grad student Christian Nygren, aboard the 
RV Mantis, prepares the glider for deployment. The netting on the glider helps to prevent remora from attaching to the glider -- like they attach to moving sharks -- which would prevent the glider from surfacing and cause it to abort its mission.
compared to data gathered using more sophisticated equipment during a ship-based cruise that will take place in June from the University of Southern Mississippi's ship, the R/V Point Sur, and with information gathered from moored instruments.

This is the first time this type of data collection has been coordinated among a glider, a ship and moored instruments in the Gulf of Mexico, DiMarco said.

From a basic science standpoint, the data will provide important insights that will lead to a better understanding of how topography affects Gulf circulation patterns. The practical application is that it will provide better information on the hydrodynamic patterns that lead to the distribution, dispersion and dilution of contaminants like oil.

"We're gaining new information on the complex relationship between topography and how mixing occurs in the water column," DiMarco said. "We also hope that we can compare the data gathered on the ship to the gliders and the moorings and have more confidence in the data gathered by the gliders. While gliders can never replace ship-based observations, they can supplement and provide a complementary alternative to only using ship-based observations."
Now Online: TEDWomen 2017
TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, held its TEDWomen 2017 conference in New Orleans. Themed "Bridges", the event featured a live program of more than 40 speakers and performers over three days -- including Dr. Nancy Rabalais, GCOOS Board Member, Professor and Shell Endowed Chair of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences at Louisiana State Univeristy.

The talks from the conference are now online and you can see Rabalais' talk on the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.
Partner News
Gulf of Mexico Alliance
All Hands Meeting
Planning is in the final stages for the annual GOMA All Hands Meeting, scheduled for June 11-15 at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront in St. Petersburg, Florida. GOMA, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, is a regional ocean partnership working to sustain the resources of the Gulf of Mexico and includes leaders from each of the five Gulf states. Members include governmental and nongovernmental organizations, businesses, academic organization and other nonprofits. GCOOS is a sponsor of the All Hands Meeting.
Webinar Series
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is starting up a Wednesday Webinar series. The hour-long presentations will be held at 3 p.m. EST on the last Wednesday of every other month. Topics will include Gulf TREE, Microplastics, Tool Highlights, and HAB Detection. Join us to hear about great resources and projects from around the Gulf.
Upcoming dates are May 30, Nov. 28, Sept. 26 and July 25
New Network for Modeling Community
As the Gulf of Mexico community continues to advance the tools for data collection, interpretation, and analysis, there may be value in establishing a network for information sharing among system modelers. Organizers want to gauge interest in a new community of practice by casting a wide net for anyone who is interested in the many aspects of modeling - data inputs through end users.

An introductory call scheduled for 2 p.m. EST May 21 will discuss the purpose, need, structure and function of the new group. To engage early, email Libby Fetherston-Resch at ehfetherston@fio.usf.edu.
Ocean Micro-Structure Glider Workshop
The Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science, St. George's Bermuda, has a few openings at its upcoming ocean glider workshop scheduled for May 28-June 1.
OMG 2018 is a specialized training program for Rockland turbulence measurement systems that are integrated with ocean gliders. The workshop is hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Glider Initiative & Collaboration (MAGIC) at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. Training will be optimized for both scientists and technicians and facilitated by instrument specialists from Rockland Scientific.
Gulf Guardian Award Nominations Open
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's Gulf of Mexico Program has opened nominations for the 2019 Gulf Guardian Awards.

These awards are a way to recognize and honor the businesses, community groups, individuals and organizations that are taking extraordinary steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. Submit nominations by June 30, 2018.
Workshop Proceedings: Reducing Hazards and Improving Safety in the Offshore Industry
The Gulf Research Program recently sponsored a workshop organized by the National Academies' Board on Human-Systems Integration to explore ways to reduce hazards and improve safety in the offshore industry by applying an understanding of the human factors involved. Presentations and discussions from the event are now available as a workshop proceedings.
The workshop, held in January 2018, brought together experts in offshore drilling, safety procedures and government regulation to discuss current research from the behavioral and social sciences related to offshore safety and worker empowerment, as well as best practices and lessons learned from other high-risk industries.
Sea Turtle Nesting Season
It's summer and that also means that it is sea turtle nesting season
Tracks left by a nesting turtle.
along Gulf Coast beaches. The Gulf plays host to five species of sea turtles: Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata).
With sea turtles beginning to nest, please remember to turn off lights on beaches, fill in any holes and remove beach furniture at night. It's also important for boaters to keep an eye out along the coasts for turtles coming in to nest.
Beach Dune Restoration Funded
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has announced a $26.5 million award to the Texas General Land Office to restore approximately 17 miles of the beach dune ridge system along McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, from High Island, Texas to Sea Rim State Park.

The award will leverage more than $25 million from Natural Resource Damages and RESTORE Act funds for a total conservation investment of more than $50 million.
Gulf Restoration News
Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Evaluated Using an End-to-End Ecosystem Model
A recent study published in the journal PLOS One used an ecosystem model called Atlantis to simulate how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted the recovery of various fisheries. The model was validated by comparing population trends and age structure before and after the oil spill using fisheries independent data.
Sensitivity analysis suggests the biomass of large reef fish decreased by 25% to 50% in areas most affected by the spill, and biomass of large demersal fish decreased even more, by 40% to 70%. Impacts on reef and demersal forage caused starvation mortality in predators and increased reliance on pelagic forage. Impacts on the food web translated effects of the spill far away from the oiled area. Effects on age structure suggest possible delayed impacts on fishery yields. Recovery of high-turnover populations generally is predicted to occur within 10 years, but some slower-growing populations may take 30+ years to fully recover.
Restoration Resources
Restoration Funding Calendar
By State:

Good Reads
Spotlight on LSU Labs
LSU's College of the Coast & Environment recently featured two of its labs -- which feed data to GCOOS -- in a web story: The Earth Scan Laboratory (ESL) and the Wave-Current Information System (WAVCIS) provide a wealth of critical environmental measurements both above and below the Gulf of Mexico's surface. The information collected from these two labs has a variety of real-world uses.
Having accurate, accessible, real-time oceanic and atmospheric information available prior to, during, and following catastrophic events has a significant impact on a community's ability to save lives, property, and ecosystem function. Two LSU College of the Coast and Environment labs are experts at acquiring this information.
Florida Sea Grant
Florida Sea Grant puts out a regular enewsletter summary of information published by Florida Sea Grant and authored by scientists worldwide. Volume 8, Issue 2 has the latest in print and online content.
The Forgotten Devastation of Hurricane Harvey
From NextCity: Houston got the press (and most of the funds), but the Category 4 storm made first, devastating landfall in coastal Port Aransas and Rockport. How rebuilding has forced these beach towns to confront a housing crisis.
  • Read the story
Embracing Advocacy in Science
Scientists and students from the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science recently published an essay in Fisheries titled Embracing Advocacy in Science. In the essay, the authors propose practical ways to serve as an advocate for science-based policy and decision-making.
Employment Opportunities
American Progress: Director of Ocean Policy
American Progress has an immediate opening for a Director of Ocean Policy with the Energy and Environment team. The Director of Ocean Policy will lead the Ocean Policy team's work to develop and execute national and regional strategies and campaigns to further American Progress' ocean policy, climate change and clean energy goals. The Director of Ocean Policy is responsible for developing, researching and writing major reports; creating strategies to promote the value of science-based management initiatives; establishing and managing coalitions of national and regional partner organizations; implementing communications strategies and developing relationships and partnerships with ocean champions on Capitol Hill and within the federal government. The ideal candidate will be an experienced team leader with deep organizational relationships throughout the ocean policy world, as well as a deep understanding of ocean issues, politics, and science.
Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences
BIOS, founded in 1903 as the Bermuda Biological Station for Research (BBSR), is a world-class ocean science research and education facility based in Ferry Reach, St. George's on the east end of Bermuda, has several openings:
  • Technical/Computational Support for Underwater Glider Program
  • Postdoctoral Scholarship in Oceanography
  • Oceans and Human Health - Cancer and Aging - Marine Molecular Biology
Visit their website for requirements and details on each position.
Florida Institute of Oceanography
FIO is seeking an Assistant Marine Captain for the R/V W.T.Hogarth. FIO is chartered to provide infrastructure support to facilitate collaborative research and education related to Florida's coastal and ocean environment and to serve as a coordinating body across academia, state and federal agencies, ocean science organizations and the private sector in addressing new opportunities and problems to be solved through research, education and outreach.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
The Environmental Sciences Division (ESD) seeks a thought leader in environmental data management and distribution to provide leadership and oversight to the NASA-funded Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) group. This position will report to the ESD Division Director.  The ORNL DAAC is one of several NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) data centers responsible for providing free and open access to data from NASA's Earth Science Missions.
Events & Meetings
The joint OCEANS and Techno-Ocean meetings at the Kobe Convention Center, Kobe, Japan 

May 28-June 1, 2018Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, St. George Bermuda
June 11-14, 2018, Hilton Bayfront Downtown, St. Petersburg, Florida

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

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

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.

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.