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.
October 2017 - In This Issue:

We've certainly had a busy fall and I'm sure we'll all be looking forward to the end of hurricane season. As you may know, Hurricane Nate -- on top of hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey -- forced us to cancel our fall Members meeting in Mobile because many of our attendees and speakers were otherwise occupied before and after the storms. We were able to hold our (closed) GCOOS Board meeting sessions, however, and made much progress updating our bylaws, which we expect to approve in the next quarter. We also toured the NOAA Disaster Response Center and had an excellent discussion with its director, Charlie Henry. We're in the early planning stages for our next Members Meeting now and are expecting to hold it in April in New Orleans. We'll keep you posted on meeting dates, speakers and plans as we progress.
Until next month!
GCOOS Board and staff at the
NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center.
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
News from GCOOS HQ
Fall Festival Outreach 
We're getting ready for one of our biggest outreach events of the year -- the St. Petersburg (Florida) Science Festival. The annual event includes a student day on Friday, Oct. 20, and a public day on Saturday, Oct. 21.  
On student day, we'll be using coral reefs to introduce students to one method scientists use to measure the health of ecosystems. Students will learn about biodiversity and how measuring biodiversity can be an indicator of ecosystem health. The activity is based on a lesson developed by GCOOS educators and available for free on our website.
We'll also be using the coral reef assessment during the public day on Saturday and adding it to a catch/release fishing activity designed to focus on the "M" (mathematics) in STEM education. Capitalizing on the popularity of Marvel superheroes, our activity is called the IOOS Super SySTEM and our fearless superhero-dressed team will highlight IOOS, MBON (the Marine Biodiversity Observation Netork) and Animal Telemetry Network projects.  
Are you looking for similar activities for a science festival in your neck of the woods? If so, GCOOS has plenty of adaptable lessons available for free on our website. If you use them, let us know -- we're also interested in seeing how the outreach materials we develop are used in settings around the Gulf.
GCOOS Advisory Council Session
Next month, two GCOOS Advisory Councils will be meeting in Alabama. The Outreach and Education Council and the Products and Services Council will be meeting individually and then come together for a joint meeting. This is the second joint meeting of the two advisory groups and offers an opportunity for members to come together to discuss the public impacts of potential products and services provided by GCOOS.
Partner News
New HF Radars in the Gulf of Mexico
Under the direction of Dr. Stephan Howden (University of Southern Mississippi), two new CODAR SeaSondes have been added to the Gulf radar network. These are high-resolution, short-range radars situated near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The radars are funded by the Mississippi-Based RESTORE Center of Excellence (MBRACE) as part of a project titled Sustainability and Restoration of Oyster Reef Habitat in Mississippi Sound: A Larval Transport and Recruitment Approach. The radars will be used to monitor circulation over oyster reefs in the Mississippi Sound.
New Site Glider User Group
The U.S. IOOS now has a new website for the Glider User Group, which includes a variety of great information from the glider community, including upcoming meetings and workshops, glider DAC and operating standards, publications, deployments and more. Anyone interested in underwater glider activities can also join the glider forum -- a place where you can share information with other glider users in the community. If you have recently published on a glider topic and would like to share it more broadly, or would like to be added to the group listserve, please contact Becky.Baltes@noaa.gov.
New Review of Gulf Species Recovery Plans
A new report identifies restoration actions that could impact threatened or endangered species in multiple states. The document, Recovery Plan Review for Downlisting/Delisting,
Leatherback sea turtles are
one species covered in the review.
presents 80 multi-species conservation actions to downlist or delist 27 species along the Gulf of Mexico. The actions are taken directly from Recovery Plans and 5-year review documents. The project was conducted with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Wildlife and Fisheries Team (WFT) through a 2016 Gulf Star award.
With the ongoing implementation of restoration projects and the recent impacts from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, this report can be a valuable screening tool. Accompanying the document is a spreadsheet of the compiled species-specific actions from each federal recovery plan and associated information, including priority, description and implementation status.
Hurricane Mini-Grants
Supported by private and public funds, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance is
Hurricane Irma
offering small grants ($5,000-$10,000) to selected applicants that were affected by the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida. Qualified applicants are non-traditional audiences that do not qualify for larger Federal assistance awards. It does not include state or Federal agencies, individuals, universities, or non-profits that receive operational or disaster funding assistance from a parent organization. Examples of qualified applicants may include neighborhood associations, school organizations, churches, museums, zoos/wildlife centers, etc. A simple 2-page application is all that is required.
The Alliance is looking for additional partners to fund this program. Increased financial support allows us to help more applicants. If you would like to participate, contact GOMA headquarters.
Gulf Dead Zone Update
Scientists have determined this year's Gulf of Mexico "dead zone," an area of low oxygen that can kill fish and marine life, is 8,776 square miles, an area about the size of
At 8,776 square miles, this year's dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is the largest ever measured. (Image courtesy of N. Rabalais, LSU/LUMCON)
New Jersey. It is the largest measured since dead zone mapping began there in 1985.
This large dead zone size shows that nutrient pollution, primarily from agriculture and developed land runoff in the Mississippi River watershed is continuing to affect the nation's coastal resources and habitats in the Gulf.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment 
The Secretary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is inviting nominations of experts for consideration as Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors or Review Editors for the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the IPCC. The composition of the group of Coordinating Lead Authors and Lead Authors for a chapter of the Assessment Report will represent a range of views, expertise, gender, and geographical representation, ensuring appropriate representation of experts from developing and developed countries and countries with economies in transition. Please note that the work on the preparation of the reports will be conducted in English. The deadline for upload of all nominations is Oct. 27 (midnight GMT + 1).
Gulf Restoration News
LSU Researchers Awarded Final Round of BP Oil Spill Grant 
LSU scientists will continue their work on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on southeastern Louisiana marsh ecosystems under the umbrella of the Coastal Waters Consortium, or CWC. CWC was just awarded $4.8 million over the next two years beginning in January 2018, announced by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, GoMRI, this week.
The Principal Investigator of the award is Nancy Rabalais, GCOOS Board Member and LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences Professor and Shell Endowed Chair in the College of the Coast & Environment.
Mississippi Restoration Summit 
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality invites you to attend the 2nd Annual Mississippi Restoration Summit Nov. 14 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center. The Restoration Summit is open to the public from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and will include the 2017 annual public meeting of the Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group (MS TIG).  
The Restoration Summit is an opportunity for any member of the public to learn about current restoration projects in Mississippi and the announcement of new projects for 2017. Registration is not required.
Seeking Reviewers 
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) and Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative (GOMURC) have contracted with the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) to assist with scientific reviews of projects and programs funded under the RESTORE Act Council-funded Restoration and Spill Impact Components (RESTORE Buckets 2 and 3). They are in the process of developing a Best Available Science Reviewer database for reviews of Council proposals and applications.
Interested parties are asked to submit a short reviewer application and return it, along with CV to gomurc@usf.edu by Dec. 31. Questions? Email gomurc@usf.edu.
Restoration Resources
Restoration Funding Calendar
  • NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program hosts a three-year calendar that consolidates planned funding opportunities
By State:

Employment Opportunities
New College of Florida
New College of Florida invites applications for an Assistant Professor of Coastal and Marine Sciences faculty position, a tenure-track assistant professor in the area of interdisciplinary coastal and marine sciences, broadly interpreted to embrace approaches from multiple natural science disciplines. 

The successful candidate's primary appointment will be in the Division of Natural Sciences with secondary appointments and collaborations as appropriate. This position is one of several collegewide hires designed to support interdisciplinary, collaborative programs in environmental studies, environmental science, and marine science. The successful candidate should therefore have a strong interest in contributing to these interdisciplinary programs. Receipt of the Ph.D. (in one of the natural sciences, oceanography, environmental science or a related field) is expected by the time of appointment and the position will begin August 2018.
U.S. Geological Survey Ecologist (GS-408-11)
Please find below a link to a new US Geological Survey (USGS) Ecologist (GS-408-11) position (Principal Investigator) with the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center (WARC) based in Lafayette, Louisiana. Full performance level is GS-12. This position is currently funded for two years, and we hope to extend it through the full four year authorization given to us by a term appointment, which relies on both adequate performance of the incumbent and continued funding. This is a really great opportunity for either a strong post-doc or early career scientist to develop a research program in ecosystem ecology or biometeorology within a major research center of the U.S Geological Survey.
We'd like the focus of this position to be on coastal wetlands of the Southeast, with primary emphasis on Louisiana. The goal is to bring some eddy covariance or additional net ecosystem exchange expertise into WARC, but the position is broadly scoped to allow for flexibility and adaptive research funding opportunities. Our overall goal is to develop a long-term research focus around ecosystem ecology, carbon/water cycle science, or biometeorology within coastal wetlands. The full announcement, including more details about the expectations of the position and application procedures can be viewed at:
We are hoping to get a good applicant pool for this position. Please either consider applying for this position yourself, or share it widely with new PhD graduates, post-docs, or accomplished scientists who you know might be interested in a career with this focus in the USGS. The duty station is Lafayette, Louisiana; that is firm.
Research Experiences for Undergraduates Warm-water Aquatic Ecology; Auburn University
Auburn University is excited to invite applications from undergraduate students to participate in a National Science Foundation supported summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program focused on the ecology of southeastern ponds, rivers, reservoirs, and estuaries.  Ten undergraduate students will work closely with a team of Auburn University faculty to explore aquatic ecosystems, complete a student-driven research project, participate in a variety of professional development and social activities, develop and lead an outreach project, and share their research findings in a symposium at the conclusion of the program.  Participants will work closely with our mentors to develop an interdisciplinary project involving complementary fields, such as community ecology, limnology, evolution, fisheries management, statistics, hydrology, conservation, biogeochemistry, molecular biology, biodiversity, and microbiology.  The program will run from June 3 to August 12, 2018 (10 weeks).
Eligibility: All applicants who are interested in receiving NSF support must currently be a (1) U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident and (2) an undergraduate freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior graduating no earlier than September 2018 or a high school senior that will start their undergraduate education the following fall semester after the REU program.  We are especially encouraging students from traditionally under-represented groups in biology (i.e., African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, students with disabilities, first generation college students, and U.S. veterans) as well as students from institutions with limited research opportunities (e.g., community colleges) or students in financial need to apply.  The online application is available at http://wilsonlab.com/reu/application.html
Support: Participants will receive a stipend ($5,500) plus housing and subsistence, financial assistance for travel to and from Auburn, and support for lab and field supplies.  For full consideration, on-line applications must be received by 15 January 2018.
International students: Although not financially supported by our REU Site, we are also open to including a few strongly motivated and self-funded international students in our REU Site research and professional development activities.

Contact information: For more information about the REU Site, visit http://wilsonlab.com/reu/ or contact Dr. Alan Wilson (wilson@auburn.edu).
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory seek Post Doctoral Scientist
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral research associate with strong background in linking biogeochemical and molecular biological datasets to join an interdisciplinary initiative aimed at unraveling the processes and interactions that support resilient ecosystem functions at the interface of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

The candidate will work primarily on a project focusing on the effects of freshwater availability and saltwater intrusion on below-ground microbial metabolism and biogeoechemical cycling in tidal freshwater wetlands, with opportunities to interface with other initiative efforts. Duties will include design of field and laboratory experiments, collection and processing of biogeoechemical and molecular biological datasets (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics), and peer-reviewed publication of study results.

Applications shall be submitted online at jobs.pnnl.gov. When prompted to upload a résumé, please provide a single PDF file containing (1) a cover letter of 1 to 2 pages summarizing research interests and qualifications that fit the advertised position and possible start date at PNNL if selected, and (2) a CV listing past employment, education and research experiences, skills, publications, and contact information of three references.

Organization and Job ID
Job ID: 306896
Directorate: Earth & Biological Sciences
Division: Biological Sciences
Group: Microbiology
Events & Meetings
IOOS Advisory Committee Meeting, Oct. 24-26, 2017.
Hydric Soils Identification Course Oct. 19-20
LSU's College of the Coast & Environment's Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences will host a two-day workshop addressing the field identification and delineation of hydric soils. Workshop attendees will gain the skills required to identify hydric soils in the field and conduct hydric soils delineations within Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast Region. Additionally, the workshop will be applicable to those working throughout the Atlantic region and other areas of the country. Registration is limited.
Cost: $500. Questions & RSVPs: Dr. John White, jrwhite@lsu.edu 
  • Accommodations at the Staybridge Suites, 4001 Nicholson Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70808 (225.456.5431), must be booked by Sept. 18, 2017, for the group rate. If calling, please refer to the Hydric Soil Identification Course for group rate. Group Code: HSC
  • Registration
December 11-15, 2017, New Orleans, LA
Florida Sea Grant and the University of Florida IFAS Extension are hosting a Dec. 12-15 intensive workshop in Gainesville, Florida, on ArcGIS 10.5, a powerful tool for managing natural resources and guiding growth and development processes. Details  
American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting
, January 7-11, 2018, Austin, TX

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Sciences, February 5-9, 2018, New Orleans, LA. Don't forget, the conference is still accepting abstracts that promote fundamental Gulf ecosystem science or link scientific results to ecosystem resilience, oil spill response, or restoration and management. The deadline to submit an abstract is September 11, 2017.

2018 AGU/ASLO/TOS Ocean Sciences Meeting, February 11-16, 2018,  Portland, Oregon.   
The joint OCEANS and Techno-Ocean meetings at the Kobe Convention Center, Kobe, Japan 
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.